© 2024 Public Radio East
Public Radio For Eastern North Carolina 89.3 WTEB New Bern 88.5 WZNB New Bern 91.5 WBJD Atlantic Beach 90.3 WKNS Kinston 88.5 WHYC Swan Quarter 89.9 W210CF Greenville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tems: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

From an elegant performance space in Lagos, Nigeria, Temilade Openiyi, aka Tems, adorns hues that recall the title of her latest EP, If Orange Was a Place. As she slips into performance mode, emoting with her eyelids drooped slightly, she begins "Found" in her upper register before switching to that unmistakably rich alto range. That's when the magic starts.

Her music aligns perfectly with the Tiny Desk aesthetic: Everything is stripped away to reveal the feels. Over the past couple of years, the Nigerian singer's star has been on a steady ascent, beginning with the release of her first couple of singles, "Try Me" and "Mr. Rebel." "Damages" (performed here) was huge in Nigeria and helped put her name on the U.S. map. That slow and steady approach led to features on two huge international hits: Drake's "Fountains," one of the standouts on Certified Lover Boy, and "Essence" by Wizkid featuring ahem ... starring Tems. Originally released last year, the latter was arguably the song of this summer (ask anyone who braved the nightclubs in 2021). Those two jams served as a gateway to what's becoming a substantial discography, and her Tiny Desk setlist tacitly implies, "I know you love those songs and you'll love these, too." She's right.


  • "Found"
  • "Free Mind"
  • "Looku Looku"
  • "Replay"
  • "Damages"

  • Tems: vocals
  • Nsikak David: guitar
  • Afolabi Adekomaiya: drums
  • Obinna Enwere: keys
  • Ayo Dele Owa: bass

  • Director: ua.x
  • Producer: Ebuka Nwobu.
  • Audio: Akano (Spax) Samuel
  • Production Manager: Chisom Nwobu
  • Art Director: Desola Falomo
  • Associate Producers: Kenechukwu Nwobu, Adedamola Adetunji
  • Gaffer: Ekene Ucheonwu
  • Camera Operators: Gbolahan Inaolaji Quam, Folarin Oludare
  • Location Manager: Debo Johnson
  • Camera Assistants: Tobi Oloko
  • Editor: uaxstudio
  • Colorist: Eduvie 'Stedi' Emojevwe
  • Production Company: uaxstudio + Ladder, Lex & Booker

  • Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Video Producer: Maia Stern
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Kara Frame, Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Bobby Carter is a leader on the Tiny Desk Concerts team for NPR Music. He's brought an ever growing roster of big names and emerging artists through NPR's HQ to squeeze behind the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and record standout performances, including Usher, Mac Miller, Noname, Anderson.Paak and H.E.R.