How Tems Became Famous

How Tems became Famous | The Timeline

How Tems Became Famous

Here is a timeline of how Nigerian Singer-Songwriter Tems became Famous


How Tems Became Famous



Journey to music making

Tems resigned her day job to start making music because she revealed that she wasn’t happy at all. The job made her depressed- she told GQ Magazine.

She knew music was what she wanted to do all along but there was no money coming from it. She had to take on an office job as a Digital Marketer in Lagos after graduating from University. But she told herself that she couldn’t live a lie anymore.


Making Music

It wasn’t easy for her to make music at all. She literally made her EP “For Broken Ears” from scrap production materials. She already taught herself how to make beats from YouTube. After quitting her job in 2018, she went fully into music but was really suffering financially. She literally had to live off an aunt. 


How did tems become famous


She would then release her first song “Mr. Rebel”. 


How Tems became Famous

Here is how Tems became famous. After releasing a couple of singles and projects, Tems was gaining popularity in Nigeria.

But it was not until she was featured on Wizkid’s “Essence” that the world finally got to know who she was. This was how Tems became famous.

(See Wizkid’s upcoming album MLLE  tracklist here)

After featuring on Wizkid’s “Essence” off his “Made in Lagos” album, the song was a standout one and has become one of Nigeria’s Biggest Crossover hit songs (With the likes of Ckay’s Love Nwantiti, Fireboy’s “Peru” and Burna Boy’s “Last Last”). The song also charted within the top 10 of Billboard Hot 100.

But that was only the beginning for Tems. Canadian Singer/Rapper- Drake, reached out to her on Instagram and said she had THAT voice.

She would later be featured on a track on his 2020 album “Certified Lover Boy”. The track “Fountain” also charted on Billboard Hot 100.

Tems became famous after her whole song “Higher” was sampled by Future on his track “Wait for You”.

The song was an international hit. It debuted No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. This made Tems the first African Artiste to debut No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the second to grace that position after Wizkid (One Dance with Drake).

Recently, she was featured on a track on Beyoncé’s latest 2022 album “Renaissance” alongside Grace Jones. The song “Move” also charted on the Billboard Hot 100.

Tems is also a co-writer on Rihanna’s song for Black Panther “Lift me up” a tribute to Chadwick Boseman.

Her song “Free Mind” has spent several weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has now sold over 1 million Units in the United States- Her first Solo Platinum Record


How Tems became Famous

How tems became famous


Tems became famous after releasing solo songs, getting featured by Wizkid on “Essence” and working with artists like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Drake and Future- all of whom she had successful songs with. Adele and Obama are fans. And her sound is entirely unique.



Temilade Openiyi (born 11 June 1995), known professionally as Tems, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer.

She rose to prominence after she was featured on Wizkid’s 2020 single, “Essence”, which reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 after the release of a remixed with an additional feature from Justin Bieber, and earned her a Grammy Award nomination.

On 25 September 2020, she released her debut extended play, For Broken Ears. Tems released her second extended play, If Orange Was a Place (2021), after being signed to RCA Records.

In 2022, Tems’ vocals from her song “Higher” were sampled by Future on his single, “Wait for U”, which led to her being credited as a featured artist on the song.

It debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first African artist to debut at number one and the second Nigerian artist to top the chart.

Throughout her career, Tems has received multiple award nominations, winning two NAACP Image Awards, two BET Awards and a Soul Train Music Award.

Tems covered Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” in the Marvel movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, released in July 2022.

In 2018, Tems quit her job to pursue a career in music. She began to learn self production skills on YouTube and on 18 July 2018, she released her debut single, “Mr Rebel”, a song which she produced by herself.

On 7 August 2019, she released the single “Try Me”.

In 2020, DJ Edu chose her as one of “ten artists to watch” that year.

On 23 April 2020, Tems was featured alongside fellow Nigerian singer Davido on a reworked version of American singer-songwriter Khalid and English electronic music duo Disclosure’s single, “Know Your Worth.

On 25 September 2020, Tems released her debut extended play, For Broken Ears. It was produced primarily by her and the single “Damages” from the EP became another follow up hit to “Try Me”, peaking at number one on the Nigerian Apple Music chart and number six on the then-newly launched TurnTable Top 50 chart and garnering five million views on YouTube.

On 30 October 2020, Tems was featured on fellow Nigerian singer Wizkid’s single, “Essence”, from the latter’s fourth studio album, Made in Lagos. The song earned her a number one spot on BBC 1Xtra Airplay Chart and also earned her first career entry on Billboard Hot 100 at number 9.

Tems won a Soul Train Music Awards two NAACP Image Awards, and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Global Music Performance.

On 8 November 2020, Tems was included in The Future Awards Africa: Class of 2020.

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