By Glam and Essence
Award-winning music artiste and entertainer ,Teniola Apata,better known by her stage name, Teni ,recently spoke about her life like never before in an emotional interview with the host of #With Chude and founder of Joy, Inc. – Chude Jideonwo,where she opened up on how she has been dealing with the loss of a loved one, and the inspiration behind her hit single – Uyo Meyo.
Teni,who comes from a wealthy home where she was used to getting her way got a reality check about life when she suffered the loss of her trusted assistant,who died suddenly. She admitted that the experience jolted her at that moment to realise that she wasn’t “invincible”,and that death wasn’t something that could be solved with money, phone calls or connections.
The death of her assistant wasn’t Teni’s first experience with losing a loved one.According to her,the loss of her father at a very young age was her first tragic loss.It was to later become the inspiration behind the hit song on her recently released debut album, ‘Wondaland’,which she referred to as “Dad’s Song.
Teni explained that,“Dad’s song is a song for everyone that has lost someone. Dealing with loss is crazy because people tell you that you’ll get over it, but you never get over it. You just don’t get over loss”.
According to her,”When I was recording this song,I was sitting in my living room and watching my father’s funeral-his body in the casket, my mother crying. I needed those emotions to be able to record that song in its true form. Everything I sang had to be from a place of truth”.
Teni spoke fondly of her father, describing him as “a genius” and “a man deserving of idolisation”. Teni said her father planned ahead for the family, such that even after his death, she was still able to go to school in the United States, and her family could live a decent life.
When asked about her hit single -Uyo Meyo, Teni told Chude that her being able to finally graduate after several challenges was her inspiration.
“My parents said, ‘if you’re going to make music, you have to graduate’. I was very frustrated.Not being able to graduate on time slowed me down from my music.”She explained
According to Teni,she was in a car driving to her graduation ceremony when she recorded the song, “and I was just thinking of all my hard work. My mum is from Ondo, and so Uyo Meyo means, when others win, and you celebrate with them, your own too will come.”
She also shared her views on feminism,one that got her some backlash last year.
In 2020, Teni’s tweet about feminism sparked controversy amongst Twitter users.She, however, explained to Chude that she was misunderstood and that sometimes words don’t always come out the way you want.
Teni further stressed that she had no reason to look down on “feminists”,as she grew up in a polygamous family with three mothers who were in control of her late father’s assets;
“Feminism to me is a lifestyle; in fact, it’s a movement. I have always stood up for equal rights. I am coming from a place where women were in control. It is important for women to take charge. I have seen women do it, so I know it’s possible.”
Teni admitted that life has taught her to be patient, “life has taught me to believe, and life has taught me to never give up on myself”, she added.