‘I’m Not Going To Stop Trusting My Guts Just Because People Can See Me Now’ – Tems Speaks On Fame, Her Switch To RnB

tems fame

Tems has shared her thoughts on the pressure that comes with fame and being successful. In an interview with Kendrick Lamar of Interview Mag, the singer opened up about her life and how she copes with fame and her status as a celebrity.

Here are some important excerpts from the interview.

On dealing with fame and expectations from people, she said:

You have to remember how you felt when you started as an artist, to understand the reason you’re doing what you’re doing. Yes, it’s to be seen, or to make a name for yourself, but beyond that, why are you doing it? Most of the time it’s because you have a story to share, a message to give.

When you become more known or seen, it’s very easy to get caught up in, “What do people expect of me now?” But for me, it’s like, “What do I expect of myself now?” Because you’re the one that has to live with yourself, the one that has to sleep with the decisions that you make. Trusting yourself is so key, and I’m not going to stop trusting my guts just because people can see me now. It’s like being in a zoo. The animals don’t change their behavior just because you’re looking at them. They’re always going to be who they are. So why should I change?

On her switch from Afro Beats to RnB

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.

Everyone I asked for advice was like, “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.” And that’s not a lie, and it’s not a bad thing. But I felt in my heart that that’s okay. I’m okay with no one liking it, I just want to make this music. I want to make music that makes me pull my heart out, and if I can’t do that, I don’t want anything. I would rather do that and be broke than compromise. I didn’t really care about the money. It’s not that money is bad.

Money is very good. But for me, even right now, I’m chasing a frequency. There are artists I’ve loved all my life, that when they reach a certain stage, the music loses that frequency, it loses that touch they had. And I always wondered why. Why do I have to lose that touch? I don’t actually care where I end up. If I’m under a bridge and I have a way to make music, I’m going to be good.