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Tems talks about her authenticity, music & why she always knew she wasn’t born to follow as she covers Dazed Magazine’s Winter 2022 issue

Award-winning music sensation Tems is the latest cover star in Dazed Magazine‘s Winter 2022 issue.

In this issue, the star talks about being chased through Paris by fans, hearing music in the sound of a dripping tap, and why she always knew she wasn’t born to follow. Speaking to Ib Kamara, Editor in chief for Dazed, Tems says, “I don’t need to scrape my teeth on the floor to prove that I’m the greatest. I’m not saying that I’m the greatest ever but I know I’m the greatest Tems… And if there’s another thing I know for sure, it’s that I’m not going anywhere.”⁠

Read excerpts from the interview below:

On the power of her own authenticity, how she had to figure out exactly who she was, and going through musical detox

I already had music that I liked and I didn’t know I was looking for a sound. But I just thought, before all these songs were made, there was somebody who made this song, started this trend or started singing like this first. And then other people followed them. I don’t want to be somebody that follows; I don’t want to be the ‘after’ person. I want to be the first. So if I’m going to be the first person, what I bring, there can be nothing like it.

Reflecting on the way she and her life has changed since becoming one of the most popular artists from Africa in four short years

Technically, my career has taken me out of my comfort zone and made me into a more outgoing person. But I wasn’t thinking about how to be better in the limelight, I was just thinking of how to be a better person in general, the best possible version of myself. And I think once you start being visible, a lot of these things that you didn’t know existed start coming to light, you start knowing yourself more, too.

Responding to perceptions of her as a uniquely modern symbol of African womanhood

What I’m trying to do, or what I hope that God does through me, is for the image of the African woman to be [changed] to something luxurious, or desired, or sought after. For the demand of the African woman to go up… Let us not be chasing foreign things, let us be something to be chased.

Read the full story on

Photography @willscarborough ⁠
Styling @ibkamara
Hair @yann_turchi ⁠
Make-up @mata_marielle
Nail simmy_nailsandbeauty⁠
Set design @samuel.overs
Post-production @helen_retouch

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