Nigerian artist Terry G is known for his eccentricity in music, an image brand that he has created for himself over the past few years. However in a chat with Leadership magazine, Terry G reveals that he didn’t always start out this way and that frustration might have played a big part in the music he is creating now.
The artist, who is shooting the video of one of his songs, Gbagbe Osi, had a very candid chat with Leadership newspaper.
Read excerpts of his interview below!
What has Terry G been up to? I have been working. Recently, I opened a factory where water is packaged for sale. We started last month and it has been good. We have some trucks now and we are planning to add more before the year ends. As for the music part, I’m dropping a video soon as it is characteristic of Terry G; I always drop 3 videos a year. We also just shot a video for one of my artistes.
Your music is now a success story, how did you do it? My brother if I tell you say I know how, na lie I dey lie (laughs). I have been studying the industry and I have learnt to give the people what they want. I started with Rhythm and Blues and went to shoot my video in South Africa. The buzz I got from the song was not satisfactory, so I became frustrated and maybe that frustration led me to do the street music I’m doing now- the Apako song.
Apako has given you a name and identity on the Nigerian music scene, what inspired it? Apako is a slang in Benin which means ‘scope’. The song, Make I Nak You Apako is about a guy toasting a babe and scoping her. It means “let me scope you” or “let me yarn you that thing”. It is a slang we use in Benin and in AJ. I had to study the terrain and come out with such a song. If dem no accept my R&B, dem go accept my street music, which bonds with the people.
But most of the songs Nigerians gyrate to have lewd lyrics, what’s your take? You see, today’s music is evil. We call it commercial music. This is the music that brings the millions. People are still doing good music here but there is no buzz. It is the commercial music which some people term ‘bad’ music that is getting us the millions. It is all about the business of music and the glam that accompanies it. I said before that I was doing good music before, but the buzz was not there. So, I researched what the need is and experimented with songs like Make I Nak You Apako and others. It is not easy doing music; recording a song is a piece of creativity and you just do it from your heart and await the feedback from listeners.
How did music come to you? I learnt music in Church. I am the first child and was very good at playing drums. My parents are pastors at Redeemed Christian Church of God, Peace Assembly Parish. Music started from church for me and now I have taken it to the street and made a name for myself. I did back-up for Faze of Plantashun Boyz. I thank God; I’m here and my gift brought me success.
How can a “Church boy” and the son of pastors do your kind of music? Music is business-don’t forget that. I was in the choir; though I was stubborn growing up. However, looking back, the Church was not ready for me. I’m not sure I would have lasted if I had ventured into Gospel music. It is a matter of choice. I still pray and I’m a Christian.
It seems a lot of successful secular artistes got their start from Church, your thoughts? It is a thing of choice. The music from the Church is mainstream and strictly Gospel; and the Church maybe doesn’t understand our language as young, creative people in search of success. I honour my parents because they gave me the foundation.