How has she made History?
Nigerian singer and songwriter Temilade Openiyi, popularly known by her alias Tems, has secured her first debut at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with a feature on Future’s song Wait For U, the seventh track off his new album, I Never Liked You. Singing alongside Drake on the single, Wait For U is currently sitting right at the top of the chart.
Although this is her first official No.1, Tems is no stranger to the charts, following her sterling success and collaboration with Wizkid last year on the hit song Essence which also featured Justin Bieber and eventually peaked at No. 9 on the charts — the first African song to reach the Billboard’s Top 10.
Why is it Important?
Since its inception in 1958, The Billboard Hot 100 has been one of the biggest music industry record charts in the United States and the world, and making it to the chart is still a major measure of success for both artists and record labels alike. Published weekly by Billboard magazine, the chart’s rankings are based on three metrics – streaming, radio airplay and digital sales in order of importance. In a nutshell, the Billboard charting not only validates the hard work an artist or record label has put in but is also evidence of an artist’s audience and potential in the music industry.
That being said, it’s not hard to see why Tems’ success is such a big deal. Songs don’t simply debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart every day and according to the numbers, Wait For U is only the 61st song to do so. For Tems, debuting at No. 1 on the chart means that she has made history as the very first female Nigerian artist to hit this milestone. She’s also only one of two Nigerian artists to go all the way to the top; Wizkid did it first when he was featured on Drake’s One Dance” back in 2016.
As a female Nigerian artist, this win is more than just impressive — it’s downright inspiring. Especially considering the explosive rate at which she has blown in the last 18 months.
What Comes Next?
Tems’ previous entry on the Global music rank includes a number one spot on the Billboard Next Big Sound chart and number five on the Billboard Emerging Artists chart in the same year (2021). As if there wasn’t already enough buzz around the songstress and her music, this win will undoubtedly place her at the forefront of everyone’s minds, setting her apart within the Afrobeats/ Afropop movement and proving that she is indeed who she says she is — the leading vibe.
On a more personal level, this historic achievement will certainly go a long way in building anticipation for her next project — a debut album that she has hinted at dropping at some point this year.
Tems has been on a steady upward climb since she burst out on the music scene most prominently in 2018 and by the looks of things, she’s just getting started.