The story behind the new single from Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems, “Crazy Tings,” off her newly-released EP If Orange Was a Place, is pretty straightforward. “It’s a song about my life and the things that are happening right now — everything’s crazy,” she tells Billboard. “A lot of my songs are from my struggle and a lot of things that I go through, and right now this is exactly what’s happening. Especially coming from Nigeria, it’s something that they can relate to because that’s what life in Nigeria is — madness.”
It’s been a whirlwind time for Tems, one year since releasing her debut EP, For Broken Ears, last fall. In the past month alone, she’s seen her collaboration with Wizkid, “Essence,” get remixed by Justin Bieber and fly to No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart (where it has been for three weeks) and reach the top of Hot R&B Songs, and she appeared on Drake’s blockbuster new album Certified Lover Boy on the song “Fountains,” which debuted at No. 26 on the Hot 100 this week.
Now, Tems is adding a few new wins to the list: following yesterday’s release of her new five-song EP, she has officially signed to Since ’93/RCA Records, and has been named as part of Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ program for rising artists, which in the past has featured the likes of Billie Eilish, Bad Bunny, Burna Boy and Megan Thee Stallion, among others. That includes a new mini-documentary, available now via Apple Music, which she says allows her to “tell my story in a different way.
“I think it’s a huge opportunity to really allow people to get to know me a bit more and see a bit more into my life and get a bit more perspective on who I am and where I’m from and what my life is about and where the music comes from,” she says. “Everything that comes with it is an opportunity to be seen and to be maybe understood a bit more.”
That opportunity will now be amplified by her new record deal, with RCA chairman/CEO Peter Edge calling her “immensely talented” and an “incredible artist” whose “style and vocal abilities know no bounds” in a statement to Billboard. “There’s no doubt she’ll accomplish great things and we can’t wait to see Tems flourish.” Added Since ’93 co-president Glyn Aikins, “[Tems is] a once in a generation artist whose originality and style is second to none.”
“My team and I have been working really hard over the years, now we’re in a new season and on a higher level and things can only get better as we reach more people all over the world,” Tems said in her own statement about the deal. “I’m looking forward to this new partnership with Since ‘93/RCA and working with their talented teams as we enter in this next chapter.”