Interview with Gabriel Amanyi widely known as Terry G
Popular singer cum producer; Gabriel Amanyi widely known as Terry G but recently preferred to be addressed in the music scene as Terry Gzus. The young, vibrant and energetic singer revealed in this interview with BOLATITO (@iambolatito) ADEBOLA about the secret behind his new name, his Book of Ginger album and his life as a father.
Tell us about your new album.
The title of the album is ‘Book of Ginger’ and it has to do with showing the other side of my music career and my personality. It talks more about my new person, my new identity.
How many tracks are there in the album?
I have 22 tracks recorded in the album which has pages and chapters including content that makes it a book.
Why do you have so many tracks in the album?
No, I had always been having this problem, it usually comes when the compiling of the tracks to make an album, I don’t do songs because I want to release an album. I record almost every day and when it’s time for me to release an album, I usually have problems of selection and I won’t know the one to drop or pick and people around also add to the problem because they also want their favourite songs in the album, so not that I am purposely doing many tracks, it is based on demand and choice.
Has anybody complain that you have too much tracks in your album, making it boring for listening pleasure?
Nobody has complained of that to me and more so what I like might not be your best and everybody has to pick their favourite tracks out of the list.
You launched your album recently in Abuja with the ‘Book of Ginger’ Concert
Yes, the concert was really a successful event with the support of my adopted Area Father, Charley Boy; who joined with the street awareness for the event, the reception and the crowd was awesome and massive because we did a huge publicity for the event and we had all the media houses supporting, though we did a huge publicity which made the place to be jam-packed and it was a successful show after all.
What about the Lagos version of the concert?
‘Book of Ginger’ Concert is coming to Lagos soon and I actually wanted to do it in Lagos but I wasn’t opportune. I tried to seek the permission of the brand in charge of the particular location to use for the event, but they did not give me the opportunity of using the venue because the price given to me was outrageous, but I personally knew it was deliberate because I heard some people are not only scared of me but I am a threat to a lot of musicians because of the brand and because of the fact that by the grace of God we will change the music to the commercial (Streets) genre but nevertheless my management team is currently working on the Lagos version of the concert and we are getting proposals from our clients and likely it will be coming up in November as planned and might either take place at Eko Hotels or at the National Stadium.
What is your relationship with Charley Boy?
He is my daddy. I won’t call him my boss, he has been supportive all the way even before I became Terry G and in those days when I produced songs for Timaya and 2short, he used to fly me to Abuja in his house, I used to produce songs for him and he has always been like a dad to me and he always advise me so whenever I go to Abuja, I don’t have any choice than to see him and carry him along on anything I intend doing.
What is new about you?
Well, so many things. Now I have a kid, I’m now a father, his name is Amaniyi Rex and with him added to my life, it has given me a new life; it has made me to see the other side of life and it has put me in place because when you are thinking about tomorrow you will want to be more responsible, it has helped me a lot and even helped me to flow away from the odds of negativity and helped me to compose myself and think of tomorrow and the future.
Would you allow your kid to go into your type of music?
Of course I will, but I’m going to train him to become a footballer.
Yes, because I’m supposed to be a footballer.
The same opportunity that you see, it comes like a flock, there are lots of talents out there but no resources, but God has given us the opportunity, it’s just the platform. Those days there were few interests from people and all that. Also, there were no sponsors, so I believe with this platform and opportunity he should be able to do it.
So what if your kid decides not to go into football, what will your reaction be like?
He will do music, even as he is growing, he will have growth idea.
What if it was a female child?
I don’t want a girl; I really want a Terry G.
Are you planning on marriage?
Marriage will come when it is time, I will let people know, but marriage is not something you rush into just like that; it is life that is more meaningful from the previous life we live before being married.
Where did you meet the mother of your baby, because you seems to have a negative image and it assumed that is not easy for a woman to put up with you?
I met her in the United Kingdom. There was a concert I attended in London; that was my first major performance in London, so we met there. I met her through a friend, so we just started chatting. What actually happened was that she got amazed knowing that I was Terry G, she wanted to know more about me but when she saw the other side of me, she got interested because there is a difference between Gabriel and Terry G. Now we are able to transform the relationship into a family and I am also more responsible with her beside me.
What about your female admirers, do they still come to you despite you having a baby – mama and kid in your house. How do you cope being an Akpako Master?
Yes, they still get in touch with me. Even if I get married tomorrow, my female admirers are very understanding and being the fact that music is business, there is no personal sentiment in that, even marriage has nothing to do with my music and my fans.
What happened to the ‘House of Ginger?’
The ‘House of Ginger’ is a household name. It is a musical group created by me and personally I deserted the group for a while, though it never faded away, it’s just for the entertainment and I think I wasn’t really capable of managing the group. I wasn’t that strong financially and I was just like a solo man with no sponsor, so it was quite hectic, I just had to dissolve the group and face other things. I am passionate about ‘House of Ginger’ but whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well.
Recently, you changed your name from Terry G to Terry Gzus – that caught many by surprise. Can you tell us what you mean by Terry Gzus?
There are so many controversies on the name. When I say Terry Gzus, I don’t mean Jesus. I mean with the spelling GZUS, I know the pronunciation look like the Jesus and I personally know is going to generate a lot of controversy, but it simply means ‘Terry-Omo-Jesu’ that is what it means. The other one is LUSIFA. I was known for that as well. I know it also causes a lot of controversies as well but this is what I mean – ‘Look-Is-Fa’ but people get me wrong.
Are you changing your style of music or what are you trying to portray with this new name?
I’m not changing my style of music. It is just like the same way I do the production; basically it is just that I want to spice it up a little because I found out that I wasn’t being accessible because of the image I portray. Most people see me and get scared because of the kind of song I do and the image it portrays. I have learnt from what people use to say about me that ‘Terry G’ is crazy’, so I decided to make a little adjustment to this and make myself more accessible to people, so that they will have it in mind that this is business and I am acting out a prepared script. Over time, it has actually added spice to my videos along with the change of style. When it comes to the design of the videos, it has helped me a lot to relate with good people because it attracts people and bring me closer to them. Even then I used to think that people love my songs but the reality dawned on me that most people don’t really like my person because of the news they hear about me or the image I portray with my songs. So I decided to spice it up a little from what they have in mind about me.
Are you under any threat due to the kind of music you do or will you be forced to change your style of music?
I am a producer and as a producer I am versatile with my work and I’m also allowed to explore in different ways, and as a leader when you follow the same pattern, your followers would get tired of you and the reason why you have been interesting is because you spiced up the job and at the end of the day these are the reasons why your followers would love what you do and follow you up when you give them different spices. So I don’t see everybody in the industry as a threat to me neither do I see it as a competition with anybody, because I have my personal style and brand which I thank God has been working for me and which is not easy for everybody to get. So talking about the likes of 2face, Dbanj and others, it has to do with being unique, and I’m very unique with my songs – when you hear my songs being played, you know this Terry G’s song. So I never get scared of my colleagues or feel I’m in competition with anybody because I know people like my songs.
Terry G has been in the news for negative and terrible reasons, but all of a sudden, Terry G just went under, what made you calm down?
Sometimes you see life changing constantly and sometimes you see it in a different way and different platform. I just saw so much values in my life and the future, when I say my future it has to do with my kids as well you know, so I started changing a lot of things and it actually scared away a lot of negative friends from me, it helped me scare them away, it helped me resolve myself and also helped me re-arrange myself.
What are you working on presently?
We are working on a Euro tour, American tour. I don’t really travel out because I believe in staying in Nigeria. I still have a lot to do here, so is better for me to chill in my home (Nigeria), do my things here than go out there. But the tour train would soon commence just that it has to be with my management. All I do is they just give me a cheque and I go for the event, I only know it’s a tour and is close to a month, so it’s a real tour and it’s going to be fun.
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