Blessed with a velvety smooth voice with which she mesmerizes millions of fans, Teni is one woman who has become the toast of music lovers around the world. A Nigerian singer and songwriter, Teni is known for her mixture of afrobeat, pop, and rap in her songs. Her unique style has helped her grab the attention of some of the major players within the African music world, propelling her to superstardom and making her a fan favorite.
Over the years, Teni has spread her influence as an artist across the borders of Africa and is beginning to have some bearing in the U.K. and the U.S. She has emerged the winner of many awards and is considered to be one of the freshest voices in the Nigerian music scene which she has conquered since her emergence in the spotlight.
Summary Of Teni’s Personal Profile
- Full name: Teniola Apata
- Place of birth: Lagos, Nigeria
- Date of birth: 23rd December 1992
- Age: 28 years old
- Popularly known as Teni
- Most notable work: “Case”, “Uyo Meyo”
- Education: Studied Business Administration at the American InterContinental University.
A Look At Teni’s Early Years
Teni was born in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. The superstar entertainer was born on the 23rd day of December 1992. She was raised in Lagos state by her parents. It is also in Lagos that she had her primary and high school education.
Teni, whose full name is actually Teniola Apata, had a memorable childhood. According to her, growing up was ‘interesting’ because she was raised in a very loving environment. This has affected the way she now sees life. She once explained that her family made her feel so loved and unique as a child and so she feels blessed to have had all she had as a little girl.
‘I had the best childhood’, she once declared in an interview with Wazobia Max TV where she talked about her days growing up, emphasizing that she was given proper care in her early days.
Who Are Her Parents?
Teni was born to a father called Simeon Apata and a mother called Fola Apata. The singer has often spoken very fondly about them both.
Teni’s father Simeon Apata lived quite an interesting life. Apata was actually a retired Army Brigadier-General with the Nigerian army. The man was also reported to be a civil war veteran. Unfortunately, he was assassinated by gunmen on January 8, 1995, when Teni was just 2 years old. The incident left a sad mark on Teni as a child and she has often spoken of the man as an adult, remembering the impact he had in her life even though he never stayed long enough to see her grow.
Before his death, Teni’s father established a school called the Apata Memorial High School which is an elite military-style private boarding school in Lagos, Nigeria in 1980. The school has since grown in leaps and bounds and now is reported to have as many as 150 teachers and so many students. It is also said to be one of the leading schools in the Oshodi-Isolo area of Lagos.
Not much is known about Teni’s mother, Fola Apata, or what she does for a living. However, Teni has often hailed the woman. According to the singer, her mother has always been very sweet to her. Teni has also talked about the older woman in some posts she made on Instagram, declaring her as the finest in the world’.
Teni revealed that when she was only a child, her mother always told her repeatedly that she was the best and always made her feel like someone who was super-special. Because of this, Teni explained that she grew up into a very smart and confident woman who knew she was full of value and had a lot to deliver.
Teni’s Sister Is Also A Superstar
Teni is not an only child. She has a sister with whom she grew up in Lagos. Interestingly, her sister is also a superstar singer who has made a huge name for herself in Nigeria. Teni’s sister is called Niniola, a singer who has become a household name in Nigeria.
Niniola, who was born on 15 December 1986 in Lagos, is known for her smash hit single, ‘Maradona’ which she released in 2017. The song was such a great hit that it topped charts in Nigeria for weeks. The song also spent 13 weeks on South Africa’s Metro FM chart, retaining the number 1 position for 6 weeks. Niniola has won many awards and has received approval from globally famous names like Canadian rapper, Drake, and American record producer Timbaland.
Teni has once explained that while trying to navigate her way through the Nigerian music industry, people were nicer and more ready to help her because of who her sister was. Teni also explained she and Niniola have always been very close since they were little kids. According to her, they only had each other as kids and were very protective of one another while growing up. Today, they are still very fond of each other.
From Lagos To America – A Look At Teni’s Educational Background?
Growing up, Teni had her high school education at the Apata Memorial High School, the school, her father founded before his unfortunate passing. It was also the school that her sister, Niniola attended. However, Teni did not attend college in Nigeria.
After she finished from Apata Memorial High School, Teni relocated to the USA where she studied Business Administration at the American InterContinental University. She later graduated with a Bachelors’s degree. All this time, Teni was always passionate about making music and knew that it was what she wanted to do with her life. According to her, she craved success and she understood she could only find that success in music.
Teni’s Exploits In The Music Business
Teni has always loved music. While she was schooling and navigating through life as a kid, her love for singing grew with her and she soon fell in love with freestyling and songwriting. Teni had some musical influences ranging from Fuji to Highlife and this influenced her own sound when she started making music professionally.
Teni started her journey as a professional musician in 2016 when she signed with Magic Fingers Records, a record label owned by the popular Nigerian record producer and songwriter, Shizzi. While with Magic Fingers Records, she released her debut single “Amen” which got modest airplay and reviews.
Teni did not stay too long with Magic Fingers Records. She left the label in 2017 and signed with Dr. Dolor Entertainment. It was with Dr. Dolor Entertainment that she started making some buzz. In 2017, she released her single “Fargin” which got her some attention around Nigeria. She then got a lot more buzz in late 2017 when she revealed that she actually wrote “Lik Dat,” a song that was sung by popular Nigerian music maestro, Davido. “Lik Dat” is considered to be one of Davido’s best career songs so when Teni revealed she wrote the track, it drew more attention and respect to her.
How “Case” Changed Her Life
In 2018, Teni’s life changed forever when she started releasing a series of hit songs. She started off with “Case”. Teni officially released “Case”, an Afro-pop song produced by Jaysynths on October 19, 2018. The song was a smash hit that hanged Teni’s life. It became some sort of national anthem around Nigeria and took over the entirety of Africa by storm.
Teni revealed that “Case” took her to places she ordinarily would not have dreamed of going to including performing before governors and other very important people in Nigerian politics and business space. The song would go on to win Best Pop Single at The Headies 2019, cementing its place as one of the most popular songs of 2018.
“Uyo Meyo” Was Her Next Hit
“Case” was not the only hit sing Teni released in 2018. That same year, she also dropped “Uyo Meyo”, another afro-pop inspired track that also became a smash hit around Nigeria. The song which was produced by Michael Seyifunmi Bakare was officially released on 23 December 2018, and received very positive reviews. According to Teni, the song was inspired by the seven years it took her to complete her undergraduate degree and the pains it caused her.
Interestingly, “Case” was still trending when Teni dropped “Uyo Meyo” so both songs buzzed at the same time around Africa, a feat only a few artists can boast of. “Uyo Meyo” eventually won the Best Recording of the Year Award at The Headies 2019. The song also won her the Best Vocal Performance (Female) award at The Headies.
Still, in 2018, Teni released other popular songs including “Askamaya,” “Lagos,” “Shake Am,” and “Pray” among others. In 2019, she released “Sugar Mummy” which got moderate buzz.
“Billionaire” Earned Her More Accolades
In October 2019, the singer released “Billionaire”, her highly anticipated single. The song lived up to its hype, climbing up the charts and causing a serious buzz on social media. The video which was released in October 2019 and featured stunning appearances from legendary Nigerian TV host, Frank Edoho, got the approval of her many fans.
Teni now has two Extended Plays (EPs). She released her first EP, Billionaire in 2019 and released the second EP, The Quarantine Playlist in 2020. So far, Teni has not shown any signs of slowing at all and continued to put out music that keeps her name on people’s lips.
Teni Is Unapologetically Bold With Her Fashion Sense
Apart from her music, the other thing that keeps Teni’s name on people’s lips is her nonconforming fashion sense. The singer has definitely broken boundaries with her style and fearless approach to dressing. It is a known fact that in the music business of modern times, a certain standard has been set for women pertaining to what they are supposed to wear or how they are supposed to look. Many people expect female singers to dress in a way that is sexually alluring or a way that evolves around soft, feminine touches. However, Teni has no time for that at all.
Teni dresses the way she feels without caring about what anyone thinks about it. The singer is known for her tomboy looks and air which she unapologetically carries about. Teni loves wearing loosely fitted round neck shirts and track pants. She is also known for her vintage glasses, mom jeans, and sneakers. Unlike most women, Teni does not wear wigs. Instead, she loves wearing durags and has been called the ‘durag-wearing artist’ by some fans.
Teni’s choice of clothes conflicts with the general, societal idea of what a female artist should look like or wear. While most female singers present themselves as worthy of the male gaze or as sexual fantasies in order to catch attention and rise quickly through the ranks to superstardom, Teni chooses to dress in her own way, picking clothes that best express her life and not what society expects. Teni is very particular about originality and staying true to herself in her music journey.
The singer has proven without a doubt that female singers can make it very big in the industry without paying attention to the stereotypes defining how they are to dress or look.
What Is Her Reason?
Teni has once explained why she is a non-conformist when it comes to dressing. She did this during an interview with Wazobia Max TV. According to her, she dresses the way she does because she knows who she is and where she is coming from and is confident enough to want to be herself.
To explain further, Teni told a story about what happened when she went to a funeral. According to her, a woman that she knew died and so she went to honor the woman at her funeral. When she got there, she saw the woman lying lifeless in her coffin and it suddenly struck her that this was how she and everyone else was going to lie down lifeless when they die and at that moment, all that matters would be whether they lived their life to the fullest or not.
Right there and then, she made up her mind to live her life to the very fullest because there was only one life to live and it will not last forever. She was going to live on her own terms and be happy with it. She would not live to please other people. To this day, Teni still lives by this principle.
How Lavish Does The Singer Live Her Life?
Teni has made quite a lot of money since she started her journey in the music business. She has landed endorsement deals, recorded millions of digital sales of her songs, and has sold out concert venues. Despite this, her exact net worth is not certain. Some reports have pegged the figure at about $3 million but this is not sure. What is certain, though, is that Teni is a wealthy woman.
However, the singer is not a showoff person and rarely posts any of her possessions on social media. This makes it a little difficult to know about the kind of things she spends her money on. This notwithstanding, we know that the singer owns a Toyota Land Cruiser. She has been seen a number of times cruising in the car. She also owns other cars.
We also know that Teni owns her own house. She acquired a mansion in March 2020, stunning fans when she shared photos online. Teni actually made the news of her new home public on Thursday, March 12, 2020, Teni when she released a video of the new home via Instagram. As expected, fans took to her comment section to congratulate her.