Tee Ali is one of the UK’s top MCs, he is also an events host and the founder of Tee Ali models, a modelling agency that manages over 2,500 models here in the UK.
He has won numerous awards in the entertainment industry and is one of the pioneers of Afro hip-hop in Nigeria, having kicked-it back in the day, with the likes of 2face Idibia and the plantashun boys.
Tee Ali’s agenda is to promote and uplift Africa and Africans around the world.
Born to African parents. My father is from the southern part of Nigeria so is my mom. I was born in Portsmouth and I was taken back to Nigeria when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I came back to the UK when I was about 18, having travelled the world to try to discover myself.
I was raised in Festac Town, Lagos. It’s a town which is born of arts and culture. There was so much buzz around when I was growing up. We had so many superstars who we grow up with. We didn’t know that they’re going to be a superstar and they ended up being MTV award winners. The likes of 2face Idibia and more.
What sets you apart
No fear. I’m never afraid to grab a mic because when I touch a mic I become a different person. I’m very very versatile coz I could do weddings, birthdays, children entertainment and at the same time I could throw it down in the club. I do concerts as well.
The lowest of the low
...I mean we had ideas that look like, SnapChat, we had all these things written down, we had a clothing line the works, we were going there, we were going places. But egos and fights put a dent to the movement. It was a real low point.
That light bulb moment when it all clicked
I’ll say the first day I got paid to MC, I think something happened to me that day and I’ve not looked back since. It was the money I got paid like I was having fun MC-ing. I just had to grab the mic and walk out but then at the end of the night, I mean, I got paid. I just knew from that point, I could do this! I’m going to do this! I’m going to be one of best MCs in the UK
What’s got you buzzing right now?
- I’m putting together a charity football match which supports a few charities. This is the third edition
- Another thing I’m really excited about; Nigeria in the Park, Finsbury Park, August 5th
- Another thing I’m really excited about; is the Independence Day celebration, October 6th
- The first year of putting together an organization that supports the MCs and the comedians.
- And, I’m hosting my first Jewish wedding, I’m excited about that. I’ll be wearing my African attire.
What is the best African saying you’ve ever heard?
Time na Money.
And, there’s actually a song about it
- What was holding you back from building your brand?
It was actually being able to connect with the movers and shakers or the powers that be, I realized I was really hot headed, I was very quick to anger. The older generation did not like this, they couldn’t figure me out. I had to simmer down and be more mature.
- Do you have a daily routine that contributes to your success?
I write down the things that I want to achieve and as the day goes by I just tick them off the list. There's something spiritual about that for me. I tried to meditate before, I just sleep off.
- If you've got 24hrs to live, what will you do?
I’ll have to spend it with my kids. I might give them a good 12 hours. I'd like to say throw a party but if I’m dying, I'm not going to be thinking about partying. I’ll be trying to do something that’s going to last for the rest of time.
Words of wisdom
The only difference between someone who is talented and everybody else is the person who is ready to put in the work. If you put in the work, you’ll be better than someone who actually has talent. I’m an MC but I’m not a rapper. I put in the work, I think outside of the box and I just made things happen.
In God we trust, everybody else pays cash. Don’t be scared to get paid for what you know how to do best. It’s always good to know that you’re rewarded for your talent. Do not sleep on your talent, do not wait for tomorrow. Get it started today and you’ll be surprised how much you can achieve.
- 48 Laws of Power is the book that I recommend.
- SnapChat because it covers the areas which Facebook could not even reach.
- Facebook. I like Facebook because, it can jumpstart music promotion, for the artists that we bring in for shows.