“Do you feel any pressure to conform to what people may expect from you?” Kendrick Lamar asks Tems in a recently published interview. Since her breakthrough with Essence, and a major cosign by Drake, followed by the No. 1 WAIT FOR U multi-Plantinum single, Tems has been under strict watch under the public eye. Success does not come easy. Tems have had to render her 1000 hours. A follow-up to success is overpowering pressure, especially from fans and critics to outdo yourself. But Tems seems to be unfazed by the pressure.
In response to the question raised by Kendrick, Tems makes a wild comparison. “It’s like being in a zoo. The animals don’t change their behavior just because you’re looking at them. They’re always going to be who they are. So why should I change?” That illustration depicts Tems’ resilience to be herself always.
Speaking further on her stance against feeling much pressure, Tems speaks on the importance of staying true to herself. “You have to remember how you felt when you started as an artist, to understand the reason you’re doing what you’re doing.”
Afrobeats to the World is an ongoing movement to push Nigerian music talents to all four corners of the earth. This has caused a lot of Nigerian music acts to conform to the umbrella term of addressing themselves as Afrobeats artistes regardless of the primary genre they execute. Tems, however, makes sure to distance herself from such identity or categorizing conundrum.
“I wanted to get my frequency out,” Tems states on choosing R&B melodies over Afrobeats percussion. Tems describes her connection with music as a combination of “spiritual” and “intense feeling of, I’m about to jump off a cliff.” But per Tems, “Afrobeats wasn’t necessarily giving me that type of stimulation.”
Tems notes the pressure to create an Afrobeats banger abounds but R&B owns her soul. “I want to make music that makes me pull my heart out, and if I can’t do that, I don’t want anything. I would rather do that and be broke than compromise,” she relates her stance.
This gives a glimpse as to what to expect from Tems’ debut album. The world can not wait to hear new music from the star singer, Tems!