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My Songs Talk About what Others Are Not Confident To Address-Teni Entertainer



Eko On Show

Medium height, burly with a sporty and comfortable sense of fashion describes Teniola Apata, popular as Teni Entertainer.  In this interview, she talks about her music and becoming Teni Entertainer.

Does the kind of music you listen to inform your lyrics?

I listen to King Wasiu Ayinde, Ebenezer Obey, Pasuma, King Sunny Ade, Ayinla Kollington and Sir Shina Peters. Basically, I listen to all of the old guys.

None of these people really do your kind of music except for Pasuma.

If you listen deep enough you will hear all of them in my music. It’s just me being able to coin it perfectly.

Your coming out wasn’t like the typical up and coming musician.

I have always been an entertainer. It was not about music alone, but everything entertainment. I have always done music. It has always been my passion since I was young. I played the drums in Alausa. I was always there doing my thing, but maybe people didn’t see me until I came out. It got to a level when I decided that I needed to take it seriously and luckily God did it.

What about songwriting?

I have always loved to put words and melodies together, God just did the rest. Honesty, I feel that writing is one of the most interesting things I do. You look at the words, what people are going through, what you are going through and you put it together. For me, that is fun.

One of your highpoints before coming out as a musician was writing for Davido, how did it happen?

It was through Shizzy. Shizzy is Davido’s producer and he was the one who gave me the opportunity. It was a big opportunity to write for that caliber of artiste.

How would you describe your kind of music?

It’s good music. Period.

You do have a way of insinuating things through your lyrics though.

I sing about what other people are not confident to sing about. I just sing about people’s everyday life. For example, the song ‘Fargin’. A lot of women are being forced to do things that they don’t want to do and that is what I sang about ‘Askamaya’. I just sing about what is going on in everybody’s everyday life.

What is the meaning of the word Askamaya, what inspired it?

Askamaya is whatever you want it to be.

A lot of people say that it has a deeper meaning, something dirty, do you agree?

That is their definition of it, what is yours? Because Askamaya is an open word for everyone to just think. Interpret it however you want to.

Your lyrics talk about red spots like Pekas, Allen Avenue, do these places bring out the real you?

I also talk about people like Anita Baker. Anita Baker is an American singer and songwriter. In that song, I was talking about a guy and a girl living a prominent life. The song is just meant to be interpreted the way you like.

How would you describe your person?

I am a happy person, I am a free person and I don’t like trouble, I don’t like stress.

What was your upbringing like?

I grew up very sheltered. There were policemen in our house, I wasn’t allowed to go out, I went out with an escort. So, I don’t know how I became what I am, but I am just being myself.

A girl who is well sheltered doesn’t end up becoming what you are today, tell us how it happened?

I have always been a rebel since I was in high school. I was the number one noisemaker in the classroom, but it wasn’t that I was bad. I didn’t believe in someone telling me what to do and how to do it. I believed in doing my thing my own way. That is the best way anyone can ever do anything, by doing it your own way and calling all the shots, by living your life by your own rules. Maybe people took it and the street loved it. Our parent didn’t like the idea of having two musicians in the family, but they don’t have a choice.

Are you aware that some people don’t really like your kind of person, how do you feel about this?

Well, there a lot of people who love me, so I am focusing on them.

Are you a tomboy or a lady?

I am a girl; I am a young lady with dreams. I am just a girl living my life the way I want to, in the best possible way.

Your fashion sense can be really suspect, what inspires it?

Comfort. Mainly comfort. As you see, I am wearing a T-shirt, shorts, my socks, and my shoes. I am very comfortable.

Should we expect something from you as the year closes?

Maybe singles, but the album will be coming out next year.

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