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B Side, Music

Tems Emphasizes the Need for Creative Originality in Interview with Kendrick Lamar

In the midst of her escalating celebrity, Tems emphasized her unflinching connection to her roots.

  • Melony Akpoghene
  • 31st August 2023

In a recent interview published by Interview Magazine, Tems and Kendrick Lamar had an insightful conversation about the challenges and rewards of achieving success in the music industry.


They explored the pressures that come with fame and how to navigate them. The feature also highlighted Tems’ remarkable career journey, tracing her evolution from relative anonymity to collaborating with industry heavyweights like Drake and Beyoncé.


The talk began with Tems discussing her early experiences with music, mentioning how Celine Dion’s soulful songs deeply resonated with her as a introverted youngster. “Back then, I was really introverted,” she shared. “I found solace in the radio and especially connected with Celine Dion’s soulful songs. They left a mark on me, igniting my love for music.”


Tems opened up about her identity as an R&B artist, emphasizing her commitment to expressing her message authentically. “I had such strong self-belief that even if I didn’t achieve fame, it was okay,” she explained. “I was content with that. I wanted to create music that was true to my heart, music that poured out my emotions. I’d choose that over compromise, even if it meant financial struggle.


Further, Kendrick Lamar enriched the interview with some wise thoughts. He shared an anecdote from a past interview where 50 Cent’s perspective on being a conscious artist resonated with him.


Now, I’ve always studied 50 Cent’s music and watched his interviews, and someone asked if he was a conscious artist, he said, “Yeah, I’m a conscious artist because I have a conscience.” That shit blew me away. It gave me a different perspective—50 drops a lot of jewels that give me perspective, but that one right there gave me a sense of, okay, a lot of artists live and know how to project duality. That’s the true gift, because that’s what life is about in its wholeness. When I seen that I said, “I can relate to that,” and what you’re saying is confirmation that that’s still alive. It’s really dope to hear another artist say it. Lets us know we not crazy,” Lamar told Tems.


In the midst of her escalating celebrity, Tems emphasized her unflinching connection to her roots. She underscored the significance of introspection, urging a return to the original wellsprings of creative genesis. “You have to remember how you felt when you started as an artist, to understand the reason you’re doing what you’re doing,” Tems insisted. “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.”


As she continues to make waves in the industry, Tems’ commitment to storytelling and meaningful messages sets her apart as an artist with a purpose.


Read the full interview here.

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