Afrobeats360 Artiste Of The Week: Teni

If you need prove that being yourself, believing in yourself, and living your best life is all you need to be as you go about your business, well, here you have it! Afrobeats360 artiste for this week “Teni the enterainer” is all the prove you need. Going by the unspoken music industry definition of an ideal female pop star, Teni isn’t one, but if you’re going to count top 10 female Artistes in the country she’s definitely going to be on that list. Within the short while she’s been in the industry, over and over again she has proven herself by dropping hit after hit and becoming a favorite, by simply being herself.

Singer Teni

Name: Teniola Apata
D. O. B: December 12, 1992
Years Active: 2016- Till Date
Record label: Dr. Dolor Entertainment
Projects: “Billionaire” “Quarantine playlist”

Early life

Born in Lagos to a late ‘Nigerian civil war Brigadier General’- father and a high school principal- mother, who are the founders of the elite private school, Apata Memorial School, Isolo Lagos State. Teniola Apata, a younger sister to Afro-house singer Niniola, showed interest in music at an early age with the establishment of a music band in her parents school, which she attended during her primary and secondary education. As a member of the band, she performed for several distinguished Nigerians including the former Military Administrator (Governor) in Lagos State, Muhammed Buba Marwa; Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN and former President Olusegun Obasanjo. However, being a band member at an early age and having played for diginitaries, her parents still didn’t get the memo that she was born to do music. She was immediately sent to the American Intercontinental University to obtain a degree in Business Administration.

Musical journey

Teni in the studio/Instagram

While studying in the university, Teni’s love for music kept growing and she found herself frequenting music studios in America to keep the fire burning. She got linked with hit record and multi award winning producer Shizzi’s Magic fingers record and released her debut single “Amen” under the record label. However, she later signed with Dr. Dolor Entertainment in 2017, just before she graduated from the University. She released the controversial single “Fargin” that same year, which gained her a certain level of prominence in the music industry. It was at this point that her mother started to understand what and where she was going with music, and then, gave her blessings. Teni’s major breakthrough was after releasing the singles- ‘Askamya‘, ‘Case‘, and ‘Uyo Meyo‘ which were all hits. “Askamaya” was recorded months before her graduation.

Teni the entertainer isn’t your regular female pop star. She won’t conform to mainstream expectations of a leading lady in pop music. Except for her voice which is on par if not slightly above par with any female singer in the industry, she is the opposite of everything society and the music industry expects of a female singer. Have you ever seen Teni on heels? Lol! She’s also a clown. If you go through her social media pages you will be sure to have a great laugh as she always posts funny videos of herself.
Despite the fact that her irregular style is working for her, it nonetheless still incites endless trolls. Every day, Teni is ridiculed for just existing and living on her terms. In an interview with music journalist Joey Akan, she had this to say of her mudslingers:

“They are mad at me for being unaffected, they will talk and talk, and I will not respond, and then they’ll get mad at me for ignoring them and existing.”

Achievements and Awards

The singer has gotten some awards and honorabel mentions too for her music. “Asakamay” was ranked 15th on MTV Base’s year-end list of the Top 20 Hottest Naija Tracks of 2018. Teni won Rookie of the Year at the 2018 Headies Awards, and Most Promising Act to Watch at the 2018 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. She also won Best New Artist at the 2018 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival. NotJustOk ranked her eighth on its list of the 10 Hottest Artists In Nigeria. She was listed on Premium Times’ list of the Six Nigerian breakout stars, viral sensations of 2018.
On 20 February 2019, Teni was featured on YouTube Music’s Trending Artist on the Rise.
On October 4, 2019, she released a banger titled ‘Billionaire’ and announced her EP with the same name. On October 11, 2019, the 6-track EP dropped. Prior to the official lockdown caused by the covid-19 pandemic Teni toured the cities of London and Dubai. In April, she released a four track quarantine playlist to get us through the lockdown.

Afrobeats360 definitely love the free spirited Teni the entertainer, and we love how she breaks the box, staying true to herself. How she doesn’t listen to mudslingers and detractors. And we wish her all the very best throughout her journey.
Whispering: (just so you know) Teni is our first ever female artiste of the week.
Congratulations Teni Makanaki!!!

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