Terrence Odenigbo is a fast-rising African music sensation currently stuck in Mexico City due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Mexico City is great and I’m learning a little bit of Spanish,” he says. “It’s really calm down here in La Condesa although I have not left my Airbnb yet, lol. I plan to get to a friend’s studio soon to re-record my verse on a song.”
Odenigbo, whose stage name is TerryTheVoice, says the pandemic has disrupted his plans for travelling back to Africa but he’s trying to make the most of it.
“I’m in Mexico ‘quarantining’ because I don’t want to overstay my US C-1, which permits entry into the United States for just 29 days,” he says. “I usually use this visa to tour the United States and the Caribbean.
“I think the pandemic and the lockdown that has stemmed from it is causing a lot of mayhem globally right now. People are losing their jobs, businesses are folding up, countries are still confused about what exactly is going on – some of them are learning to do things differently the hard way with a cure/antidote for the pandemic not in sight until at least November.
“I still think we should stay locked down though, find a way to make things work remotely until the pandemic is fully contained. We should maintain a decentralized mindset so we don’t stay fixated, waiting for things to ease up. We can still get things done right now. That’s what I think and believe.”
TerryTheVoice started his journey into the music industry as an On-Air-Personality at Godfrey Okoye University school radio, where he studied Psychology.
“I really want my music to be heard all over the world,” he says. “My target audience is every single soul that catches a vibe in my tune. I try to make good music that appeals to the interest of everyone.”
In the next five years, the artiste wants to be running his own company, TerryTheVoice LLC. “I also see myself selling out concert and shows, winning awards and carving myself a permanent niche in the hearts and minds of people,” he adds.
Recently, the artiste released a music video, Foreign, featuring Jamaican artiste, Iyah Gift, with footage shot in Kingston.
“The idea of Foreign started last year in July in Jamaica when I met Iyah Gift at a bar two days before I left for New York,” he says. “We quickly connected and scheduled a studio session the next day, then I had Jesse, my producer send me 3 beats. Iyah picked the first and I laced the hook almost immediately, it was magic! His flows and melody sat so well on the instrumental.
“The session ended late in the night and I had an early morning flight out of Kingston. So, I made sure I had all the data sent to my producer via WeTransfer and told Iyah I would be back in a couple of months.
“It took a few extra months to complete the project but I’m glad we made it happen. Fast forward to February 2020, I got back to Kingston and we shot the video!”
TerryTheVoice has also been seen in a picture with sports legend, Usain Bolt. He explains he met the Jamaican star at an American restaurant.
“It was very close to Kaya Herb house in Kingston,” he says. “We just finished picking up what we ordered and Mr Bolt was just sitting casually with friends. I had to ask my friend if it was really Usain Bolt and she confirmed it was him. I said ‘Ok then, I gotta get a picture!’ I walked up to him, introduced myself and made my intentions known and he quickly obliged.”
In the meantime, TerryTheVoice, who is ready to put out an EP sometime in July, has been working on releasing a couple of new music. In the past few months, he has already shot about three videos.
“I’m not certain yet,” he says of when his debut album will be out. “I’m putting out my EP this summer and after that, I start working on a new project immediately. It could be another EP or perhaps this time, an album.”
In normal times, when travel isn’t restricted, TerryTheVoice splits his time between South Africa and the US because it gives him the clarity he needs for his art.
“I always get fresh ideas when in either of these places,” he says. “So, if I’m not in California or Iowa, best believe you’ll find me in Johannesburg or Cape Town.”
- Onyeka Nwelue
Writer | Filmmaker | Historian