When it comes to artist interviews, some of the best are usually done by their contemporaries, or at least others who are familiar with the workings of their industry. Interview Magazine is notorious for pairing the perfect celebrities together, most recently nabbing Kendrick Lamar to chat with Nigerian superstar Tems ahead of her debut album. The pair discussed everything from staying sane while in the studio to other creatives who have influenced them in the powerful new conversation.
“I’m not sure when the first time I heard music was, but I found myself loving the radio, and I used to hear Celine Dion. Nigerians love Celine Dion,” the 28-year-old shared with the DAMN hitmaker. “Her songs are very emotional, jump-off-a-cliff type songs. They entered my soul. I think that’s where my love for music started.” Elsewhere, Tems mentioned buying a fake Destiny’s Child CD as a core memory from her youth, noting that it didn’t take long before she learned all 30 songs on the project.
As her star continues to shine brighter, the African songbird noted that she wants to remain grounded in her roots. “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.”
Lamar had plenty of wisdom to contribute to the conversation as well, notably crediting Curtis Jackson with making him look at things differently in one of the New Yorker’s past interviews. “I’ve always studied 50 Cent’s music and watched his interviews, and someone asked if he was a conscious artist,” the Pulitzer Prize winner reflected. “He said, ‘Yeah, I’m a conscious artist because I have a conscience.’”
“That s**t 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,” Lamar told Tems of Fif’s perspective. Read their full Interview Magazine story here, and check back later for more hip-hop/pop culture news updates.