I was bullied because of my deep voice- Tems candidly reveals

Tems recalled how she didn't start speaking until she was at least 3 years old

Nigerian Grammy award Tems

Grammy award-winning Nigerian singer, songwriter, and producer Temilade Openiyi popularly known as Tems is opening up about the struggles she went through growing up due to her deep almost masculine voice.

Speaking during an interview with The Cut Magazine, Tems recalled how she didn't start speaking until she was at least 3 years old. This is because she was a very reserved child who mostly kept to herself.

Interestingly, even though she took time talking and was not keen on socializing she always loved to sing. She knew in her bones that music was her world and it made her happy.

 “I was always in my own little world. I wasn’t very social,” The 'Me & U' crooner stated.

Walking down memory lane, she highlighted how she grew up feeling super conscious of her voice as she didn't sound like other girls who had softer tones... even when she sang. 

"All the other girls had these sweet, high voices, and my voice had bass,” the 28-year-old songstress candidly revealed noting there were instances where "other kids bullied her to the point of tears,"


Sadly, even outside of school, young Tems often time received unsolicited comments and advice from strangers, regarding the pitch of her voice leading to a decline in her esteem.

The hurtful comments from others and bullying from her peers, formed root in her head which led her to believe that she "sounded like a boy, or a frog, or that her voice was otherwise ugly,"

"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," an excerpt from The Cut Magazine talking about Tems and her struggles reads.

Luckily, once she joined High School Tems found her confidence under the tutelage of her music teacher. She harnessed this, realizing all the self internalized hate was just outside voice.

Tems, learned to love her voice and worked on rebuilding her esteem which helped her transform to the confident musical star we know 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,” Tems said.

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