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Editorials: Does Teni Deserve The YouTube “Artist On The Rise” Feature?



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Teni Makanaki was named Africa’s first female “Artist on the Rise” earlier in the month of February 2019. The ‘Artist On The Rise’ features were rolled out by YouTube last year as a platform where it spotlight new artists in the various Trending tabs.

By virtue of this recognition, the video streaming site will promote Teni’s videos on its US trending page, in social media ads and fan event appearances at YouTube Spaces.

Does Teni Makanaki deserve this accolade? Let’s take a look:

The past year has been very eventful for Teniola Apata, popularly known as Teni Makanaki. The younger sister of another Nigerian star, Niniola, Teni is far from being hidden in her sister’s shadow.

The singer came to the limelight after releasing her hit single ‘Fargin’ in 2017, though Teni released her debut single “Amen” while signed to Shizzi’s Magic Fingers Records. She left the record label and signed with Dr. Dolor Entertainment in 2017.

I will give her one thing, the woman is consistent. Not letting the spark fade out, Teni dropped hit after hit, catching the attention of the likes of Davido (smash hit “Like Dat” was written by Teni), and after releasing more hits like “Wait” and “Pareke”, also catching the attention of the whole music industry. At this point all eyes were on her and, especially after her early 2018 Headies Award for “Rookie of The Year”, everyone was on the lookout to see whether she could hold up the mantle she had been passed.

The young artist did not rest on her laurels, releasing more singles like “Lagos”, “Askamaya” and “Fake Jersey”, all well-accepted, at which point she received the Nigeria Entertainment Awards title of “Most Promising Act to Watch 2018”. The fans did not need this reminder as all eyes were on her and the pressure was on.

She was far from letting the pressure get to her, as she followed up with “Pray”, alongside rap star Phyno, “Shake am”, “Case” and “Uyo Meyo”, which were smash hits. Alongside headlining major concerts multi-nationally, these got her the coveted “Best New Artist” award at the 2018 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, and put her in gear for the year 2019.

Apart from her obvious musical talent, Teni also has a great command of social media, and some would argue that the majority of her fans began to follow her up after seeing one or two of her posts on the famous social media platform Instagram.

The young artist also released numerous visuals to add to her body of work, dropping videos for “Fargin”, “Pareke”, “Wait”, “Case” and “Uyo Meyo”, in that order. The video for “Case”, amassing over 4 million views on YouTube, is what drew the attention of the platform, who then announced the recognition.

Teni, who just kicked off her tour, was delighted to hear the news. Watch her reaction below:



View this post on Instagram


So excited to be @youtubemusic’s Trending Artiste On The Rise. 😀 I appreciate the honor ☺ Keep Streaming and subscribe to my @youtube channel TENIVEVO

A post shared by Teniola Apata (One take god) (@tenientertainer) on

In October 2018, Burna Boy was the first African artist announced as Youtube’s “Artist On The Rise” following the success of his single, ‘Ye’ and a sold out concert at the Brixton Academy, O2 Arena.

This tweet from Africa Facts Zone sums it up both recognitions:

Teni Makanaki has definitely caught the global eyes, mine included, and countless hearts. I am definitely keeping my ears and ears out for her. Did she deserve the recognition of YouTube Artist on The Rise? Look over her “resume” and decide for yourself! The folks at YouTube definitely thought so!


PRO Blogger & Entertainment enthusiast…I am the personification of the “known unknowns". Je suis pro esprit.
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