How drug addiction almost ruined me – Timaya

Famous Nigerian singer Inetimi Odon, aka Timaya, has opened up about his near-death experience with drugs.

In a recent interview with The Beat 99.9 FM, Lagos, Timaya revealed that he was introduced to drugs (molly) during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

MDMA, commonly known as Molly, is a powerful psychoactive drug that produces feelings of heightened energy, euphoria, and sensitivity to touch. Molly is very popular among teens and young adults, especially at nightclubs and ‘raves’.

The ‘Dem Mama’ crooner described his battle with drugs as a “tough fight,” noting how they (drugs) often create an illusion.

The Bayelsa-born singer shared that he regained clarity and resolved to combat drug use after experiencing financial losses, loss of contracts, and weight.

“I am not a saint. I have done drugs. Breaking off from drugs was hell; it was a tough fight. I got introduced to drugs during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Everybody was home, and those young guys in my house were always so happy. And I was like, ‘Bro, how are you guys happier than me? I am the boss. I got money? What are you guys on?’ And they told me that they got Molly.

“When I took it, I did not understand myself. I was so happy that I dashed all the money in my pocket. So I just wanted to keep feeling like that. That was how I lost a lot of weight. I was not eating, and I was just happy. How you go just want dey happy? You are supposed to, first of all, be happy naturally. But when you need substance to make you happy, it replaces natural happiness. So you have to be buying happiness.

“When I said I was taking molly, I was taking like three pills every day, and it felt like medication. When I lost a lot of money, I realised I needed to stop, and I got kicked out from jobs, contract.”

According to him, the drugs nearly compromised his immune system, making it difficult to concentrate on business or take calls from business partners.

He mentioned that he travelled abroad to isolate himself until he could fully recover from the effects of the drugs.

Timaya explained that he released the song ‘Cold Outside’ on 14 October 2021 to share his experience of battling drug addiction.

“That time, people will tell me I was taking something, even fans come to my DM, but I was arguing because it shows in my life — I was about to look at it and fight it,” he added.

New album

When asked about his projects for this year, the singer stated that he will be releasing a new album.

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Timaya’s last studio album was Gratitude, which was released in 2020. Titled ‘Gladiator,’ the new album is scheduled to be released in April.

The singer added that the album is ready but should have disclosed the featured artists and the number of tracks.

Music Industry

Regarding the music industry, Timaya expressed concern that genuine talent is dwindling due to artistes’ priorities.

He said their (artistes) focus is often on financial gain rather than the art itself.

“It’s not about the music; it’s about the money required to promote it,” he said, saying, “When you’re desperate for money, your creative expression suffers.”

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Moreover, he wants directors, producers, and other industry professionals to foster an environment where artistes can freely express themselves without stress.

Timaya believes that many record labels restrict their artistes from releasing the music they believe in.

“Right now, many artists are under many record labels and don’t believe in the songs those singers want to push out because they think this is how it should go.

“You can’t direct creativity; imagine Kogbagidi is my friend, and imagine when he worked with Portable, and he shouted they wanted to brand me. Portable is portable, and imagine they brand him. Then, he will not be the guy again or will still be out there. Let people be themselves. You can’t direct creativity,” he stated.

According to Timaya, any artiste can achieve widespread recognition and gain international acclaim through social media and the internet.

He further emphasised the importance of creating timeless songs that will endure over time.

Love life

When asked about his romantic life, he admitted to being in a relationship but disclosed his preference not to date Nigerian women.

Timaya, who views relationships with Nigerians as futile, explained his decision to avoid them stems from his belief that dating someone with a similar background, upbringing, and environment lacks excitement.

The singer compared being in a relationship with a Nigerian to a toxic dynamic, likening it to the relationship between a police officer and a thief.

He clarified that he has no personal issues with Nigerian women but feels that a romantic relationship would lack vitality if both partners share too many similarities in their backgrounds.

“If I am a Nigerian girl, I will not date a Nigerian man. Right now, I can’t date a Nigerian girl.”

READ ALSO: Structure still lacking in Nigerian music industry Rapper Sasha P

Timaya was in the news on 31 July 2023 when ‘Naija To The World,’ a star-studded iconic concert exhibition, debuted on 16 September 2023 at the renowned Apollo Theatre in New York, celebrating the music and culture of Nigeria’s oil-rich cities.

The culture of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Burna Boy, Don Jazzy, Timaya, Rema, and many others was celebrated.

Link to the video:

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