Growing up in Lagos Nigeria with her brother Tunji and her mother, she revealed that she was a vey reserved child who kept to herself. She told the magazine that she didn’t start speaking until she was at least three, but she had always loved to sing.
“I was always in my own little world. I wasn’t very social,” Tems said to the American women magazine.
She also revealed that she has gone through various stage of evolution before becoming the version of herself that her fans have grown to know and love that is confident. Young Temilade she said grew up feeling conscious of her talking voice because she did not sound like other girls who had softer tones, even when she sang. The Cut also reported that “other kids bullied her to the point of tears.”
An excerpt from the piece reads, “She didn’t speak much, didn’t have much of a social circle, and her status as an outcast made her a target of ridicule. Sometimes she would cover her head with a blazer, and she kept mostly to herself.”
Even outside of school, she often time received unsolicited comments and advice from strangers, regarding the pitch of her voice. This contributed to the decline in her self esteem, which led her to believe that she “sounded like a boy, or a frog, or that her voice was otherwise ugly.”
“All the other girls had these sweet, high voices, and my voice had bass,” Tems said.
However, in secondary school, she found her confidence under the tutelage of her music teacher, thus morphing into the super-confident woman we see today.
“If you think I sound like a man, I think that’s pretty cool—I’m gonna sound more like a man, I started to want that deepness. I wanted to lean into my weirdness,” words to live by from the singer herself.