BY RAMSON ACQUAH-HAYFORD
THE GHANAIAN music industry has a peculiar trait that seems to favour music genres from its West African neighbours, maybe because of our proverbial hospitality or the Ghanaian listener is becoming more discerning.
The bottom line could be that Ghanaians love good music and so a sensational Cameroonian singer is doing everything possible to feed them with lots of such good vibes. Her name is T’neeya.
Music in Ghana
“I’ve been in Ghana for just a year but I’m ready to stay a couple more because the people are very affectionate and welcoming, I love it here,” the bubbly songstress told the DAILY HERITAGE in an exclusive interview.
Born Jennifer Tania Takoh, T’neeya explained how her stage name was crafted, “T’neeya is sourced from Tania so when I was in Germany my colleagues pronounced it ‘Taneeya’ which gradually metamorphosed into T’neeya.”
Recounting the journey through her one year music career in Ghana, Jennifer said there are so many talented people she had met here that she would love to work with.
“The producers, bloggers and other industry players I have worked with have opened up to me wholeheartedly and I am very grateful for that.”
When asked how favourable her new environment has been to her, she said that “So far the environment has been conducive for the kind of art I do, probably because Ghanaians are smart people and they love good music,” she said laughing.
‘T’, as some people refer to her, said her fans also received her warmly and she prayed that her fan base would grow frequently.
“There’s a lot I cannot control but what I can do best is make music and hope people can relate to it,” the Camerounian musician said.
T’neeya mentioned that most of her songs were recorded in Ghana with Guilty Beats producing the acoustic version of ‘Tonight’ and ‘Don’t judge me’, and Vacs engineering ‘Hold you Down’.
Touching on copyright and piracy issues, the soothing vocalist expressed her worry over the canker destroying African music.
She said artistes have piracy as their number one enemy, and even though they could not eradicate it immediately, she expressed the belief that when they come together and join other stakeholders they could take it on boot for boot.
“My team and I are very particular about music distribution, which is why we have signed up with Aftown, the online music distribution and streaming platform, big shout-outs to them, they’re doing a great work.”
Early life and family
According to T, her dad is a Camerounian and her mum a German-Hungarian. The two met in Germany and moved to Cameroun to start a family.
“I have two siblings; an elder sister, a brother and i am the youngest. Growing up, [we found that] our dad was very strict on certain values – discipline, morals and respect, and I can proudly say that I still carry these values with me no matter where I am,” T’neeya said.
T’neeya said at age 13, she taught herself to sing and write music and was involved in her school choir, leading 600 girls and competing inmany local talent shows in Cameroun.
The young and seren-voiced T’neeya said at a very young age, her writings and singing were influenced by Michael Jackson, 2 Face, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.
T’neeya said she did not pursue singing as a full time career early enough due to her reluctance, saying, “Singing professionally wasn’t a reality for me, until my parents started noticing I sounded good and they gave me their blessing”.
She said when she realised how short life is, she decided to pursue her dreams after studying Fashion at the University of Applied Sciences – Berlin.
The multi-cultural artiste, who has a few songs to her credit, has done a couple of local and international collaborations, and has worked with various producers, notably Berlin-based super producer Toni Hauschild.
“Everyone has a story to tell and an emotion that needs to escape the soul; for me this comes in the form of heartfelt lyrics and music of struggle and joy that we often encounter,” T’neeya said.
Pulling from many different cultures life experiences and vibrant energy,”T” has developed a sound with strong vocals and catchy tunes , which has been able to
As an artistic rebel, she is avoiding being a cliché and is crafting a unique music and fashion style with authentic story which she shares in her music through various languages; Pidgin, English and French. With music critics defining her as the ‘Song bird of the urban modern Africa to watch in the years to come.”
T’neeya is currently promoting her single ‘Hold Me Down’, which is receiving good reviews from fans, bloggers and DJs.
She says she is working on a single and a video, details of which would be released soon.
“I love my fans and everyone who has either heard my music or not, I thank them soo much for supporting me. I would love for them to go on my Soundcloud to find more of my music and follow me on all my social media handles.”
T’neeya was spotted performing at the launch of a book, ‘It’s Possible’, by media mogul Bola Ray.
She has also mounted many stages in clubs and lounges such as Badoo Lounge in Accra and has performed on Live FM’s acoustic night as well.