AfroTageInterviews

ShineTTW: The Prince Of Emotional Afrobeats

ShineTTW has a notable soft spot for Nnewi, the commercial heart of Anambra State and its second-largest city after Onitsha.

ShineTTW
ShineTTW [PHOTO CREDIT: Plug Entertainment]

Meet ShineTTW, whose real name is Chukwuma Chinaza Ferdinand—a rising force in Nigerian music. The young talent, hailing from a family with a rich musical heritage, discovered his passion early. His journey began in secondary school, where he quickly earned a reputation as the “entertainment student.”

In 2018, ShineTTW took a decisive step, dedicating himself fully to his music career. ShineTTW released his debut single No Religion in 2022. The song produced by T.U.C and Spax is surely a unique tune in instrumentation and lyrics to announce ShineTTW’s rare talent.

ShineTTW’s unique sound quickly gained traction, positioning him as one of the most promising names in the Nigerian music scene. His distinct approach and emotional depth have propelled him towards becoming a household name, marking him as a significant contender in the industry.

ShineTTW
ShineTTW [PHOTO CREDIT: Plug Entertainment]

Lagos or Nnewi

Born in Nnewi, a bustling commercial and industrial hub in Anambra State, southeastern Nigeria, ShineTTW spent his formative years with his grandparents. He attended a primary school just across from their house and later spent holidays and part of his senior secondary education in Lagos.

My journey started in Nnewi but Lagos made me up my game.

ShineTTW, 2024.

With the way the singer didn’t hesitate to talk about his grandparents, you could tell they meant so much to him. He further revealed his grandma died in 2006 and his grandpa followed later. 

When asked which of the two cities impacted his career the most, ShineTTW said, “My journey started in Nnewi but Lagos made me up my game.”

“I have had people ask me if I grew up in the east because of the highlife feel in my sound,” he added.

ShineTTW has a notable soft spot for Nnewi, the commercial heart of Anambra State and its second-largest city after Onitsha. The city’s influence is deeply woven into his musical journey and childhood memories.

When asked for a local tour guide recommendation, ShineTTW highlighted a must-try dish: “Ofe akwu (Banga stew) with white rice and plantain.” He also recommended other local favourites such as “egusi soup, ogbono soup, and abacha.” These culinary delights, according to ShineTTW, are essential experiences for anyone visiting Nnewi.

When it comes to must-visit spots, ShineTTW highly recommends “Nkwo Nnewi,” a bustling marketplace known for its automobile repairs and spare parts sales. According to ShineTTW, witnessing the skilled craftsmanship of the locals as they fix and refurbish vehicles is not only a captivating experience but also a testament to the remarkable talent of the people of Nnewi.

ShineTTW

Talking about his name, what inspired it and the meaning, ShineTTW narrates how he was called China while growing up in Nnewi and the role Bizzle Osikoya, co-founder of Plug Entertainment played in his search for a stage name. In his words, 

“First, I have really really tiny eyes and I had people calling me China because of my tiny eyes. They believed I looked like Chinese people. So I changed the name from China to Shine and when I met Bizzle, he insisted my name couldn’t be Shine as there are so many Shine on DSPs. I had to add the TTW which means ‘to the world’ to distinguish myself.”

According to the singer, his connection with Bizzle was facilitated by Spellz, with whom he lived for about two years. 

In a tweet, ShineTTW shared that if he weren’t an artist, he would have pursued a career as a fashion designer or model, citing his good looks. 

First, I have really really tiny eyes and I had people calling me China because of my tiny eyes. They believed I looked like Chinese people. So I changed the name from China to Shine

ShineTTW, 2024.

Talking about this during our interview, he boldly declared himself “the sexiest artist in the industry,” humorously adding that despite never having been to the gym, he has “six-packs and stuff.”

In another tweet, ShineTTW highlighted a unique aspect of his lifestyle, revealing that he is one of the very few Nigerian artists who neither smoke nor drink. He proudly stated, “…peer pressure can never influence me into doing these things.”

Afro-Sentio

When asked if music has always been his primary passion, ShineTTW revealed, “I can play football, but I got discouraged. I didn’t grow tall early, so it was difficult for me. And yes, it has always been music.”

I make Afrobeats music, but I like to call my sound Afro-Sentio. Sentio is a Latin word for human feelings, and I believe I make music that connects to human feelings and emotions.

ShineTTW, 2024.

ShineTTW was introduced to music at a young age, with old hip-hop tracks from artists like 50 Cent shaping his early tastes. He identifies consistency as the biggest challenge in his musical journey: “Knowing that you have to make music, create content, and drop.”

In one of his tweets, ShineTTW claimed to have a “different vibe.” When asked what makes his vibe unique, he explained, “I’m pretty versatile. My last two songs are from different worlds. I have listened to a lot of music to know that nobody infuses something like that.”

He elaborated, “I make Afrobeats music, but I like to call my sound Afro-Sentio. Sentio is a Latin word for human feelings, and I believe I make music that connects to human feelings and emotions.” This innovative style blends elements of Latin-inspired perception, emotion, and experience, aiming to evoke deep feelings in its listeners.

When asked to recommend songs that could easily convert anyone into a fan, ShineTTW suggested, “If you listen to ‘No Religion,’ ‘Alinko,’ and ‘Sakura,’ in that order, you will see the growth and versatility.”

Reflecting on his music, including unreleased tracks, he said, “Best song so far? ‘In My Mind.’ I don’t know if it’s ever coming out. If it comes out, then maybe someone else dropped it.”

Regarding his EP, ShineTTW highlighted Amg, noting a personal attachment to the song.

Discussing the creation of his Afro-Sentio sounds, ShineTTW revealed his collaborative and intuitive process. He typically sits in the studio or room with the producer, exchanging ideas while the beat is being crafted. Once the basic structure of the beat is formed, ShineTTW begins to hum melodies as the vibe comes to him, capturing the essence of the track. He then records these initial ideas, adding layers and building the song from there. This organic and collaborative approach allows him to infuse his music with deep emotion and versatility, characteristic of his unique Afro-Sentio style.

The Chosen One

ShineTTW’s debut EP, The Chosen One, released on June 14, 2024, is a testament to his determination and resilience. Reflecting on the doubts he faced growing up in Nnewi, he shared, “Where I grew up, nobody cares about music. If you are not doing business, you are going to school. That’s the standard. They think you want to be useless if you are making music.” He added that he has a mini-documentary coming soon.

I don’t believe in overnight success, but I would love it if that’s what God wants. I believe this EP should hit the ground running.

ShineTTW, 2024.

To pursue his dreams, ShineTTW left the familiarity of Nnewi for the bustling city of Lagos. He hopes his EP will inspire others, saying, “To be a beacon of hope. A young boy people can look at and say if he can do that, then I can too.” He humbly added, “I don’t want to say live a life worth emulating because I don’t think there’s anyone that can do all that.”

ShineTTW acknowledged the challenging path to success, expressing, “I don’t believe in overnight success, but I would love it if that’s what God wants. I believe this EP should hit the ground running”.

But not the kind our president is doing,” he subtly added.

I want it to be something solid enough to keep elevating my career. I am not expecting to do one trillion streams overnight,” he said.

For aspiring artists in Nnewi, ShineTTW suggested considering a move to Lagos, as he did, to seriously pursue their careers. “If you can leave the environment. It can only be the grace of God that would make you blow from Nnewi,” he said.

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