Ademola Olonilua, Timileyin Akinkahunsi
Gospel musician, Lanre Teriba, was recently trolled on social media for a comment he made about Wizkid, Tubaba and other secular musicians in Nigeria. In the statement, Teriba said some of the big secular musicians in Nigeria were seen as up-and-coming talents in the US.
Following his statement, a lot of people described him as bitter, stressing that he was jealous of the success stories of afrobeat musicians in Nigeria. However, in an interview with Saturday Beats, Teriba said that he had no grudge against any of them, while describing them as great musicians.
“You see, I just mentioned Wizkid and Tuface Idibia as an example because I see them as great musicians that I love so much and respect in this part of the world. I was only trying to express my displeasure as regards to how American promoters and Americans see our great music stars as up-and-coming artistes. It is a great concern to me, so I only made my comment innocently and it was devoid of any form of bias. I didn’t make that comment to trend online because my music is doing very well. These people don’t even see me as a great gospel musician too but I am proud of my talent; I can raise my head high anywhere in the world,” he said.
Further stressing that he had nothing against the likes of Wizkid and Tubaba, Teriba said, “I don’t have any ‘beef’ (problem) with Wizkid. Some people perceived my comment that way based on their feelings and opinions; they have a right to their views.
“I have nothing against them; they are very good and they are making us proud in Nigeria and around the world. I don’t hold any grudge against any of my fellow gospel musicians, so why would I ‘beef’ other artistes doing different genres of music? I can never ‘beef’ Wizkid, Tubaba or any other talent in Nigeria because I see them as my family in the music industry,” he told Saturday Beats.
He also noted that he could actually sing secular songs if he ever felt like doing so as a versatile artiste; however, he quickly added that he was called to use his talent to praise and worship God.
“To be honest, temptation comes in different ways and trying to sing secular songs is something that can cross the mind of any good musician like me who is very versatile. I can sing secular songs if I want to but my calling is to use my talent to praise and worship God. I never regretted staying focused as an inspirational gospel musician,” he added.
The ‘Atorise’ crooner also talked about some of the challenges he had faced as a gospel artiste, adding that there was a time in his life when he begged to perform for free.
“There are so many challenges in life and my gospel music career has taken some bite of it; for instance, I sing in my mother tongue but many Yoruba people are not proud of their language. Most of them love identifying with the English people; they do not understand or value traditional music.
“One of my memorable moments as an artiste was when I signed my first record deal 21 years ago. At the time, there was no social media so I had to promote myself on the streets and beg to perform for free. Grace found me when someone decided to invest in me. But when I look back now, I thank God for everything He has done for me and another notable memorable moment was when I officially opened a prayer ground,” he said.