Another Angle To Tems “Damages”

Amongst a plethora of breakout music artists that the Nigerian entertainment industry has recognized in the last 2-3 years, Tems stands out as one of the unique, and gifted ones, with genuine content, style, lyrics, and savoir-fair that has kept her dominating in a very male-dominated industry.

Tems dropped her first EP a couple of days back and her fans cannot have enough of the a timeless piece centered on relatable topics surrounding her life, relationship and music. ‘For Broken Ears’ is a 21-minute long EP with 7 songs, and it is her first EP since her first single, ‘Mr. Rebel’ in 2018. An interesting point to note about Tems is how effortlessly she has remained a sensation with just three singles before this album. It would be the sagacity with which she coins the body/lyrics of her music, and the percentage of the work, that is her effort, that struts her rounded proficiency.

Tems alternates R&B, soul, Afro soul, Neo-Soul, Afro-Pop, Quiet Storm and Sentimental Ballad at intervals in the EP. The journey begins with a sentimental Ballad titled ‘Interference’ where she reads out, asking her audience what they needed to know about her. She asked for them to open their minds, describing ‘For Broken Ears’ as a place with no shame, the light being without dark and the truth without faults, the reason why the Ep is titled thus. To further thrill her eager fans, she has released the music video to the lead single ‘Damages’, directed by Ademola Falomo, produced by Ladder, Lex, and Booker. She has been more of a soloist from the onset, so seeing her perform alone in the video and throughout the EP was not out of place. Either way, we cannot have enough, so we are taking a peek into the music video ‘Damages’, her tip of the Iceberg that is yet to drop.

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The music video starts with Tems and her girls out in the yard, standing and sitting leisurely, having small-talks, there is a need to be dressed up for the evening jives, cameras running on sepia hue, casting a nostalgic and precisely familiar almost immediately – alté scene. The girls catching party cruise, not one man in sight – total girls’ night out. They are looking peng in their black leather beret-style caps and bucket hats, tube tops, crop tops, boot-cut trousers. Tems launches in her Denim ensemble and glazed sunglasses, thick hoop earrings, chain choker, her crochet braids curled at the tip let down typical old glam queen style. There is a landline telephone, black, her friends at it, mad at somebody at the other end. There are girls at the table, playing cards, putting middle fingers up, the gbedu from the female DJ is putting everybody in a smile-mood, hair is worn short like a bob or long to cascade down the back. After all of the grove inside, with the pink-themed light and fog festooning their dance floor as they are thrown into a frenzy, Tems comes right out to pose for the camera. She looks easy on the eyes in her shiny navy-blue bandage one-hand crop-top and flared pants, and of course, sampling her talking-drum – she just had to show us her grand retro style with a touch from Yoruba music roots.

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Tems has always proven to be an altéist at heart countlessly through music and style, and with the video of ‘Damages’ amazingly alté, it would not be out of place if she continues likewise for the rest of the music videos. Damages talk about a relationship gone sour after promises made by the other party, although there is a plea for another chance, it is clear that it is not happening. The babe has clearly moved on, there are no damages done.

Jephtha is an altéist with a flair for lifestyle and everything literature. His ambient affinity for everything unorthodox fuels his writing.

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The magazine for the culture