By Ahmad Muto
Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer Temilade Openyi, alias Tems, who left Uganda last year broken and in low spirits after nights on remand in Kigo Prison over negligent acts likely to spread Covid-19, might have passed the one last test before receiving her blessings.
She got to collaborate with Grammy winner, singer Wizkid on the album Made in Lagos on the 11th song, Essence that became a Billboard darling. After its growth in Africa, it entered the United Kingdom where Nigerian artistes have a huge following and a history of filling up London’s O2 Arena. Then it crossed the Atlantic and entered the US market, largely after Justin Bieber added his creative effort to the remix that saw streams grow on weekends when there are parties earning it the ‘song of the summer’ title. Tems as a rising star watched the song enter the World Digital Song Sales chart and the Billboard Global 200. On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, Essence was 13th on the Billboard Hot100, and it hit No.1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
In late August 2021, it became the most shazamed song in the US on music search platform, Shazam. It made it the second most shazamed song in the world by an African artiste(s) after South Africa’s Master KG’s lock down anthem, Jerusalema.
On Monday, September 13, 2021, Tems scored her second Billboard Hot100 song with Canadian rapper, Drake on the song Fountain. It is off the rapper’s album Certified Lover Boy. During a chat with BET, she said she cooked chicken stew and rice for Drake and his crew when they met, adding that, ‘the pepper choke them small, but they loved it’.
In December 2020, she got booked for the Big Brunch concert at Dungu Resort, Munyonyo yet concerts were/are banned because of Covid-19. She showed up alongside Omah Lay only to end up in court and prison. However, after their release was secured, they were taken to the Nigerian Embassy in Kampala and later flown back home. Tems took to Twitter where she bashed singer Bebe Cool and vowed to face off with him in case he ever steps foot in the west African country.
It should be noted that hours to the concert, Bebe Cool vowed to do anything to frustrate it reasoning that local artistes were not allowed to perform here.