Gabriel Amanyi is very different from his alter ego Terry G or Gzus as he likes to be called these days. The popular musician and producer who recently released his fourth album ĎBook of Gingerí is in all ramifications an energetic entertainer and at the same can be as calm as a toad in the sun. The Benue State-born performer talks to Naijapals.com about the changes in his life.
Youíve been quiet for a while. Whyís that?
I decided to lay low for a while because I now have a kid. Iím also into a few businesses that at the time needed my attention. I opened a water company called REX Water. The truth is, I now have more responsibilities, which I need to concentrate on. Itís not like those days when I used to go for shows on a regular. I canít depend on music money alone; so, other businesses and my son are other responsibilities that now have my attention.
Youíve also changed your looks and toned down on your stagecraft?
That is life for you. There is time for everything. Maybe Iím tired of all of it and Iím becoming more matured as a father. Since I had my kid, I now see life in another perspective. It still adds to the fact that when your environment changes, you should be able to adapt.
You recently ended your European tour. How is your assessment of the tour?
It was fun and at the same time very hectic because I had to perform every day of the week. I never had even a day to rest; we were going from one country to the other. Nobody cares to know how tired you were. The fans just wanted to see you perform because they have paid for you to do so. At the same time it was fun because we killed it everywhere in the twelve cities.
A few months ago you released the ĎBook of Gingerí. How have your fans accepted the album?
So far the reception has been positive and great. Many of the fans have been reaching out to us telling us how much they love it. We have also been shooting a couple of videos too. All we have to do is keep doing the promotion.
In the Book of Ginjah, you did a few tracks that were a shift from your regulars. Why did you do that?
In terms of music, Nigeria is a very rich nation. There are so many style of music that we could play, it is just that the current trend does not give room for people to be creative and have their own styles. On this album I just decided to do a few experiments, which at the end of the day is working out well.
You started out as an R&B singer. Do you miss that side of you?
I donít miss the RnB Terry G because I still record RnB songs, which I would never release. I just sit back on my own and enjoy them. The market identifies you by what you release. It is only people that are close to you that will know what you have.
How close are you with the mother of your child?
We have been together for about six years now. We live together even though we are not married yet. That is just how close we are. Sheís my manager and so any business that has to do with Terry G has to go through her. She is very well educated. I have other mangers out there but she is my permanent manager.
Are there plans in the works to get married anytime soon?
Yes there are plans but it has to be the right time.
Amongst all Nigerian artistes, you seem to have a strong closeness with Timaya?
Actually Timaya is the only artiste Iím very close to in the industry. I donít go out and Iím not so social based on the fact that my kind of music seems to be a threat to so many of my colleagues and some are scared to do collaborations with me and so I decided to keep to myself. Timaya is one artiste that isnít afraid to work with anybody and he is a great guy. Timaya and I have been very close for a long time.
But at a point in your career you were the go to guy for production and collaborations, what now happened?
I decided to change my way of life and be on my own. I think then, I never used to value my talent as much as I should. I just did things for free and at the end of the day, it was either I didnít get my credit or I got embarrassed that I hijacked a song. Due to these experiences, I decided to back off and to concentrate on my thing because I know I can do it myself and it has been working well and I have been earning more.
The ĎBook of Gingahí concert was held in Abuja a few months ago, when is it happening in Lagos?
Yes we are still working on that, and itís definitely going to be a big one. I donít like to rush because every step one takes is a huge risk, so it has to come at the right time. The one we had in Abuja was a big one and by the grace of God, it was a huge success. The area father, Charly Boy was there to support us all the way. The fans in Abuja were awesome.
Why did you disband your crew, House of Gingah?
As at the time, I think I wasnít responsible enough to manage and finance the group. I took the whole responsibility of financing the group by myself. I was shooting videos and other stuff and it was becoming very hectic to manage and so I decided to back off because it affected me personally. But itís a dream that can be accomplished when the time is right. They are my friends so we might come back together or I just might do solo stuff for them.
How do you separate Gabriel from Terry G?
People need to understand that my real life is different from my artistic life. Sometimes people see me and expect me to act crazy. Before I go on stage, I like to be sober. I donít drink before I go on stage because I work with energy and alcohol weighs you down. Sometimes Iím sober so much that the organisers come to me to ask if there is a problem. But when I go on stage, it is with the mind that the better my performance, the more shows I will get or else I will be hungry. Iím not as crazy as people think I am. It is all an act just like the way you see Jim Iyke and other actors do their thing in the movies. Thatís why they call it entertainment.
You started your music career in the Church; do you still go to service?
Itís been a while since I went to church, because we work on weekends. Most of our stuff are held during the weekends. If we are not at events, we are probably shooting a video or doing other stuff.
The last time you went what was the reception like?
The last time I went was one of the New Year eveís services. I was sitting at the back seat and after the New Year wishes; people turned around and saw me. Before I knew it, there was a large crowd of people around me and my car. It didnít seem like we were in a church.