In the latest volume of Interview Magazine, Grammy-winning Nigerian singer Temilade Openiyi, also known as Tems, opened up about her decision to switch from afrobeats to R&B and the potential consequences she faced.
Despite the risks, Tems had unwavering belief in herself and was willing to accept any outcome, as long as she could share her message.
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 afrobeats, saying, “The only way you can do this is Afrobeats. 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.”