Tems Music, Songs, Family; Everything You Should Know
26 May 2023
Written by Pharis Kinyua
When you speak about Nigerian music, Tems prominently features and for all the right reasons.
Her star in Naija music industry has been shinning bright since 2022 and she is also in disbelief that she won a Grammys Award. But, what don’t you know about her?
Tems is Yoruba. Her parents, the Openiyi’s are both from Yoruba. She was born in Lagos on June 11, 1995. Although her both parents are Yoruba natives, her father is British-Nigerian, and her mother is fully Nigerian.
Her father’s dual citizenship granted her British citizenship. The Nigerian crooner left Lagos for the UK when she was an infant and only returned shortly – when she was five years old - after her parents divorced and her mother flew back to Nigeria. Her father remained in the UK. She attended Nigerian schools but flew to South Africa for her university degree in Economics.
In 2018, she quit her corporate job to pursue her music dream and she doesn’t regret doing so. Tems released her first song ‘Mr Rebel’ a few months later and two years later, Wizkid featured her in an all-time selling song ‘Essence’ off his Made in Lagos album.
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At the height of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Tems released ‘Damages’ an afro-dancehall promotional tune oscillating between women power anthem and the rejection of unfair treatment. The single's inevitable popularity was the first sign that Tems was set up for success.
""Damages"" is an alternative R&B-soul hit. Essentially, Tems asks her partner to take a stand in the relationship since she does not want it to end in bad taste.
Tems Free Mind
Tems' song ""Free Mind"" is the third track off her 2020 EP ‘For Broken Ears’. She wrote this and later produced Omeiza.
""Free Mind"" is characterized by soft piano keys and a thumping bass and with a catchy, beat setting the foundation for Tems' honest confessions in the song. She sings about uncertainty, fear, and the pressures of difficult circumstances in life.
Tems Crazy Tings
‘Crazy Tings’ is off ‘If Orange Was a Place’ EP released by Tems in 2021. The song is a simple three-minute production about a failed romance. She wrote the song while in Ghana and, according to the singer, was it came as a result of the crazy, amazing things that she experienced in her life.
Tems notes she can be a better person and do thing differently but she also acknowledges that it is difficult to change. When love is involved, emotions can take precedence over logic which informed the ‘Crazy Tings’ title.
Tems won a Grammy Award in 2023 under the Best Melodic Rap Performance due to her collaboration on ‘Wait For U’ by American rapper Future who also featured Drake.
Art runs deep in the Openayi family. Back in the 1990’s, Tems’ mother beautifully advertised Royco Maggi. Many people didn’t know that until Tems spoke about it.
Tems Oscar Dress
A rare first, she sparked controversy with her dress for the 2023 Oscars. Her beautiful stop-and-stare white Lever Couture gown blocked those seated behind her and it sparked a sharp debate online.
Tems Net Worth
Tems is worth an estimated $2 million as of 2023, most of it coming from her music career.
Some of the popular songs include ‘Damages’, ‘Crazy Tings’, ‘Try Me;, ‘Found’ and ‘Replay’.