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Who is Tems? 12 things to know about the latest Nigerian Grammy Awards winner

Tems reveals her favorite love language.

Tems, whose real name is Temilade Openiyi, is a talented and rising Nigerian singer, songwriter, and producer who has recently taken the music scene by storm. She has achieved incredible success in a short amount of time, with her Grammy Award nomination and wins, NAACP and BET Awards wins, and numerous international endorsement deals.

At the 65th Grammy Awards held on February 5th, 2023, Tems was nominated for 3 awards, while Burna Boy was nominated for 2. The ceremony was hosted by Trevor Noah.

Tems’ collaboration with WizKid on the song “Essence” was a huge success, becoming a hit for summer and Sunday brunches. The song, which combines R&B and Afro Beat, was originally released in Spring but gained popularity a few months later.

Tems made a name for herself with her breakout record “Mr. Rebel” in 2018. The song quickly gained traction, earning her two nominations at The Headies award show in Nigeria, and has over 5.6 million views on YouTube.

Since then, the 25-year-old has been making waves in the R&B and soul music genres.

Here are five key things to know about Nigeria’s Grammy Award-winning artist, Tems:

  1. Tems was born in England, and when she was only five years old her parents separated. She was mainly raised by her mother, with whom she has a close relationship as shown in her debut EP, “For Broken Ears.” The fourth track, “Temilade Interlude,” features her mother’s voice throughout the entire piece.
  2. Tems attended Dowen College in Lekki and graduated with an economics degree from Monash University in Johannesburg.
  3. As a child, Tems found solace in the music room and was noticed by her music teacher. She learned to play the piano and guitar, and would often perform mini-concerts in her brother’s room. She was influenced by artists such as OutKast, Kate Nash, Green Day, and Lauryn Hill.
  4. Tems’ biggest musical influences are Frank Ocean, Asa, and Lil Wayne.
  5. Tems is private about her personal life and is currently single.
  6. She is a fan of anime and lists “Attack on Titan,” “Darker Than Black,” and “Demon Slayer” as some of her favorites.
  7. Tems writes, sings, and produces her own music, which is a rare accomplishment in the music industry. She began producing at the age of 20 and released her first single “Mr Rebel” in 2018.
  8. Tems’ collaboration with WizKid on “Essence” brought her unexpected fame and success. The song went viral, topped the charts, and earned Tems her first Billboard 100 listing. Despite already having a following in the Alté scene, Tems’ global breakthrough was explosive, leaving fans wondering who was behind the lush vocals they had been singing along to.
  9. In 2019, Tems was arrested for two days after performing at a concert in Uganda that failed to comply with COVID-19 guidelines. Despite the extreme situation, she said it gave her a new perspective on life and a deeper appreciation for her fans’ love.
  10. 2022 was a successful year for Tems, with her song “Essence” receiving a Grammy nomination, and she won an NAACP award for her collaboration with Drake and Future. She also made history as the first Nigerian to win a BET award.
  11. According to BET, Tems is a fan of Asa, Adele, Lojay, and Zinloeesky.
  12. Tems is the first Nigerian female artist to win a Grammy award.
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