Tems’ new EP ‘If Orange Was A Place’ shows that she’s still growing as an artist Mp3bullet Review
This time three years ago, Tems had only recently emerged as the latest shining star of Nigeria’s then tightly-knitted alternative community.
Barely a year later, her mainstream breakout hit, “Try Me” was just making the rounds ahead of its eventual mammoth impact.
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Today, Tems’ voice is being heard all around the world, through delightful contributions to Wizkid’s song of the summer contender, “Essence,” and on Drake’s “Fountains,” a mellow cut off the Canadian rapper’s recent album which has just debuted in the top 30 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
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For context, the summer of 2018 was locally dominated by the Shaku Shaku window and internationally ruled by Drake’s “In My Feelings” which both feel like a lifetime ago.
Within the first two years of her debut single, “Mr Rebel,” Tems only followed this up with three singles, ostensibly playing the longer game.
Filling the space between these far-flung singles were phenomenal feature appearances, each one confirming the uniquely riveting appeal of her warm, vigorous and soul-reaching voice.
Largely self-produced and solely written and sung by her, the project placed an even sharper focus on the singularity of Tems’ artistic powers.
It also shows in the highlife-inspired guitars and bouncy drums that she’s willing to push the boundaries of her artistry as she comes closer to Afropop’s centre than she’s ever been.
A break-up song written from a hysteric perspective, “Crazy Tings” continues Tems’ preference for affecting themes, staying true to her core while (maybe) working her way outward.
According to the tracklist, Guiltybeatz has produced three of the four yet-to-be-heard songs on the new EP, with one of them featuring American R&B singer Brent Faiyaz.
This lead single adjusts and shakes up expectations for ‘If Orange Was A Place’, affirming the fact that we’ve watched Tems grow and shouldn’t expect her to make the exact same style of music she was delivering three years ago.