Written by Odebunmi Emmanuel

Na Tems be this?!

Those were the first words out of my mouth the moment I heard her voice on Drake’s Fountains. Of course, when you hear Tems you’re going to know. Her voice is undeniable. But this sounded different.

The Other Emmanuel has asked me to write an article about Tems for a minute now and I haven’t been able to. My journey as a fan has come with a lot of dips and spikes. I went from being a mild fanatic to being indifferent. I reverted a little bit down the line with her EP but eventually returned to my indifference. I felt like her sound was becoming a tad bit monotonous. (It was probably my fault for playing the EP on repeat for days at a time.)

It’s no surprise that I’ve only just found the words after listening to Fountains.

Tems has come a long way in three years. She came on the scene and demanded everyone’s attention with Try Me and since then, she hasn’t let it go.

The first time I heard Try Me was probably on the radio or at a party. While I may not be able to remember the place, I can most definitely remember the feeling – it hit me like paranoia would hit a random Lagos worker who, in the middle of a meeting, tries to remember whether or not he put off the gas cooker or the electronics back home.

Tems has one of those striking voices that reach into you and demand that you feel something. And quite frankly, she uses it well. Her music offers quite a bit. If you’re looking for something to simply vibe to, or you’re feeling emotional and you want something to go along with that atmosphere, you can get both from Tems.

She released a bunch of singles before her hit, Try Me. From as far back as 2018 starting with Mr. Rebel, she has been paving a way for herself and gathering more attention through features with the likes of Blackmagic, Show Dem Camp, and Lady Donli.

Most recently, her song with Wizkid, Essence, propelled her into the international scene and solidified her identity as an African voice to be reckoned with. This was probably a major factor that set the stage for her song with Drake which is already pushing her even farther in such a short time.

In spite of these glaring wins, the Nigerian Queen of Haunting Vocals seems to have no plans of slowing down. She recently announced on Twitter that she is going to be dropping a new EP next week proceeding For Broken Ears which was released last year, 2020.

One thing everyone who has ever heard Tems can agree on, regardless of any personal prejudices, is the quality of her sound, and her music. Peaceful, soothing, unique, beautiful are all words that have been used to describe her sound. And I’m sure I speak for most of us when I say I’m excited to see what else she shows us with this new EP and everything else coming afterward.

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