10 Interesting Facts About Tems

Facts About Tems
Facts About Tems

Tems, the phenomenoal Nigerian singer and songwriter, has taken the music industry by storm with her soulful vocals and genre-bending sound. While her music has garnered international acclaim, Here are 10 intriguing facts about Tems that you might not know:

1. Her Father is Half-British

Born Temilade Openiyi, Tems boasts a dual heritage. Her mother is Nigerian, while her father is British-Nigerian. She moved to the United Kingdom with her parents when she was just an infant, but she returned to Nigeria with her mum at the age of 5 after her parent’s divorce.

Tems barely speaks about her father and it is not so publicly known what her relationship with him is like, as compared to that of her mother whom she constantly speaks highly of.

Interestingly, aside from her British roots, Tems is a self-proclaimed tea aficionado, particularly favouring orange and spice varieties.

2. She Studied Economics But Hated It

Tems’ educational background might surprise some. While her musicality suggests a life immersed in the arts, she holds a degree in Economics from a university in Johannesburg, South Africa. While Tems might have harboured a secret desire to ditch academia altogether, employing crafty tactics like ignoring emails and missing enrolment deadlines unbeknownst to her mother, she ultimately completed an Economics degree in South Africa.

In a recent interview with Nigerian YouTube sensation Korty’ Flow With Korty Tems stated that she hated studying Economics, and had always known she had to free herself and pursue her heart’s desires.

3.  She is a Self-Made Producer

Before winning over listeners with her self-produced hits, Tems encountered challenges in the early stages of her career. These challenges stemmed from two main factors:

Tems’ unique vision often clashed with the ideas of other producers. This creative dissonance hindered her ability to express herself fully through music. Limited financial resources also posed an obstacle, making it difficult to collaborate with established producers consistently.

Faced with these hurdles, Tems decided to take control of her musical destiny. She embarked on a path of self-production, honing her skills and crafting a sound that was uniquely her own.

Tems - Love Me Jeje
Tems – Love Me Jeje

4. She is an Anime Enthusiast

Oh, the anime heads would love this one! Outside of music, the Higher singer finds several other ways to unwind. Tems once revealed that she is a lover of Japanese anime.

She is a devoted anime fan, with “Attack on Titan,” “Darker Than Black,” and “Demon Slayer” ranking among her favourites.

5. She likes Ghanaian Sunsets

Tems seeks solace and inspiration in the breathtaking sunsets of Ghana. This West African nation holds a special place in her heart. Ghana’s allure goes beyond its vibrant culture. Tems herself revealed that she finds beauty in its sunsets, hinting at the country’s stunning landscapes. With pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and cascading waterfalls, Ghana offers a chance to unwind and soak in the serenity of its natural wonders.

The singer has been spotted several times in Ghana either for work or just unwinding. Tems isn’t the only Nigerian artiste who loves Ghana, stars like WizKid, Davido, Burna Boy and Asake are known to spend lots of time on the Gold Coast.

6. She Began Her Musical Journey at 17yrs

At 17, Tems embarked on a pivotal phase of her musical journey. She revealed that she had to shed all the insecurities about her voice not conforming to traditional notions of femininity. This newfound confidence led her to join the choir and take up piano lessons, actively laying the groundwork for her musical expression.

Interestingly, this self-assuredness coincided with the creation of her first official song, a piece inspired by the serenity of Sunday mornings. Even as a young girl of six, Tems displayed a natural inclination towards creative writing, often incorporating song-like elements into her poetry.

7. She is Very Family Oriented

Tems’ family life has played a significant role in her journey. Raised primarily by her mother following her parents’ separation at a young age, Tems shares a close bond with her mother. This connection is evident in her debut EP, “For Broken Ears,” where her mother’s voice features prominently on a track.

Tems lived with her mum in Illupeju Lagos upon returning to Nigeria. they later moved to Lekki and then Ajah. The singer has always been vocal about her mother’s strength and support towards her.

8.  She was arrested in Uganda in 2020

In a turn of events that garnered international attention, Tems, along with her manager Muyiwa Awoniyi and fellow Nigerian artist Omah Lay, were arrested in Uganda in 2020. After performing at a concert which, unknowingly, failed to abide by COVID-19 guidelines. They were charged with acts likely to spread COVID-19 and arraigned in court. Tems subsequently spent two days in a Ugandan jail.

Despite the extremity of the situation, the humble singer notes how the experience offered her a new perspective on life, gaining a deeper appreciation for the love around her.

After their release, Tems expressed her perspective on the situation. Though a difficult experience, she stated feeling a sense of honour from being alongside other detained women. This time gave her a new understanding of their struggles

9.  She Found Passion in her School’s Music Room

Tems’ musical journey began in the school music room, where she honed her freestyle skills, a technique that continues to influence her creative process today. Beyond the classroom, she staged mini-concerts in her brother’s room, blending her own evolving sound with diverse influences, ranging from hip-hop giants OutKast to indie singer-songwriter Kate Nash, punk rock energy of Green Day, and the soulful R&B of Lauryn Hill.

10.  She Been Co-signed by Music Royalty

Tems secured collaborations with none other than Rihanna and Drake. This solidified her status as a highly sought-after artist, even earning her the title of “your favourite artist’s favourite artist.” The story behind the Drake collaboration goes even deeper. It was Adele, the powerhouse vocalist herself, who introduced Tems’ music to Drake. This unexpected connection led to Tems featuring on Drake’s critically acclaimed album “Certified Lover Boy,” further propelling her into the global spotlight.

Tems played a significant role in writing the sound “Lift Me Up”, performed by Rihanna Tems co-wrote the song with Rihanna, Swedish composer Ludwig ransson (who also produced the song), and film director Ryan Coogler

Tems drew inspiration from director Ryan Coogler’s vision for the film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and the desire to honour the late Chadwick Boseman. She expressed both gratitude for being involved in creating a tribute to Chadwick Boseman and for having Rihanna bring the song to life with her vocals

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