Tems Takes the World by Storm

By Stephen Paul

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...

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