Tems/Bet Bettencourt

Tems takes centre stage with debut album ‘Born In The Wild’

Tems, the Nigerian singer-songwriter who has captivated the world with her deep, dynamic vocals, is stepping into the spotlight with her debut album, Born In The Wild. According to an npr.org report, after elevating Afropop through her collaboration on Wizkid’s “Essence” and becoming a sought-after talent for artistes like Rihanna, Drake and Beyoncé, Tems is now ready to command centre stage.

Before her rise to fame, Tems, born Temilade Openiyi, was confined to a corporate marketing job. Dissatisfied and unfulfilled, she decided to take a bold leap into music. “I jumped off the cliff,” she recalls. “I didn’t know whether I would get wings. I just jumped.” In early 2018, Tems faced down her unsupportive boss and quit her job to pursue her dream, despite the fear and uncertainty that accompanied this decision.

Now, at 28, Tems has become a prominent figure in Nigeria’s alté scene, blending R&B, Afrobeats and dancehall. Her work on “Essence” helped usher in a global recognition of African pop music. A Grammy winner and Oscar nominee, Tems is also a producer, engineer and director, known for her unique sound and powerful songwriting.

Her album Born In The Wild captures this journey. The title reflects her resilience and determination to thrive amidst uncertainty. Tems, who started as a choir vocalist, found her path by learning music production and engineering through YouTube tutorials, maintaining artistic control over her work.

The album features 18 tracks that explore themes of loss and growth. Songs like “Love Me Jeje” and “Unfortunate” showcase her range, blending Afropop and R&B. “Wickedest” highlights her influence in the music scene, while “Hold On” is a poignant reflection on her journey from adversity to triumph.

Tems’ rise is a testament to her belief in authenticity and perseverance. By delivering a debut album on her own terms, she has found the wings she once doubted she had. As she continues to push boundaries, Tems is solidifying her place as a leader in the global music landscape.


Featured image: Tems/Bet Bettencourt


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