OLANREWAJU Awotoye, popularly called Tony Tetuila was a member of the defunct hip-hop group, The Remedies which includes Eedris Abdulkareem and Eddy Montana. Soon after their break-up, he released a hit song, E don hit my car. In an exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the entertainer explained what has kept him busy and where he is headed.
Who is Tony Tetuila?
My names are Olanrewaju Awotoye Anthony. My stage name is Tony Tetuila. I am from Kwara State, had my higher education in Kwara State where I studied Business Administration. I am an artist, I do hip-hop with some African touch.
It’s been a long time, do you think you can return into the highly competitive Nigerian music scene?
Returning is in the hands of the Almighty, that is my own belief but being good is the gift God has given me. I do not have problem with whoever is there now but once I’m back, I am back because my space will always be my space. I do not think I have any competitor. What is on ground would make me not deliver because these days, there are lots of groovy beats but the lyrics of the songs do not make sense to me. But with what I am working on, I am sure I would be on point.
What have you been doing during your absence?
I have been away for a while now. I was in London for six months in 2009 and even pulled a show though it was something big but we thank God. I was also in America in 2010 to 2011. But in 2012, I started working on my comeback album. We are on for the promo, hopefully, by next week with the new single, Iwofa lenu.
Tell us about your new album.
The album is set now because I have a lot of artists on it. I am releasing the single first, with the video. Before the video is out, the music will be on radio.
What are the challenges you encountered in the production of your new album?
Normal challenges, I would say. But I have my own studio which makes it easy for me but the only challenge I have is giving the song to someone to edit and the final product is not what you really want. So, you have to take it to someone that is good to do the mix and re-master the whole songs, which I did twice. But talking about challenges generally, right from time, you’ve got some friends that look like enemies but we thank God that they did not kill us. That was what gave me the inspiration of my single entitled, Iwofa lenu, because a lot of people will say a lot of things about you, they go behind you to mess you up. But I believe God is great, no matter how or what you say about me, Oluwa ju won lo.
Now that you have considered a return, are you back fully or is it still the hit and run thing?
No, we are not running anywhere because we have studied and have seen what is going on and definitely we are coming and coming back. That was why I said, ‘my space is not yet occupied.’ That is what I believe and know that God is going to do.
How do you rate the Nigerian music industry?
The industry at the moment is big and I’m really impressed compared to when we started the hip-hop thing. But now corporate bodies are getting up to sign artists which make it big now. Look at the collaboration between Nigerian and foreign artists. We started it but with Africa (Ghana), but it’s a good thing as it is going worldwide. So, I’m really impressed.
Apart from your album coming up, what else are you working on?
Presently, I am focusing on my album because I do not want to divide the attention. Although I have my other business but I really want to focus on my album for now. I realized that anytime I want to divide my attention, there is usually no balance.
Can you tell us a little bit about your family?
I have a very lovely wife and three children (two boys and a girl). We all came back from America last year and they are schooling now here in Nigeria. So, one has to give them attention. But we thank God because we are able to handle it.
How do you juggle music with family pressures?
Actually, I am leaving the family scene for now to my wife because she can take care of it. But the only thing is for me to provide the finance, so I can focus on my music. There is no stop for me because people have been asking me when I am coming out with a new album. They want me back, so I want to focus on my music.
- AMODENI DOLAPO
*This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on July 24, 2012