Following her new release ‘Try Me’ we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Nigeria’s fast rising singer, songwriter, and upcoming producer Tems.
SK: For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:
TM: Powerful, Soulful, Eclectic, Electric, Captivating
SK: When did you start writing music?
TM: Started writing about 10 years ago
SK: What or who were your early passions and influences?
TM: I loved drawing and painting as a child, recycling things into Art. My influences are Asa and Lauryn Hill.
SK: How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice?
TM: I go through many phases, I keep self analyzing and self reflecting and for a time I had to mute everything to discover what my actual sound was however in the process I became too reserved so when I started my career officially I had to learn how to come out of myself and I had to learn how to be discerning about other people. Now I’m getting the hang of things and I am adapting much easier than I would have if I hadn’t learnt all these things.
SK: How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other – do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
TM: I handle other aspects separately but I integrate anything that has to do with who I am.
SK: Do you think there is a double standard in the industry?
TM: Yes I do!
There’s an expectation of women to be absolutely perfect, but it’s alright for guys to have flaws and be aggressive and do anything they want without being judged. Example: difference in married male artists and married female artists.
Women are subjected to answer questions like this in most interviews including questions about feminism and equality, how many times do you see guys being asked to describe the double standard in the industry or elaborate on equal rights in interviews, I hardly see it. Not saying it doesn’t happen but it’s not a lot.
Women are viewed as dumb and clueless and are always fighting off sexual harassment, which is not seen as a serious thing because it is mostly done by men, men who think it’s okay because they enjoy it and feel good when they do it and attempt to dismiss every and any type of movement or stance against sexual assault and violence. If it feels good it can’t possibly be wrong right? Good night.
Say – In actual fact, there’s double standards in any industry. However, the more we can come together to fight against this, the better situations can become.
SK: If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?
TM: The Selfish orientation
SK: Please explain your creative process:
- Think- Thinking /medication
- Process thought: just vibing I guess to my thoughts
- Experiment on Logic: just experimenting with sounds based off how feel
- Find something you’re feeling: finally find something that feels good
- Develop the beat as much as you can: adding other instruments
- Freestyle: recording freestyle
- Write: writing the lyrics to what I did
SK: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?
TM: Yeah, Burna Boy, J Cole – I relate to them the most and they inspire me
SK: What’s an average day like for you?
TM: Sending emails, interviews, strategising working with producers all night.
SK: What are the five things you can’t live without?
Water, Music, Tea, Laptop, Chicken
SK: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
TM: Currently: Think Unselfishly, Give Anonymously.
Listen to her new track ‘Try Me’ Out Now https://fanlink.to/temstryme
Watch more from Tems:
HOT SEAT : FOLA SHEVA
In the HOT SEAT today we are joined by Folarin Ayeni aka ‘Folasheva’ a Nigerian World Artiste and Producer.
His music can be described as ‘Universal’ combining a fusion of everything but with that hip hop feel to it; from catchy hooks, quirky verses and deep lyrics, one can only imagine the sound Folasheva brings to the industry.
SK: How would you describe and rate the music scene in Lagos right now?
FS: Hmmm. Well, I’ve got to admit that it is actually hot at the moment. In other words, I believe a lot of artistes are beginning to understand the importance of their craft and image. Consequently, lyrics are getting better and that is something I strongly care about
SK: What was the creative process behind Keep Calm?
FS: To be honest, there wasn’t too much that went into the track, and id expatiate on that. It is one of those tracks that kind of ‘wrote itself’. I remember I was in the studio with Austynobeatz and I had just finished recording a track. We needed a ‘change of ear’ and he played me this instrumental. I was like ‘dude I’m so going to record on this’. All I fully remember was the phrase “Keep Calm” which for some weird reason kept resounding in my head. And like they say, the rest is history…
SK: In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
FS: Oh gosh, a whole lot. Don’t get it twisted , I had always incorporated singing in my songs but I will admit that back then, my go-to was rap. I would hear any beat and my default mode of delivery was rap. So it is a bit funny now I’m sure to people, that there is more singing than rapping at the moment and I find that really comfortable. I have not dropped rap o my people. [laughs] I just don’t tie myself solely down to rap now thats all.
SK: What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
FS: Well, as said earlier, I try not to mess with lyrics at all. I don’t care what the subject matter is. Just make sense of what it is you are saying is my own. With that in mind, I believe it is fair to say that I source inspiration from any and every where. It could be a gesture, an argument or a stimulating conversation that triggers words for me. I can not speak for everyone but yea, that is definitely how I get my inspiration. Some times, it Is the instrumental or beat that gives me the inspiration.
SK: What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
FS: Ah there are many places oooo. lets not go there sef! 02, MSG, Eko Hotel…haba the list is crazy. That question even scares me if I’m honest cause it lowkey makes me realise how far off I am. But God dey
SK: What’s the most important thing to you when you are performing?
FS: Energy!!!!!!!! it is all about the energy. I tell myself all the time that I’m an actor. So once you are on that stage, if you have to act, you act. People have paid money or atlas sacrificed something to see you perform.. And you will not give them the desired energy??? Naaaa
SK: Your style is so unique. What or who inspires your looks in your videos and when you are performing?
FS: Thank you [smiles sheepishly]. To be honest, I am a very simple guy fashion wise. I do not do too much. I have however worked with a couple of stylists and I have picked up one or two things, in terms of looks. When I’m performing on the other hand, I usually wear anything that is loose.. You know I need that freedom . We do not want our energy being tamed.
SK: What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilise them?
FS: As they say, your network determines your net worth ..so of course connections are absolutely important. These are your peers and colleagues and if you do not utilise their resources, I really do not get how you’d move forward. It is like a trader not willing to trade with other traders regardless of their commodities.. That is how I see it.
SK: How do you get people to take you seriously as a musician?
FS: Well, that is on them to be direct with you. The onus shouldn’t be on me to make you see I’m serious. I say I’m a recording artist..If I’m recording songs and releasing them and doing promo and getting closed doors in my face, frustrated half the time and still making up to release music. If at that juncture you aren’t taking me serious as a musician then that is on you. It is one thing not to like my music But a completely different thing not considering me a serious musician . When it is not as if I’m playing games out here.
SK: What do you hope to accomplish this year?
FS: I will give an umbrella answer that hopefully covers most of my desires for the year. First and foremost I’m hoping to expand on my fan base as well as engagement; shows and bigger exposure.
SK: Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
FS: That is simple; OzBeazy and Mich Straaw. Undoubtedly two of the most naturally gifted talents I know and have encountered. Oz has this voice that when you hear, you’d definitely be like ‘thats Oz right?’ plus his melodies and flow are different. Mich on the other hand has an incredible voice and has this ‘to the left sound’. I won’t call it ‘Alte’ but definitely different from mainstream as it were.
SK: What is next for Fola Sheva? What do you want your supporters to know about you?
FS: I just released a song called ‘Keep Calm’ so guys please go and cop it if you haven’t (u know i have to do quick advert in there ).
I plan on releasing a body of work together with Oz called “Shots, Lime and Rocks. I also initially had an EP to drop but I think that has been moved to the first quarter of next year. So just more singles, visuals and more goof!
SOCIAL HANDLES – All handles are @folasheva
STREAMING PLATFORMS – All streaming platforms are @folasheva
For all updates on music, new release and general information , please check out folashevas website; www.folasheva.com
HOT SEAT : DJ G MONEY
Meet Tejiri kode DJ/producer/Song Writer From Delta State Nigeria popularly known as DJ G Money aka 440 Master.
With over 5 solid years in the game DJ G Money is one of the largest names in the UK Afrobeats scene and official DJ to Sona.
DJ G Money joins us in the Hot Seat today to share his journey so far.
Let’s talk about your newest single “20NineIn” What was the inspiration for this song? What is it like working with Dami Bliz and GB on it?
GM: Hey it’s your boy DJ Gmoney…. to be honest I was at the studio with Damibliz & GB, we was working on another project for my album titled 440. After we finished that song wanted to show the boys a beat and it all kicked off from there everyone was feeling the vibe and that’s how we made 20NINEIN!!
What were some of the main challenges and goals when starting out as a DJ and how have they changed over time?
GM: Although I had the drive and potential, it was the lack of finance at the time.
Once established, I knew I had what it takes to be number 1 😅A lot has changed over time in a good way.
What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music, that makes it interesting for you?
GM: I have 5 producers I work with closely from Nigeria one of which is here in London, our contact is phone calls which requires a lot of time. I love my music to be unique danceable and groovy.
How’s the music scene in London right now?
GM: It’s improving and always evolving.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live now?
GM: Massively, I am from Delta State where I was brought up to Lagos with lots of influences and positive results. Oh yes and London.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favourite way to connect with your fans now?
GM: Instagram is the best way I keep up to date with fans and my own line of business to promote myself.
It’s hard staying on top of all the different social media accounts, but we getting there.
Could you take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work?
GM: Wake up freshen up, football, freshen up again, come home rest up, eat, 10 minutes before Uber arrives get dress and bounce. I must say I do check I’ve got up-to-date songs on my playlist as well.
Who are some of your favourite artists who do you really respect & admire?
GM: Hmmmm definitely Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tekno, Drake, Teni, and obviously myself…
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a DJ today, what could you see yourself doing?
GM: I wanted to become a footballer…or an Accountant.
What’s next for DJ G Money, what can your audience expect to see this year?
GM: They should expect the unexpected, all will be revealed, my upcoming projects will be a mad ting.
60 SECONDS WITH CHINKO EKUN
There’s no question that Nigerian rapper Chinko Ekun has a rare talent, racking in over 3 million views on Youtube, Chinko has impacted the industry with his viral hit single ‘Able God’ where he teamed up Zlatan Ibile & Lil Kesh.
What drew you to the music industry?
CE: I come from a musically inclined family, I literally did everything listening to music. It became part and parcelled me because it lifts my soul.
What do you feel is the best song you’ve released and why?
CE: My best song I’ve released is ABLE GOD ! . Why I feel so is because there are lots of circumstances surrounding the success of the song. Firstly it’s my biggest song so far and secondly it is a true life story … I had insufficient funds trying to buy something at the supermarket and I put my pains into music meaning I could express myself. It fetched me a lot of money, respect, exposure and a lot of things I can’t start to mention.
Which musician would you like to collaborate with next?
CE: I would love to work with either Kizz Daniel or Wande Coal .. so help me God
What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artist like yourself, has to face and overcome to gain any commercial success?
CE: hmmmmm. It’s a big question, first thing is trying to figure out what the fans want and at what time and speaking a language everyone can easily relate to.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the Nigerian music industry?
CE: There is no love in the music industry!
How do you separate yourself from other artist?
CE: By the way I do my music, I try not to sound like anyone and keep my game 1000.
What do you have in store for your fans in the upcoming months?
CE: I have a lot of singles, features both local and international with exciting videos and probably an album.