Temilade Openiyi, better known as Tems, a well-known Nigerian singer/songwriter, has revealed that she was willing to face any consequences, including death, in order to pursue her passion for R&B music.
In an exclusive interview with popular American rapper Kendrick Lamar, published in the latest issue of Interview Magazine, the ‘Essence’ hitmaker revealed that she was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice when she decided to establish herself as an R&B artist rather than doing Afrobeats. She just wanted to send a message, she explained, adding that she was so sure of herself that she did not mind if she never became ‘anything or anyone’ in R&B.
“I was ready to die,” the 2023 Grammy Award winner explained. I believed in myself so much that I did not care if I never became anything or anyone. I just wanted to send a quick message. I wanted to announce my frequency. And I told myself, ‘It is fine if only ten people hear this.’ But, along the way, I listened to a lot of Nigerian music and did not feel particularly spiritual.”
“I love Celine Dion, so I love that intense feeling of being on the verge of jumping off a cliff,” she continued. That is how I want my music to feel all the time, and Afrobeats did not always give me that kind of stimulation.”
Tems went on to say that everyone she had consulted previously had encouraged her to pursue a career in Afrobeats.
“Afrobeats are the only way to do it.” It is not that your music is bad; it just does not fit in Nigeria. Nigerians despise this.” Tems, on the other hand, stated that she was unwilling to give up because money was not her ultimate goal. She continued, “chasing a frequency.”