Twin-X

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Twin-X
Birth name Taiwo and Kehinde Akintoye
Also known as Tywo and Keni
Born Ogun State, Nigeria
Origin Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
Genres Pop, african soul, Afro-Soul
Instruments vocals
Years active 2001–present
Website twin-xworld.com

Twin-X are a Nigerian pop duo made up of identical twin brothers Tywo and Keni Akintoye.[1]

Early life[edit]

Twin-X were born Taiwo and Kehinde Akintoye (born 6 December 1980) in Ogun State to a father who worked in the Military, which meant they lived in different parts of Nigeria and attended several Army Children Primary Schools. Their mother being a teacher, however, helped them not to lose too many academic years to the transfers before being able to settle finally in Ibadan. They grew up listening to their father's favourite musicians such as Ebenezer Obey, Orlando Owoh and Bob Marley blended with their own love for Shalamar, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Sonny Okosun, Lijadu Sisters and Diana Ross, who all greatly influenced their music style.

History[edit]

They like most other young men started music by singing in their church choir then in Ibadan their home town, leading several groups including a highlife band they set up with their friends in 1997.

Their journey into the Nigerian music mainstream however started in the year 2000 when they met Big Bamo of XL House, the man made popular for discovering another Ibadan based boy group Maintain. At several shows, the duo provided vocals for Maintain who could only rap while they recorded their own songs and on 27 May 2001 their debut "Mother mi" was released to wide acceptance, the video of which memorably featured many celebrities including Tony Tetuila, Uche Jombo, Kenny Ogungbe of Kennis Music, Steph Nora Okere, ID Ogungbe, Kwamé, Jennifer Eliogu and others paying tributes to their mothers.

Their first major publicised performance at the Gulder Mic Check 2001, where they surprised the organizers and Dan Foster the MC with their stage presence and soulful singing, established their identity as a group totally different from the then highly criticised Maintain. The show also featured Nigeria's biggest boy band then, Plantashun Boyz, and defunct girl band Kush and Maintain.

While the song "Mother mi" was only released by XL House as a single, Twin-X enjoyed patronage from show promoters and for many years they shuttled between staying in school and travelling for live shows with Tywo then studying Economics at University of Ado Ekiti while Keni studied Computer Science at Lagos State University.

Their fan base grew significantly across Nigeria and their name became synonymous with Motherhood especially among students in Nigerian tertiary institutions. The track Mother mi also continued to receive high ratings across the African continent and was at a time referred to as the best Mother song of the new generation of Nigerian music and second only to "Sweet Mother" by Prince Nico Mbarga in the all-time ratings.

In 2003 they parted ways with Big Bamo and by 2004 they released the album Plenty Money on M&C Music[2] and shot more videos, including their 2003 remake of Chief Ebenezer Obey's "Miliki". The album consolidated on the success of their debut as they continued to grace many big stages across Nigeria, including the 2005 Star Mega Jam along with Ja Rule.

In 2006 they started their own label – Deuce Records – and were made the official voice of a Nigerian Telecom company called O'net, the track "Plenty Money" was adopted as soundtrack for a BBC radio drama The Estate and they also went back to the studio and teamed up with Don Jazzy and K-Solo to record Oya.[3]

In 2007 they released Oya and travelled to the United States as African representatives at a Conference of Entertainment entrepreneurs organised by America’s Hoodhard DJ coalition, they also recorded a duet with American rapper Stone a former member of Lil' Wayne's Cash Money Records and member of the D'boyz group, and between 2007/08 with the song "Oya" getting more popular in the diaspora, they had a tour of few states in the US and shot the video for the song in Atlanta and New York.[4] They also promoted their home soccer team, Shooting Stars FC in the video, spotting the club jersey and featuring some of the players.

[5] In 2010 they launched a new venture called Your Wedding MCsunder their brand name Twin-X and the Deuce Band.

Inconsistency[edit]

While Twin-X remains one of the respected first generation of Nigerian pop musicians, alongside Tuface Idibia, ELDee, then of Trybesmen, Eedris Abdulkareem, Sound Sultan (with whom they were nominated for few awards in 2001 as new artistes), their inconsistency has been their major flaw.

After the highly successful "Mother mi" Twin-X took three years to release "Plenty Money" and except starring in a cameo alongside Africa's Afro-Soul super star Lagbaja in the video of his song "dream come true" in 2006, they did not make any major appearances on Nigerian TV until 2009 when they released the video of their single "Oya" – a song recorded as tribute to their hometown Ibadan.

It is also believed that their dreadlocks which they had for six years inspired Lil Wayne's reference to the strength of the Nigerian hair in his track "A milli" while the trio were in the studio together in downtown Atlanta during Christmas in 2007. Nigerians enjoyed the buzz and anticipated a musical collaboration with the American superstar and just as the Oya video in 2009 seemed to be a signal announcing their return, Twin-X went silent again returning to school for post graduate studies and are yet to release an album since then.[6]

Tywo has a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Ado Ekiti Nigeria, an Executive Masters in Project Management from the Project Management College UK and a MBA in Marketing Management while Keni has his Bachelors in Computer Science from Lagos State University and a graduate Certificate in Creative and New Media from the prestigious Pan Atlantic University Lagos. He has since added a Masters in Communication Studies from Lagos State University.

While they remain active performing musicians[7] but unseen on Nigerian TV except for few publicised events where they appear as special guests, they have both since been involved in the other fields of professional competences they acquired through their long academic pursuits.[8][9]

Honors[edit]

  • 2007 Most Outstanding African Stars on the rise – Trendsetters Awards in Houston Texas USA.
  • 2005 Winner for Best Duo – Gbedu Awards
  • 2005 Winner Niche Viewers’ Choice Awards Abuja Nigeria
  • 2001 Nominee for Best Upcoming Act – The Era Awards

Discography[edit]

  • 2001 – Mother mi (EP)
  • 2003 – "Miliki" (single)
  • 2004 – Plenty Money (album)
  • 2006 – Purple Jamz (special album for the O'net Brand Marketing)
  • 2007 – "Oya" (single)

References[edit]