Nigerian singer and songwriter, Inetimi Alfred Odon, better known by his stage name Timaya, has revealed more shocking stories about his life.
In an interview with The Punch Newspaper, the Dance singer revealed that he was sexually violated by an older woman in exchange for food. Nevertheless, in the same interview, the singer also stated that his role model is none other than Living Faiths General Overseer, Bishop David Oyedepo.
Read complete exerts below;
You’ve managed to stay relevant since you released your debut album; how have you been able to do that?
I am grateful to God for the grace to stay relevant. I am constantly looking for new sounds and ways to make my music better. I also work with amazing producers who help to keep me on track.
You featured Paul of P-Square in your latest song, what inspired that choice?
Paul and I are good friends. I actually recorded Dance, sometime last year, but I didn’t put it out because I felt the song needed something extra. When I played it for him one day, he made a great verse and that was it.
From your experience, what are the qualities an artiste must possess to be successful in the music industry?
Every artiste must always work hard to improve his or her craft; the work never stops. No matter how popular or successful you get, you must keep getting better to stay relevant.
When you started your career, you were singing socially-conscious songs. But people have started to say that because you’re now rich, you only sing about irrelevant things like bum bum and money; why is that so?
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.
Why do your songs contain a lot of vulgar words?
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.
If you could go back in time to change one thing about your career; what would you change?
I am not sure I would change anything. I love who I am.
As a Niger Delta person, what have you done to bring up other youths in that region?
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.
A lady in the United States of America, Shella B, once accused you of sexual assault but you maintained that it was consensual sex. How was the matter eventually resolved?
I would rather not talk about that.
What lessons did you learn while hawking on the streets?
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.
Who are your mentors, role models or people that you admire?
That would be Bishop David Oyedepo. I attend Living Faith Church, aka Winner’s 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.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt in the course of your career?
I have learnt that God is everything. He is the most important factor you need to succeed. If God is behind you and you work hard, you would be unstoppable.
Would you be getting married to the mother of your children someday?
I don’t want to answer that question.
We haven’t heard anything about Dem Mama Soldiers in a long time; do you still have any other artiste signed to the label apart from you?
My record label is called 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.
What has being a father changed about you?
I would say that being a father has made me to be more patient.
Do you get to spend quality time with your daughters?
Yes, I do. Despite my busy schedule, I ensure I make time for them. Spending time with them is something that I enjoy tremendously.
What are your long-term plans for your career?
I just want to keep getting better at what I do.
People see you as being temperamental and arrogant; don’t you think that image is hurting your brand?
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.
What are the three most important things to you?
My daughters and God.
Can you tell us something Nigerians would be surprised to know about you?
I have been told that I am a very funny guy.
Apart from music, what other business are you involved in?
Music is all I do right now and it has been taking care of my needs, so I’m okay.
How do you spend your day when you’re not performing on stage?
You would usually find me in the studio, or spending time with my daughters.
Apart from Nigeria, in which other country would you say you have the most fans?
I have a lot of fans in East African countries, and the Caribbean as well.
Do you have plans to collaborate with any foreign artiste?
I have worked with Sean Paul and Machel Montano. I am still looking forward to working with more artistes from other parts of Africa.
Which do you consider your biggest song?
I would say Bum Bum and Sanko.
How would you describe your fashion style?
I would describe my style in two words: easy -going and classic.
What’s your favourite fashion accessory?
I love wristwatches and shoes, and I always go for the really quality ones. I have a lot of them in my wardrobe.
What do you like to splurge on?
My daughters. There is nothing that I cannot give them.
Do you have any regrets so far?
None. I am okay with where I am.
What are your likes and dislikes?
I like honest and hardworking people. I don’t like liars, lazy people or pretenders.
How do you unwind and relax?
Spending time with my daughters and family. Everything about me revolves around music and my daughters.
If you want to have a nice time, where do you go?
There a few spots I like, but I am not as particular about them as I am about my home. I really enjoy my own space.