It is no longer news that Gabriel Amanyi, a.k.a Terry G, has been described as one of the world’s ‘weirdest’ singers. What is news – a big one at that – is that he has finally overcome his addiction to hard drugs, especially Indian hemp and cocaine.
The artiste made this known in an online interview with our correspondent. Recalling his long and bitter struggle against drug addiction, he says, “I will say that it is not an easy thing to quit such a dangerous habit. What I did was to avoid contact with all those who introduced me to the it.”
Earlier, he had caused a stir in the entertainment circles when, in a moment of desperation, he fingered a popular Nollywood actress as one of those who introduced him to hard drugs. Now that he is free from the clutches of addiction, he is no longer eager to keep their friendship going.
“Nowadays I try to avoid her. We are no longer as close as we used to be. The only thing that is constant is change and I am a changed man now,” he says.
This very popular singer, who also doubles as a producer, single-handedly evolved a new music style that caught on like wild fire among music fans and has remained quite successful till date.
Unknown to many of his fans, Terry G actually cut his teeth as a backup singer to ex-Plantashun Boi, Faze. He was about to be signed on to the latter’s records label, Independent Entertainment when a rival company dangled a ‘juicy carrot’ before him and he fell for it.
That was a long time ago. Now, with several albums to his credit and a ‘swag’ that has made him one of the most liked Afro hip hop artistes in the country, he could be described as a successful musician.
The only snag is that Terry G regards Tuface Idibia as his mentor, not Faze. Explaining why he made this choice, he says, “Tuface inspired me long before I came into the limelight. I have always admired and appreciated his talent, zeal and unique style. He made me to understand that success in show business does not necessarily depend on individual talent or ability to sing. What matters is that you have to stand out in a crowd and be in a class of your own.”
Lately, the singer has been carrying on in such a manner that suggests he might be considering a change in his image and career. But he says that he is not thinking of rebranding yet.
“I am not rebranding. I am only honing my skill as a singer and producer. I have to be versatile because it is very essential to the progress of any business. That is what I am doing now,” Terry G says.
A few days ago, the artiste was the guest of Cool FM in Lagos and, in a lighter mood, he had playfully declared that he deserved to be celebrated as the “most controversial musician” in Nigeria. Later, he waved the statement aside and said that he was just joking.
But, to those who accuse him of deliberately courting controversy, Terry says, “Apart from the fact that in show business, we are bound to make mistakes, everybody loves positive controversy. I am happy when people associate me with positive controversy. I have never investigated any. So I’ll just accept it as one of those things.”
Although he commands a larger fan base than many of his contemporaries in Nigeria, Terry G has not been fortunate enough to land a major advertising deal yet. But he is willing to wait for as long as possible.