Teni Comes out Smoking with ‘Billionaire’

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Teni Performing at BUDX Lagos

Teniola Apata, the vocalist better known as Teni Makanaki, has released a new body of work titled ‘Billionaire’, as she declares her aspirations for a ten-figure bank account. Ferdinand Ekechukwu reports

Teni Makanaki has released her first body of work in an EP titled “Billionaire”. The six tracks project with songs including Nowo, Complain, Shayo, Online and Super Woman, was released in the early hours of Friday, October 11. It comes after she released the lead single off the project, with the same title (Billionaire) a week earlier.

Prior to the release, the talented singer had taken to her social media page to announce the much anticipated debut. The post had this caption, “I wanna be a Billionaire. New music Out Oct 4th!! #Billionaire produced by @pheelzmrproducer. Billionaire E.P out October 11. Get your dancing shoes ready.”

Ahead of the release of the ‘Billionaire’ project, Teni had dropped the title track, “Billionaire”, which is getting tremendous airplay since its release. This is a follow up to her last single “Power Rangers”, the single Teni released earlier in 2019. Teni had earlier featured on Ghanaian superstar Stonebwoy’s ‘Ololo’ which was released last month.

Bedded by a groovy Pheelz-produced beat, “Billionaire” finds Teni channeling her Afro-Juju influences with her singing, as she declares her aspirations for a ten-figure bank account. “Iya laya anybody, Otedola o ni ori meji I wonna be a Billionaire, Billionaire yee..,” the entertainer sings. The 19 minutes record is a mix of Hi-life, Afrobeats, and Afro-pop with no guest feature. Just as it has received mixed reviews.

The reviews were mainly positive, which indicated that the public accepted Teni’s new creation warmly. She is one of the musicians who know for sure how to capture the attention of music lovers. This is a great time for her fans that she has been treating with all kinds of goods lately. After the single came out, many people started expressing their wish to become rich and successful, inspired by the lyrics.

A lot of fans praised the performer’s unique voice and the catchiness of the ‘Billionaire’. Teni took time to make the ‘Billionaire’ work as best as possible which came out a mixture of the sounds she has been putting out. Just as fans are yet to get over her impressive career strides in recent times, Teni, who only finished touring nine countries in Europe in June this year, still basks in the excitement the widespread acceptance her music has gotten.

She said in an interview that while she might be well-known in the United States, her biggest surprise came from northern Europe. According to the vocalist, “Bulgaria, Poland, Romania… Those places surprised me the most. White people were, like, singing my songs. I’m telling you! It was ‘Askamaya’ and ‘Uyo Meyo’ and, I’m telling you, they were singing along to all the words!

“Of all my travels, that was the biggest shock; I’d already been going to the States since I was young, I have family out there, so I would go and spend the summer.” Last year, all her passion paid off, Teni made it clear she was taking over with the release of several hit songs, catapulting her into mainstream sound of Nigeria. While 2018 was a revelatory year for the vocalist, music industry analysts expect her to become more of a force in 2019.

While she was slowly beginning to gain momentum in 2017, Teni’s breakout year was certainly 2018, thanks to her hit singles, “Askamaya” and “Case”. She then closed out her impressive streak with the inspirational “Uyo Meyo”, showing off her range and immense talent. It would be recalled that earlier this year, Teni became Africa’s first YouTube “Artiste on The Rise.”

This implies that her song Case was promoted by YouTube on its US trending page, ads and event appearances. Artiste On The Rise is YouTube’s strategy to promote new artistes in their trending tabs. The Nigerian music star is among the top nominees for the 2019 Headies’ Award which was released recently with six nominations.

After being named the 2019 Artiste on the Rise by YouTube, Teni was also nominated in several categories for the year’s Headies and the MTV Europe Music Awards as she makes her first stride into the Nollywood scene in ‘Dear Affy’. In 2016, a star yet to be known then dropped a debut track ‘Amen’ which was recognised as her debut single while she was signed to Shizzi’s Magic Fingers Records.

Her first hit single ‘Fargin’, which preaches sexual abstinence released in 2017 under a new record label Dr. Dolor Entertainment, gave her prominence and the beginning of her journey as one of the new acts in Nigeria’s reenergised music scene. The talented singer started gaining prominence after ‘Fargin’ dropped in September 2017.

Teni came onto the scene with apparent confidence and this discernibly and sonically felt air of freewheeling creativity. That was why she would create random freestyles on her Instagram page and her followers will openly be in the comments section asking her to drop those songs. She finally had her big break after releasing the hit singles ‘Askamaya’, ‘Case’ and ‘Uyo Meyo’ in 2018.

Teni won the ‘Rookie of the Year’ category at the 2018 Headies and the ‘Best New Artiste’ at the 2018 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival. There’s no doubt that the 26-year-old is emerging as one of the country’s biggest exports. Her winning Rookie of the Year at the 2018 Headies inspired her incredible run of the three hit singles, ‘Askamaya,’ ‘Case’ and sentimental fan-favourite, ‘Uyo Meyo.’

A music critic observed she was on a roll, and then blips started. Naturally, she’s a creative who doesn’t want to be pigeonholed, so she started taking risks with songs like, ‘Party Next Door,’ and ‘Sugar Mummy.’ Unfortunately, they tanked. Her attempt to come back to what works with, ‘Power Ranger’ was let down by a combination of a terrible video and unfair criticism from listeners.