Nigeria is home to Africa’s most significant music industry with talented male and female music artists doing well locally and internationally. The female artists in the game haven’t had it easy at any point in the history of Afrobeats.
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Against all the odds, Teni the entertainer is one female artist who has made her mark as one of the few female artists in the industry to rise to global recognition within a short time compared to her counterparts. A drummer turned songwriter, turned mainstream artist. Here is the story of how Teniola, one of Nigeria’s hippiest artists, rose to Fame.
Teniola Apata was born on Dec 12, 1992, in Lagos State, Nigeria. Her mother hails from Ondo state while her late father Rtrd Brigadier General Olaosebikan Apata is from Ekiti state. He was the founder of Apata memorial high school in Lagos. For his love for Music, he was the first private school owner to introduce a music band to a private school before other schools picked up the trend. Criminals sadly assassinated him in 1995.
This time, Teni was only two years old. She started singing at that age and grew up playing in her school band, which was her family-owned secondary school. Growing up in a family where she was showered with love and protection by her mother and siblings, Teni built strong self-esteem, which has helped her forge through the challenges of becoming a pronounced music artist. Her elder sister, Niniola, who is also a famous Nigerian artist, helped her finetune her music talent while growing up. Nini was also in the school band, and this fueled the girl’s passion for Music. Being in the school band as a drummer allowed Teni to play the drums for top state dignitaries and governors of Lagos state like Uba Maruwa, Ahmed Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola. She later travelled to the US to study Business Administration at American International University, a course that took her seven years to complete.
Teni had a tough University experience due to her trying to do Music and academics simultaneously. It even cost her more years to complete her degree than expected. Her hard times in Uni inspired one of her biggest hit songs, Uyo Meyo, sang in her deep Ondo Language. But before Uyo Meyo, Teni had been doing Music way longer than we thought. She began writing songs for prominent artists in Nigeria and the US. She also wrote one of Davido’s hit songs, ‘Like Dat’ in 2017 She began uploading short videos of herself singing in her room which were mostly freestyles. Her talents were quickly noticed and raked her thousands of followers on social media within a short time.