Over the years, Terry Apala has wowed fans as a singer, song writer and performer, performing his own songs at local gigs where he was continually showered with praises as an artiste doing ethnic songs that is not his native language and he has been successful at performing this genre of music.
His rapid rise to stardom started with a superlative performance with his former R&B group (now defunct); Mezo Soprano where he was the lead vocalist and earned them the first prize during the launch of the Kanu Heart Foundation in 2000. The opportunity positioned them to perform alongside the music maestro, Orlando Julius and ever since then, he hasn’t looked back.
Terry Apala describes his genre of music as “Apala Hip Hop”, having gotten inspiration from the late Haruna Ishola and backed up by his Yoruba influenced upbringing even though he hails for Isoko in Delta State. Terry Apala’s writing prowess positioned him to work with Annie Macaulay-Idibia, to compose a soundtrack for her movie, “Calabar Girls“, while he was with another group called Kabaka.
With an undying passion for music, he has been able to put out a collaborative feat with a number of Nigeria’s artistes such as Ice Prince, Olamide, Phyno, Orezi, Reminisce , Fuse ODG, Sugar Boy and Sexy Steel, while in his words he states,”I have a strong passion for music and My uniqueness is my kind of music called Apala Hip Hop”, that is classic especially coming from a south-south Nigerian that’s not of the Yoruba speaking State. Terry Apala is currently signed to Nelson jack music, an entertainment outfit owned by a group of african music lovers.”
Terry Alexandar Ejeh was born on the 31st of October 1988, known by his mononym Terry apala, he is a Nigerian recording artist and performer. He is best known for his hit single “champagne shower” which he released in 2016. “Terry Apala a.k.a “Son of the Microphone” began his music career at a tender age and has been doing music for 20 years starting out in the church as a drummer to the streets and the entertainment industry in Nigeria. During his elementary days in school, he loved playing with empty cans envisaging himself as a drummer and singing along with his fictitious rhythms and rhymes to the admiration of his teenage friends.
Terry apala alongside Falz created the theme music for award winning Nigerian movie Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo”.Oko Ashewo became an instant box office hit, breaking records to become the highest opening weekend gross for the year at the time of its release. He was recently hosted in City People Magazine Headquarters by Showbiz Reporter, DANIJI EMMANUEL where he spoke about his journey into music and his style of Apala music. Enjoy excerpts.
Tell us about yourself.
My names are Terry Alexandar Ejeh, popularly known as Terry Apala. I am from Delta state. I was born in Ajegunle, I grew up in Mushin. I am from a family of 6 children, 5 boys, 1 girl. I am the second to the last born in the family. I am currently signed to Nelson Jack music. My style of music is called Apala Hiphop. Things are going well and I am grateful to God.
Growing up days?
I started with Ragga music when I was growing up. I started with Arnie Macauley, I went and did a soundtrack for her in 2005. In 2007 I got my first appearance as I was featured on a song. In 2012, I was featured on a song with Orezi and Olamide. In 2015, I came out with a song called Modernize but the acceptance wasn’t that impressive. In 2016 I came out with Champagne Showers and thank God for where it has taken me to today.
What inspired your style of music?
I grew up in an environment where they play such sounds like Haruna Ishola in Mushin. Though I couldn’t sing then but I used to mimic the songs, and I was in the choir too so gradually I started to improve on myself and the sound Apala music. Back then I used to listen to Ayinla Omowura, Yusuf Olatunji, Ligali Mukaiba and so on. I was in secondary school and I was doing this thing and back then I play the guitar so I tried to bring myself to the style. My friends advised me that I needed to do English songs to push myself in the industry but I said no, I took the risk to go with this style and be different I am happy it worked
What have been the Challenges so far?
It’s been God. I got signed to Nelson Jack Music and a month after I released a song called “Mo Popular” and that song got me a nomination in the US as the most promising act of the year. That same last year I got other nominations. That shows the brand Terry Apala is moving and working.
Does your style of music give room for collaborations?
Yes. I am planning to work with so many artists, internationally and locally but I believe in myself and believe that don’t need to feature a big artist to sell my brand. My brand is doing well and people have been calling me for club appearance outside the country.
Have you met with any veteran Apala musician and what’s your relationship with them?
Yes, I have met with some of them. I have met with Musiliu Ishola, the son of Late Haruna Ishola. We are even working on a song together. I do go to his house and he does give me advice and so on. We always work together hand in hand. He is always happy when he sees me. He is happy that when he passes on, somebody would be around to keep the Apala sound alive.
Your style is different; do you do the real Apala sound?
Yes, I can’t I do the pure Apala music. Infact I do the real Apala music but you know, before I kicked off my style of Apala music, I sat down and decided to come out differently. Sometimes, I do the real Apala music when my audience is the elderly people. The audience determines the style of music I do.
What’s your relationship with other hip-hop acts?
Well, I can’t say. The only place where there aint no beef or envy is heaven. If you are doing something new and its working, people would try to imitate you and I am seeing that already.
How do you relate to them on a working level?
Well, we work fine. I remember been told that when Dammy Krane wanted to record the remix of his hit song “Amin”, he went to Olamide and Olamide recommended me for the song, so that shows that on a working level, we are all good. There’s love in the industry. I have worked with a lot of acts like Niniola, Falz, Flavour. The love is impressive; people are beginning to reckon with me. I am taking Apala music to the world.
Whats next for Terry Apala?
More Videos, more songs, I just dropped a song featuring Bisola of Big Brother. More callabos in the work, I am dropping a song very soon where I featured Musiliu Ishola.