Grammy-winning Nigerian singer, Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, has revealed that she was prepared to face grave consequences when she ditched Afrobeat the famous genre in the country to do R&B.
Tems said she so much believed in herself that she didn’t bother if she never become “anything or anyone” with R&B.
The ‘Essence’ crooner said she “just wanted to get a message out.”
She disclosed this in a chat with American rapper, Kendrick Lamar, published in the latest volume of Interview Magazine.
Tems said, “I was prepared to die. I believed in myself so much that I didn’t really care if I never became anything or anyone. I just wanted to get a message out. I wanted to get my frequency out. And I was like, ‘Even if ten people hear this, it’s fine.’ But also along the way, I used to listen to a lot of Nigerian music and I wasn’t getting a lot of spiritual—I love Celine Dion, so, I love that intense feeling of, I’m about to jump off a cliff. That’s how I want my music to feel all the time, and Afrobeats wasn’t necessarily giving me that type of stimulation.”
She said everyone she asked for advice from back then, urged her to do Afrobeat, saying, “The only way you can do this is Afrobeat. It’s not that your music is bad, it’s just that it doesn’t fit in Nigeria. Nigerians don’t like this.”
The Oscar-nominated singer said she refused to give up because money was not her goal. She added that she is “chasing a frequency.”
Enock Mugabi aka iWitness is a Journalist, Seasoned Writer and Music Analyst with a passion for sports.
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