Speaking to PUNCH’s Tofarati Ige, singer Alfred Inetimi Odiom popularly known as Timaya talked about his childhood, running away from home and his music.
See excerpts below:
Lessons learned while hawking
I learnt that to succeed in life, I had to stay passionate about my dreams, never settle for less and keep working hard every day. Most importantly, I learnt to believe that God makes everything possible in good time. I have been through a lot of things in life, and if I begin to share my story, you will be shocked. I was born into a fairly comfortable family but I was a rebel and I often ran away from home. I once lived in Port Harcourt with a woman who was older than me and she used me like I was a sex toy. I had to service her whenever she had the urge in exchange for food and a roof over my head. However, I have always dreamed big. Despite my travails, I never let go of my aspirations while believing that one day, I would make it big.
His role model
That would be Bishop David Oyedepo. I attend Living Faith Church, akaWinners’ Chapel, and I don’t joke with the activities of the church. As much as I can, I make sure I attend as many of their services, crusades, and other programmes whenever I’m in the country.
On whether he still has artistes on his DM Records
I currently don’t have any acts signed on and I am currently not looking to sign any new acts right now. I may change my mind later.
His work with youths from Niger Delta
I am not a Niger Delta activist; I am a Nigerian, who wishes nothing but the very best for the country and our people. There’s a lot that I do, but I like to keep that part of my life very private.
On people’s perception that he no longer sings socially conscious songs
This is funny, but that’s not the case. As an artiste, I am inspired by life, not just by one thing. I make music about the society, partying, love, beautiful women and my life in general.
Addressing vulgarity in his songs
I do those types of songs because that’s what people really want. Some people criticise those songs, but they have millions of views and downloads online within a short period. We really should stop deceiving ourselves. Like I said earlier, I sing about a variety of things. Music is a money-making business, so I always consider what people want to hear and give them priority. That’s what fetches me money.
On people’s perception of him being arrogant
That’s not who Timaya is really. I’m really a nice guy; you just need to get to know me and you would realise that the picture painted of me is not accurate at all.
On whether he has any other business
Music is all I do right now and it has been taking care of my needs, so I’m okay.
His biggest song
I would say Bum Bum and Sanko.
I would describe my style in two words: easy -going and classic.