Talent is a precarious thing. For some people, talent is something that is honed over years of grueling self discipline, growing a mustard seed of an idea into a formidable tree pruned with experience. For the rare prodigy, talent is a tidal wave, far more enormous than any one person should have to wield. Teni the Entertainer is one of such rare talents, an old soul with a voice that cuts through the bullshit and coaxes wells of unbridled joy. And what a privilege it is for us, that she is finally putting out her own music.
Teni’s been skirting on the fringes of the music industry, since early 2016, occasionally dropping covers of popular songs and snippets of her own, garnering fans along the way as she experimented with her sound. She’d previously released two singles in 2014 and 2015, long before the ‘New Age’ of musicians began to find mainstream success and draw much needed press. So this new iteration of Teni might as well be considered brand new, and her new single “Fargin” a proclamation of her talent and the leagues in which she is looking to play.
“Fargin” pays direct homage to the greats of Nigerian Faaji music, juju legends like King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, her personal style leaning especially towards the incomparable Salawa Abeni and her oeuvre of true-life vignettes. With Mystro producing, Teni tells a story every Nigerian girl is familiar with (and which Falz and Ajebutter touched on in “Regards to your momsie”), the ever present lecherous ‘uncle’ at Nigerian parties and family gathering, publicly hitting on underaged girls. She skillfully references Niniola’s sleeper hit “Maradona” and reminds us just how pervy these incidences are and how we cannot continue to normalize them, all the while ensuring that your hips keep rolling.
It is even more remarkable that “Fargin” started as a freestyle on Instagram and was most likely recorded in a few takes. Colour us impressed.
Listen to “Fargin” here.
Edwin eats his rice and cabbages. Tweet at him@edgothboy