“i Had A Court Case, And I Couldn’t Release Music For More Than A Year”, terry Apala Shares On #withchude. 

By "Joy, Inc"
Terry Apala on #WithChude.
Terry Apala on #WithChude.

Nigerian Musician, Terry Alexandar Ejeh popularly known as Terry Apala, sits with Chude Jideonwo, host of #WithChude to discuss what it was like to have been abandoned by his colleagues, saying no at the wrong time, a court case with his record label, friends who abandoned him at the first sign of trouble, and the deathly silence of depression.

“I am from Isoko in Delta state. And because I wasn’t a Yoruba person, my friends in Mushin use to discourage me that my music wasn’t going to work. They were comparing me to Haruna Ishola and other singers in the Apala genre, saying that if they were talented and they are still where they are, how do I want to go about it. I started to break down how the music is going to work by adding up English and Pidgin to my sound. I try my best to split it so that people could understand it.” He also shared how he discovered his unique sound and gained confidence to put it out there.

Terry Apala spoke about how his father passed in his house after abandoning him for close to 17 years. “My dad was not there. He was just somewhere, living his life. I left my dad in 1990, and the day I saw him was the day he was dying. He came all the way from Apapa to our house in Mushin, and he was strong. He asked for my mom, and I said she had gone out. I called my mom and said ‘Daddy is at home’. She was like ‘what did your father come to do?’ and I was like, ‘Daddy is at home, that’s what I have to tell you.’ She said, 'He should take his leave please’. I told him ‘Mummy said you should be going.’ He said, ‘no, I will wait till she comes back’. So, because my other siblings heard he was around, they couldn’t come home that night. So, me and our lastborn, Obi, slept together. He slept on the bed with my junior brother. I think he was throwing up when I woke up. As I woke up, I saw that he was throwing up. He laid his head on my junior brother. That was really touching, even though I didn't really feel bad because this man was not there, but you know, you will have to pity someone that is about to die. So that was the day I saw my dad last. From my house to the mortuary”.

He shared further on how he almost got signed by Don Jazzy. “I met Don Jazzy in 2015, and he almost signed me, but I was the problem. I lost my mom two years ago. My mom had said something to me; she said, 'Your kind of music is different. It's different from what your colleagues are doing, and if you're going to be on any record label, you have to be the first. If you are not the first, you can't be the second.' That was the mindset that I had. So, when we had the meeting - I think in 2015, a week after we met; He sent me the contract, but I couldn't sign it because I knew where I was coming from. That same year I got a call from Burna Boy's mom. All these things were giving me ginger already, like, this apala sound, people love it. Burna Boy was there already. I can't be the second face; I have to be the first. So that same year, I got signed to Nelson Jack because I was the face of Nelson Jack music. They brought me to stardom and gave me everything that I asked for.”

Speaking on if it was a good decision to be signed to Nelson Jack, he shared, “That was a good decision, but in the long run, we had issues due to management. Something was not right because even my lawyer - who was more like a brother to me, was saying to me, ‘bro you signed this contract, and this is not what you signed up for’. I had a lawyer even before I got to meet Nelson Jack. They were not executing the contract. There are some things they were supposed to be doing that they were not doing. So, we had some issues. We already had our plans and knew how the brand was supposed to go, but some things were not right. We settled it amicably, and I said that since I can't get these things, I have to pull out. It was a good decision as it helped me to a point but it did not get me to the height I was expecting.”

“Two years ago, I wasn’t doing anything. I had an issue with the record label, and the court told me that I am not allowed to drop songs for a year or two. I was not allowed to have any interviews or shows. All I was doing was to record new songs in my home studio. I was not functioning, I went through hell, but I am back. At a point, I was begging for food to eat. But this whole thing taught me more about life. Sometimes, life is always wicked, you have to know what you want. Thank God for the Apala fusion because if I was doing like other sounds, Terry Apala would have gone” he added.

Watch the excerpt here: