That’s the name that rings across all platforms in Nigeria. It started like a lone whisper in December 2016, and slowly began a crescendo into our ears and our hearts.
She sings when she wants, drops covers across all media platforms, freestyles with abandon, and shines her talent upon all who come across her.
She does all of this with an omnipresent happiness, that immerses everyone, and flows from the screens of your devices into your hearts. Her photos reveal a deep sense of adventure, as he marries artistic power, with neo-tomboyish eccentrics.
Born Teniola Apata, Teni Entertainer is one of Nigeria’s fastest rising musicians breaking new grounds in the music industry.
Her sojourn in music began at age of two in the school band and since then, she has made several appearances, rocked many stages and wowed the crowd both locally and internationally performing for top dignitaries and at sold out concerts. Her stage craft has always got people talking.
Teni however kickstarted her career in 2016 when she got signed to Magic Fingers Records owned by one of Nigeria’s most talented producers and serial hit maker, Shizzi.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, her current single titled ‘Amen’ has been receiving positive reviews and feedback since its release. The prayer themed new song which was brilliantly delivered by the music sensation put her vocal dexterity and lyrical prowess on full display.
Without any hype, the timeless classic shows more musical diversity of the remarkable singer and it’s very infectious. The enthralling lyrics of the song coupled with her vocal charms has made it everybody’s favourite.
The talented artiste who before now has become an internet sensation based on her numerous Instagram freestyle videos is definitely one of the acts to watch out for in 2017. Based on the reviews of her numerous freestyle videos, we can confidently say that Teni has a great musical mind that goes beyond one genre of music.
She looks up to great artistes like King Wasiu Ayinde, King Sunny Ade, Ebenezar Obey, Osita Osadebe and Dolly Parton.
Pulse Music connects with Teni in this interview, as we dig deep into her mind to discover what makes her tick, fuels the music, and her plans for Nigeria. That conversation has been edited and presented below.
How long have you been doing what you do? How did you get started?
Professionally a month ago, and pretty much since I was 2 years old. I started when I was 2 years old. I used to play the drums in the in the School Band
Is there an early memory you’d like to share about getting into your craft, such as when you realized this was more than just a hobby or a passion?
When I was 3, I played drums for Buba Marwa, then when Bola Tinubu became Governor, I played for him. I also played for Fashola, when he was governor. I always knew I would end up doing something in the entertainment world. I realized it was more than hobby when I got to University in America and everyone started telling me to take music seriously.
How do you describe your sound/what you do to people you haven’t heard before?
I think my sound is generic. It’s different. people love the authenticity in my voice.
Who are your influences?
King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall. That’s my biggest influence.
What is some advice that has stuck with you?
"Be Yourself!" my mom tells me this all the time, and it has worked for me tremendously.
What do you hope people take away from listening to your music?
Love, Power, peace, strength and courage. I want them to become better people after listening to my music
Tell us a little bit about your new project Amen, such as concepts/themes, what inspired you, what the creative process was like, etc?
I was broke when I recorded ‘Amen’, that’s where the lyrics "when owu dey blow when money no dey" came from. but I put my heart to it. It was fun working with Shizzi, Shizzi is a spirit man. I went home and came back the next day, he had turned the song into a master jam.
Being signed to Shizzi, how does that feel?
It’s the best feeling in the world. I feel blessed to be signed to my brother. He gives me the freedom to explore different sounds. Shizzi is someone that I’ve learnt so much from and there’s no better person to share greatness with, than him. He believed in me since the first time I met him in 2013.
You are sisters with Niniola, how does her work affect your push for success?
I’m proudd of her and how she has accomplished by setting good examples and laying a good path. Her work doesn’t affect me, it encourages and inspires me to be a better musician.
The achievement divide that separates men and women. Do you think the Industry discriminates against female advancement?
I don’t think so. I think the industry is beginning to accept females and the transition is going smoothly.
What does the rest of 2017 look like? What can we keep an eye out for?
It’s looking bright, me and my team are working strongly together. I can’t do it on my own. With God, 2017 will be one to remember. Greatness can be achieved.