Tems reveals that she was bullied for her voice while growing up
Grammy-winning Nigerian singer Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, has opened up about being targeted and bullied due to the tone of her voice during her childhood.
Speaking with The Cut and gracing the cover of its Magazine for January 2024, Tems revealed that she refrained from speaking until the age of three and faced ridicule because her voice didn't conform to societal expectations for girls.
Recounting the emotional toll, she shared how she was bullied, leading to self-consciousness and the belief that her voice was perceived as unattractive.
In her words, “I was bullied to the point of tears and was a target of ridicule. This led to the belief that I sounded like a boy, or a frog, with the impression that my voice was ugly."
Tems who has just been announced alongside Afrobeat artists, Tyla and Spinall to headline to 2024 edition of Coachella Festival, expressed her isolated childhood, highlighting her attempts to make friends through song, only to feel different from other girls with sweeter, higher voices.
“I was always in my little world. When I did make friends, I would try to make them sing my songs, and other girls had these sweet, high voices and my voice had a bass,” she said.
This revelation adds depth to her earlier statement about turning to music due to a lack of friends.