- Words Maria Mukaranda
Afrobeats superstar Teni discusses her musical firsts, from making a milli off music to establishing the Naija sound.
One of the most distinctive emerging voices in the Afrobeats music scene today is Teni, who is back with her latest single, ‘Lanke’, which was released in August via Platoon. Known for her synth melodies and extraordinary vocals, Teni continues to raise the roof.
Directed by Syx, the music video for ‘Lanke’ was shot in Ghana, exuding confidence and empowerment. Celebrating womanhood and life’s joys, Teni’s video showcases her vibrant eyewear collaboration with Shushi, giving a sneak peek of what’s to come from the upcoming collection.
Produced by BlaiseBeatz, the single is a feel-good anthem, blending ethereal synth melodies, warm basslines, and Teni’s genre-defying vocals. Sunny harmonies and an ascending chord sequence create a heartwarming summer vibe. “Life has ups and downs. Enjoy the moment,” says Teni about the single, echoing its uplifting and summery spirit.
Following her chart-topping hit ‘No Days Off’ and collaborations with artists like Wizkid and Stormzy, Teni’s ‘Lanke’ is another melodic gem in her growing discography. With her unique style and incredible talent, the rising entertainer continues to shine in the world of Afrobeats. Here, the uncompromising artist discusses her musical firsts, from establishing a Naija sound to getting paid a milli off music.
First song you ever made?
‘Amen’ in 2016 featuring Shizzi.
First bar you remember writing?
I genuinely can’t remember. Whatever direction I go in, I always try to ensure I have the Naija sound and its elements: language, slang and more. It’s what makes me stand out.
First CD or record you owned?
Alicia Keys and Eve’s single ‘Gangsta Lovin’, which is from the Eve Olution album. I had it on CD.
First time you realised you wanted to be a Singer?
Probably primary school. They asked me what I wanted to be and I always wanted to be an entertainer.
First gig you went to?
I have been going to gigs/concerts since I was as young as three years old.
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?
When I dropped a song titled ‘Pareke’ and it didn’t feel like a hit. I felt a bit down about that.
First instrument you owned?
Drums and then the flute.
First time you felt like giving up?
I have never felt like giving up I can’t lie. I want to push myself more: musically, artistically, mentally and even physically and see how far I can go.
First time you felt starstruck?
I have met other stars but seeing the Fúji music legend Wasiu Ayinde (K1 The Ultimate) in 2016 was a wow moment for me.
First time you ticked off a bucket list goal?
Getting paid my first million from music. That was a happy moment!