In a candid conversation with Kendrick Lamar for Interview magazine, Nigerian music sensation Tems delved into her thoughts on fame and the parallels she draws between it and her personal life.
With her meteoric rise in the music industry, the singer has quickly realized the impact of fame on her life and identity.
Tems openly acknowledged the pressures that come hand in hand with success. She articulated her approach to managing these pressures, which revolves around staying authentic to her true self.
She said, “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.”
Drawing a striking analogy, Tems likened the experience of fame to being in a zoo. Just as animals remain steadfast in their true nature despite being observed, she believes that maintaining her authenticity is crucial.
She challenged the notion of changing oneself to cater to public perception, asking, “The animals don’t change their behaviour just because you’re looking at them. They’re always going to be who they are. So why should I change?”
The insightful artist also imparted wisdom applicable to fellow artists and admirers alike. Tems emphasized the importance of remembering one’s initial motivations. She suggested that reflecting on the reasons that ignited an artistic journey can anchor individuals to their purpose and keep them on the right path.
“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,” she shared.
Tems’ trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable. From her debut EP, “For Broken Ears,” in 2020, she has soared to incredible heights, amassing over a billion streams on Spotify, contributing to the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack, and collaborating with music titans like Drake and Beyoncé. Notably, her co-writing credit on Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” secured an Oscar nomination.
Currently immersed in the creation of her debut album, Tems’ trajectory is a testament to her unwavering dedication to self-expression. Through her words and actions, she epitomizes the essence of artistic integrity in an era defined by constant scrutiny.
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