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The Rise and Rise of Tems

The Rise and Rise of Tems

Ferdinand Ekechukwu

Hours before registering her first Grammy win at the 65th edition held last Sunday at the Arena, Los Angeles, Tems’ fans were pretty excited and proud as she dined with superstar couple, Beyonce and Jay-Z. The moment was captured in videos which made the rounds on the internet. The music star was one of the guests at the Roc Nation pre-Grammy Brunch.

Hosted by Roc Nation founder Jay-Z, the private bash in Bel-Air, Los Angeles is always one of the most anticipated events prior to the annual Grammy awards. This year was no different as it brought together biggest stars, moguls, and entrepreneurs across the black community. Tems made history with her Grammy awards.

The singer, though it’s been argued, became the first female Nigeria artiste to win a Grammy award as she won in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category for her role in ‘Wait for U’, the 2022 hit song by Future featuring Drake. Tems, who has made a big impression with her music over the past few years, was also nominated for Album of the Year for her contribution to Beyoncé’s Renaissance album.

While it was a great moment for Tems, it was the opposite for Burna Boy who already has a Grammy plaque. Both Tems and Burna Boy were put forward for this year’s awards. Burna Boy was nominated for ‘Best Global Music Album’ and the ‘Best Global Music Performance’ respectively, which he lost with his latest album ‘Love Damini’ and its chart-toping song, ‘Last Last’.

Future’s winning song “Wait For U,” which features Tems and Drake, sampled Tems’ song ‘Higher’, a track off of her 2020 debut album ‘For Broken Ears’. “Wait For U’” was released on May 3, 2022, as the second single off Future’s ninth studio album, “I Never Liked You”. The song was also nominated for the Best Rap Song category at the last 65th Grammy Awards.

The collaboration between Future, Tems, and Drake showcases the growing influence of African music and its recognition on the global stage. The news was met with celebration from Tems’ fans and supporters, who have been following her journey since the release of “Essence” with WizKid. The song with Future and Drake, “Wait for U,” quickly became a fan favorite, and the collaboration elevated her already growing popularity.

Tems’ contribution to the winning song is believed a testament to her unique blend of Afrobeats and R&B, which has been winning over audiences worldwide. Her music has been praised for its fusion of traditional African sounds and contemporary R&B, and her Grammy win is sure to inspire other African artists to reach for the stars.

The singer has hit remarkable milestones in the music industry both at home and abroad. Recall that Tems, last January, became the first Nigerian artiste to receive an Oscar nomination at the 2023 Oscars for co-writing Rihana’s “Lift Me Up’, a track recorded for the movie, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Tems also made history as the first Nigerian and African female musician to win the Best International Act at the BET Awards in 2022.

The Essence crooner made history as the first Nigerian artiste to debut No.1 on the Billboard Hot !00 with her feature on Future’s ‘Wait For U’ in 2022. Also with the single ‘Free Mind’, Tems made history as the first female artiste to debut at No.1 on the Billboard US Afrobeats song charts with no feature in 2022.

Overjoyed at the news of her Grammy awards win, Tems (Temilade Openiyi) took to social media to express her gratitude. “I am beyond thrilled to receive this award,” she wrote.  “Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey.”

While congratulatory messages continue pouring from the entertainment industry and beyond, the president, Muhammadu Buhari last Monday hailed the singer for his creative prowess that led to his Grammy Award. The president joined fans and lovers of Nigerian music all over the world in celebrating new heights of recognition of the Afrobeats crooner after she won the “Best Melodic Rap Performance” at the Grammys.

In a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari extolled Tems “for showcasing her talent to the world, with dedication and hardwork, which, again, has placed Nigeria in the spotlight for excellence.” The president in the statement lauds all Nigerian nominees for this year’s Grammy, including Burna Boy, for pursuing their passion with vigour and continuously reinventing global entertainment, with creativity.

“President Buhari thanks the creative industry, particularly managers, producers and directors, for encouraging talents, like Tems, who have taken Nigeria’s culture and tourism to the world, further displaying the resourcefulness and potential of a great nation. The president wishes Tems, her partners, colleagues and well-wishers more years of glory,” the statement added.

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