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What Tems’ Global Success Means for Women in African Music

Female artists have always played a major role in African music, but the recent successes of several new artists may signal their gaining a more equal footing within the industry. A good case in point is Tems. Currently topping the US Billboard Chart for her work on Future’s Wait For U, the Nigerian artist is riding a wave of popularity with a style that is uniquely her own and not easily categorized. Over the last three years, Tems has moved from holding down a stifling digital marketing job to being one of the world’s most exciting new music stars, as the 26-year-old’s beautiful voice and soul-stirring songwriting has blurred the gap between Nigeria’s pop-driven mainstream and the more leftfield altê scene. Tems isn’t the only African woman enjoying some well-deserved global attention for their music. ​“Things are changing for sure,” she told THE FACE.​“I think more women are believing in themselves, I think more women are coming out and realising that they can do it.”