66- Tems


Age - 27
Lagos, Nigeria
With collaborators in Khalid and Wizkid, the Nigerian alté pioneer is the Next Big Thing

Whether it’s quitting a comfortable career in marketing to pursue her artistic aspirations, or producing an entire EP from scratch, Tems does things on her own terms. That said, it’s no wonder the Lagos musician is one of the exciting artists heading up Nigeria’s explosive alté scene: the nation’s experimental musical movement aiming to emancipate its artists from the confines of expectations and genre.

Since breaking out with her debut single “Mr Rebel” in 2018, the DIY singer, songwriter, and producer, who was born Temilade Openiyi, has left a trail of open hearts and open minds in her musical wake. Tapping into her own journey to enlightenment for lyrical fodder, Tems’s rich, intoxicating voice blankets listeners in a sort of transcendental warmth as she sings about mental health, spiritual healing and the power of introspection – all explored generously on her cathartic, critically lauded 2020 EP, For Broken Ears.

As she’s risen, she’s scored collaborations with top players such as Khalid and Wizkid, as well as partnerships with the likes of YouTube and Apple Music. Now, with more eyes and ears on her than ever before, her Spotify streams creeping up into the tens of millions as well as a highly anticipated debut album in the works, Tems has truly (and rightfully) positioned herself as the Next Big Thing. 

Text Erica Russell

Thank you for voting for Tems