“Rising Star Tems Takes the Music World by Storm: From Solitude to Grammy Success and Beyond”
Tems, a talented singer, songwriter, and producer from Lagos, Nigeria, rose to fame through her music which she started writing as a teenager to combat loneliness.
Despite fierce competition from the likes of Angelique Kidjo and Burna Boy, Tems shone on the Grammy Awards stage, winning the Best Melodic Rap Performance award for her song “Wait for You” alongside rappers Future and Drake.
The song, which sampled the hit “Higher” from Tems’ 2020 EP “For Broken Ears,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the US and garnered her widespread recognition.
In 2021, Tems achieved global success with the US Top 10 hit “Essence” alongside Wizkid and was nominated for Best Global Music Performance at the Grammys.
Despite not having a full album under her belt, Tems’ dreamy vocals and her impact through collaborations and songwriting have established her as a leading figure in the music industry.
Tems, whose real name is Temilade Openiyi, was born in Lagos, Nigeria and spent part of her childhood in the UK before returning to Nigeria at the age of 5.
She received her education in Nigeria and South Africa, where she honed her musical skills by learning to play the piano and practicing singing with her brother.
As a shy young girl, she found solace in writing poetry and songs as a way to express herself.
In 2018, she left her job in digital marketing to pursue music full-time and taught herself production techniques through YouTube tutorials.
Her unique style blends R&B, soul, reggae, and pop, setting her apart from the traditional Afrobeats sound. Using just a laptop and earphones, she produced her debut single “Mr Rebel,” a touching tribute to her mother who was injured during a home invasion.
Her second single “Looku Looku” gained traction before her breakthrough came with “Try Me” in 2019, a song for the “underrated and understated” individuals who have been mistreated.
In 2020, Tems was featured on a reworked version of Khalid’s “Know Your Worth” with Disclosure.
Her first EP “For Broken Ears,” released in September 2020, delves into themes of relationships and depression and includes the hit “Damages.” Tems’ international exposure reached new heights in 2021 with her contributions to the remix of Wizkid’s “Essence” featuring Justin Bieber and Drake’s “Fountains.”
In 2021, Tems was signed by RCA Records, the American label that released her second EP, If Orange Was a Place, which included the popular track “Crazy Tings.” That same year, she was featured on Apple Music’s Up Next program, which offers a platform for rising music stars.
Tems was honored as the Best International Act at the 2022 BET Awards in the US and used her acceptance speech to encourage women to pursue their aspirations. “If you’re from Lagos like I am, this is a dream come true. Imagine yourself in my place. You’re meant to be here too,” she declared.
The spotlight will be on Tems at the upcoming Academy Awards, where she has been nominated for Best Original Song for co-writing Lift Me Up by Rihanna for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack.
She also contributed her rendition of Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry to the same film’s soundtrack.
Tems also co-wrote and was featured on Move with legendary singer Grace Jones on Beyonce’s highly acclaimed Renaissance album.
She has shared with Rolling Stone magazine, “It’s incredible that I get to work with people who were on my playlist just five years ago. Now I’m jamming with them, and I feel like this is just the start.”
Adele, who Tems considers as one of her idols, has also shown her appreciation for the Nigerian singer. Tems also has her own fashion line and radio show on Apple Music.
Rolling Stone magazine declared Tems “the future” in 2021, and her recent Grammy success shows that this future is closer than we thought for the talented singer.
As she stated, “this could be just the beginning” of her extraordinary success, as she has the world at her feet.