T’Neeya photographed by Julius Tornyi

T’neeya Interview: I want listeners to feel healed and free through my music

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German-Cameroonian singer/songwriter, T’neeya, born Jennifer Tania Takoh, is an Afro-Soul/R&B artiste with a distinctively captivating voice, and lyrics to match. Having spent most of her early years in Cameroon, she moved to Berlin, Germany to further her studies in Fashion Design. Her passion for creating music inspired her to visit Ghana, a hub for African music, to explore the culture and connect with the recording and performing artiste within. 

Since then, T’neeya has frequented Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Germany, coalescing all her experiences into her music, fashion & lifestyle. T’neeya has collaborated with artistes such as Kel P, Telz, Odunsi, Darkovibes, Kwesi Arthur, Toni Hauschild, Ace Tee, among others. She notes her musical influences as old school R&B, Lauryn Hill, 2face Idibia, Stromae, and in recent times Burna Boy & Snoh Aalegra.

T'neeya
T’Neeya photographed by Julius Tornyi

We caught up with T’neeya to chat about how her style of music comes together, specific songs from her impressive, growing discography and creating music at different points & places in her life.

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How long ago did you discover your passion for music?

Quite early I would say, some time in primary school, hard to pinpoint what age exactly.  

What prompted you to make a career out of your talents

It happened naturally, I gravitated towards music and attracted people in that space through that, but I have to say my parents pushed me to own my calling and gave me the courage I needed to move fearlessly.

How does your multilingual ability come into play when you create music?

It’s like my superpower, it helps me connect with different people from different cultures, I definitely feel blessed.

Your style has tenets of Afro Pop, Soul and R&B, how did you arrive at this unique blend?

I experimented a lot throughout my career, still am, still learning and growing but with time I get closer to what defines me sonically as an artist. Growing up listening to different types of music was such a rich experience but at the same time overwhelming, I had to filter some stuff out over time… and here we are, looking forward to future Tee as she keeps evolving.

T'neeya
T’Neeya photographed by Julius Tornyi

Do you see yourself experimenting with some other genres any time soon?

You never really know, I never limit myself… the goal is to always stay true to myself and have fun. 

What was the underlying thing you wanted to communicate through your “In Her Feelings” EP

I was really just venting and processing my own experiences/feelings, to be honest… hoping my audience could relate and not feel alone in whatever they were/are dealing with. It was very healing and freeing, I wanted my audience to feel the same through my words and music.

Your feature on KiDi’s “Twist” introduced you to many new listeners, how did that sync come together? And did you notice any particular impact from that song?

I think that was one of my first collaborations in Ghana, Eric, a mutual friend, brought us together and asked us to create a song for his club “Twist,” and I got to connect with a new audience which was fun. 

What is it about the music scene in Accra that made you want to create music primarily from there?

I create music from everywhere, Accra is one of my favourite places to do that, it’s like my second home… the creative scene, the energy, just overall great vibes! For me, it’s not necessarily the place itself but the people I’m surrounded with, if you are surrounded by the right energy everything flows effortlessly. Have amazing moments in Cameroon, Nigeria and Germany as well. 

Growing up, who were some artists that inspired the artist you are today?

BOB, Eminem, Lauryn Hill, 90´s R&B, Gospel… tough question lol.

T'neeya
T’Neeya photographed by Julius Tornyi

If you could have a collaboration EP of your dreams, which other artists would be on it?

An even tougher question hahah! It’s really hard to tell to be honest, how I feel today might change over time as I evolve… definitely Eminem, Lauryn Hill, loving the new sound wave from Africa as well!!! Burna Boy, man, this is why I prefer to move with the flow, just let the universe connect the dots over time, let’s see.

What would you say is the essence of T’neeya and her music?

I want to motivate, create an impact, promote a positive change and advocate for authenticity… embracing and loving yourself just the way you are unapologetically.

T'neeya

Stream more T’neeya’s below

Nasir Ahmed Achile

Philosophy nut. I recommend Albert Camus and Eckhart Tolle to everyone I know.

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