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Temilade Openiyi, AKA "Tems," was born on June 11, 1995, in Lagos, Nigeria and spent part of her childhood in the U.K. before moving back home. She often sang along with her brother while he practiced the guitar. The local choir nurtured her musical talent, and at the suggestion of her teacher, she learned to play piano. Eventually, she wrote her own songs inspired by classic Nigerian music and artists including Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse, among others. She favored R&B and hip-hop during her early teenage years and listened to Destiny's Child, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, and other musicians including Aaliyah, Burna Boy, Adele, Coldplay, Paramore, and Asa. During a live performance, she covered Alicia Keys' 2004 single "If I Ain't Got You". But, when she was 15, she decided to stop listening to other artists in an effort to find her own musical identity. Check out this month's Music Alive! cover story to learn more.

Music Alive Books

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Featured Articles

  • Tems teams up with MARVEL for Wakanda Forever on a Marley tune

  • Bowie’s observations while living in Berlin became the catalyst for “Heroes.”

  • Creating digital recordings at home can be simple if you have the right tools.

  • The Swing Era brought big band music mainstream.

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Hear the Music: This monthly playlist accompanies every issue of Music Alive!

  1. No Woman No Cry Tems 3:33
  2. Free Mind Tems 4:08
  3. Heroes (Single Version) David Bowie 3:37
  4. Sing, Sing, Sing Benny Goodman and His Orchestra & Benny Goodman 8:38
  5. In the Mood Glenn Miller and His Orchestra & Glenn Miller 3:32
  6. Stormy Monday Blues Earl Hines and His Orchestra 3:13
  7. Mack the Knife Louis Armstrong 3:21
  8. My Blue Heaven Artie Shaw 3:47
  9. These Foolish Things (Live) Roy Eldridge, Benny Carter & Lalo Schifrin 2:44
  10. Stop, Look and Listen Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra 5:17
  11. Take the 'A' Train Duke Ellington 8:01
  12. Flying Home Lionel Hampton & His Just Jazz All Stars 3:15
  13. Straighten Up and Fly Right Nat "King" Cole 2:38
  14. Nuages Django Reinhardt 4:06