BY Deborah Dzifa Makafui, 4:30pm August 11, 2022,

Tems, the African star to watch out for this year

Tems. Image via YouTube

Temilade Openiyi, better known by her stage name Tems, is most typically associated with the music genres of Afrobeats, R&B, and Alté. Tems, a prominent female artist from Nigeria who was born on June 11, 1995, blends elements of the Afrobeats, R&B, and Alté music genres.

Tems became well-known thanks to her popular songs “Mr. Rebel” and “Try Me.” The 27-year-old is a part of Nigeria’s music industry’s rising alt-RnB style. After the release of her debut single, “Mr Rebel,” in which the whole production was handled by herself, the music star became a phenomenon in the industry.

Tems was raised in Lagos by a British father and a Nigerian mother. When she was a newborn, her family relocated to the UK, however, when she was five years old, her parents divorced, and she returned to Nigeria. She spent most of her formative years in Lagos. Tems departed for South Africa shortly after completing her secondary education to pursue her graduate study, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Tems began singing at a very young age, singing along with her brother’s guitar playing. She once revealed in an interview that she enrolled in the school choir without telling her family. Her music teacher at school pushed her to follow her aspiration of becoming a musician. She made the decision to define her personal style. As a result, she started making music in her own manner, which gave rise to a hybrid of Alté, Afrobeats, and R&B. An absolutely original mixture. 

Tems began working with music producers at the university, but she wasn’t happy with the outcome, so she decided to learn music production on YouTube. By 2018, she created “Mr Rebel,” her debut track from her, and released it. “Mr Rebel” is the lead single off her “Illumination” debut album. “Try me”, the following year, was a success, garnering millions of streams and giving Tems widespread recognition. Tems launched her sophomore EP, If Orange Was A Place, over a year after the release of her debut album. The album, which was created by Guilty Beatz and released by RCA Records, included the successful and popular hit Crazy Tings. Early in the year, she had signed a recording contract with the publishing company. 

Tems released her second EP, “For Broken Ears,” the same year she was included on Wizkid’s Made in Lagos album. Tems has not received many notable local awards, although she has been recognized internationally. Two Billboard Hot 100 entries were recently achieved by the singer. Her collaboration with superstar Wizkid on the song Essence gave her the first. The latter came about as a result of becoming a featured artist on the tune Fountains from Drake’s Certified Lover Boy album. She received Best Female Artist at the 2021 African American Entertainment Awards, as well as Best Collaboration, Best Video, and Song of the Year for her collaboration with Essence.

Barack Obama, the former president of the United States, included the Tems and Wizkid collaboration Essence on his 30-track list of his favorite songs to listen to in 2020. She made her worldwide debut on the number-one Essence single with Wizkid and Justin Bieber, and she later sang No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley for the Black Panther movie.

This week, reports said she has made history by being the Nigerian with the most entries on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. She made history with her fifth entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with Beyonce’s ‘Move’ debuting at number 55 on the chart that was dated August 13, 2022.

With all these achievements, Tems is asserting herself as the African star to watch out for this year.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 11, 2022


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