Tems, real name Temilade Openiyi, has worked with international artists like Wizkid, Davido, Khalid and Disclosure.
Tems, real name Temilade Openiyi, has worked with international artists like Wizkid, Davido, Khalid and Disclosure.

Stars have finally aligned for Nigerian songstress Tems

By Mpiletso Motumi Time of article published Oct 1, 2020

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Tems started writing music when she was 6-years-old and started training her voice at age 11.

“By the time I finished high school, I already knew that I would go into music. When I went to university, I started learning how to produce and develop my craft. I always knew that is what I was going to end up with.”

Getting into the industry was a smooth process for her. Before her first song release in 2018, she didn’t know much about the industry, but everything since has aligned itself to get to where she is now.

“I was just saying this is me, who I am and my sound. I had released a video before the actual song came out, so people already knew Mr Rebel then. I don’t have an actual genre even though my music is described as R&B neo soul. I am always doing different things. I didn’t grow up on genres, I just knew there was music. I didn’t come into the industry saying

I am doing R&B; it is just that it was the only option and closest thing to describe what my music sounds like.”

As fresh to the industry as Tems (real name Temilade Openiyi) is, she has worked with international artists like Wizkid, Davido, Khalid and Disclosure.

The Nigerian singer’s EP For Broken Ears came out last week with the first single Damages.

“Damages is really about all the damage in your life being gone. There is no more rubbish or toxicity. You can just finally live your life and be free from that damage.”

She calls the EP a journey of self-awareness and finding oneself. It starts out very intimate and emotional.

“It is me saying welcome to my world: this is a place you can feel relaxed. A place where you can chill, there is no judgement but peace. Ice T is a serenading song, me saying whatever bitterness you have I am going to turn it into ice tea which means I am going to make that bitterness sweet.

“Free Mind is the beginning of me wanting to find myself and identifying that there is something wrong. Higher is me understanding what is wrong and being strong and choosing to leave any hardship I am going through. The Key is me saying this is who I am, I have found myself and my voice, and no one can stop me now.”

The production of the EP happened during quarantine, from March to July and helped Tems plan out what she really wanted for the music.

“I am better when I am alone. There is peace and freedom of space and mind. There is no second where I can’t be creative. Me having time to myself helps me more than being around people. This time helped me sort out what message I really want to send. I can’t do things just for doing them, I have to send messages and heal, even wake people up if necessary. That is the purpose for this EP. That is the intention, to reach people.”

The album is available on various digital platforms.

The Star

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