Interview
Photo: Thompson Ekong.

Interview: Teni Is All Bright Colors

We talk to the star artist about what Nigeria means to her, The Quarantine Playlist EP, and always focusing on positivity.

Teni is one of the biggest names coming out of Nigeria right now. Teniola Apata is far more than just a singer-songwriter, though, she's an overall entertainer—as her stage name has previously hinted—who pairs Afropop sounds with her colorful, vibrant personality, and fashion sense.

"Music has brought me lots and lots of joy. For me, it's a feeling," she states. Born in Lagos State, Teni lost her father at the young age of two. Now, her and her sister Niniolaalso a well-respected recording artist—continue to push on and keep his legacy alive by creating the highest quality music.

Beyond her own talents behind the mic, it was Teni's songwriting skills that allowed her to write for big names like Davido, contributing to his hit "Like Dat" back in 2017. Fast forward a few years and her own hits "Askamaya," "Case" and "Uyo Meyo" solidified her presence in the Nigerian music scene.

Teni has since received numerous accolades and accomplishments, including Rookie of the Year at the Headies Awards, Most Promising Act to Watch at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards, Best New Artist at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, and Trending Artist on the Rise from YouTube Music. Beyond that, it's her charismatic personality, one that's full of love, that fans can't help but gravitate toward.

OkayAfrica caught up with Teni via FaceTime to discuss what Nigeria means to her, The Quarantine Playlist, her mentors in the game, and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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