Indeed Tems’ “If Orange was a place” EP isn’t just music but an experiment. It doesn’t require jarring criticism but a careful ear to adopt all the beauties of this particular masterpiece. In this sophomore release, the peculiar talent properly harnesses and shows off her deeper and more mature craftiness. This EP consists of 5 beautifully crafted tracks.
Temilade Openiyi, as she is formally called, is currently at the center of the world’s amusement, successfully accomplishing cross-continental prominence and acceptance after global collaborations with famous names like Drake and Wizkid. This EP is pretty much what this talented songstress needed – expanding her discography and reach, one note at a time. She sees music as the best way she can express herself, she said in a recent interview – “I don’t see myself as being able to do anything, apart from music; I don’t talk a lot, but I sing a lot to express myself.”
From learning music with her music teacher in Lagos to freestyling in Johannesburg as an undergraduate. Music has always been a form of existence for the 26 year old. “Everything is special about Tems” says Wizkid, one of Africa’s brightest stars and Afro king. She radiates in Wizkid’s summer hit, “Essence” and collaborated with Drake on his track, “Certified Lover Boy“. From her first single, 2018’s “Mr Rebel, she showcased herself as a distinct voice in Nigerian musical archives, filling in the vacuum of the longings of several fans.
Tems reminds her fans about her convicting uniqueness and strong standings on her newest EP “If Orange was a place“. No one literally puts it down like Tems – when she was a growing child, she discouraged herself from singing in its originality, with its weightiness, subjecting her sound to falsetto instead. She has mastered the art of commanding this gift and it shows in her break out tracks, “Mr Rebel” and “Try Me“. She unarguably combines both approaches in new EP.
On “Replay“, she flaunts her resilience as she mocks every effort towards opposing her. An obvious display of her lyrical dexterity as the evolution is clear in comparison with “Try Me” – her breakthrough ballad. “I really wan show that you really can’t test me,” she swims in her pidgin fluency. Tems had often expressed a dark side in her writing, with feelings of negativity and disappointments which one of the reasons why her sound is so distinct, but there is a difference in this particular project. She conveys these emotions with true confidence. Part of it comes from the quality of its production – Guilty Beatz, Ghanian beat maker with a great knack for excellence was responsible for the most part of the production of this EP.
“Found” highlights the singer’s deliberate effort on contrasting sounds. She showcases the ability to own and control her voice in different forms. It unites all her strengths in a multi-faceted display of self-actualization.
“Crazy Tingz“, “Vibe Out“, and “Avoid Things” also express deep soul longings with wavy signals and synths. With a great game on the strings, the synchronization is indeed applaudable, as the weighty bassline coupled with an upbeat synergy shows the Masterkraft of the Ghanian beatsmith, Guilty Beatz.