Tems says she’s “basically done” with her debut album

Tems has won a Grammy, been nominated for a Golden Globe and worked with some of the biggest names in the business — including Rihanna and Drake — but she has yet to release a full-length debut album. But that will likely change in the near future.

In a new cover story for The Cut, the Nigerian artist talks about her rise to fame and gives some insight into her recording process. She says she’s “basically done” with the album and has been putting in long hours in the studio to finish it.

“It’s not that I’m slaving away, though,” she says. “This is my safe place. Music is like my husband or my wife: I don’t know which — it doesn’t have a gender.”

The album does not have a title or release date yet, but Tems wrote all of the songs and produced many of them herself.

“I have no clue what’s going to come out,” she says of her writing process. “And I find myself saying weird things. Hurt feelings come out a lot. And when I play it back, it’s like, ‘Oh, so this is how you feel.’”

While reflecting her success, Tems says the goals for her music have not changed.

“I didn’t have an end goal like, ‘I want world domination in the end,’” she says. “I was just like, ‘I’m going to make the best possible music I can make, because it makes me feel. It’s not even about you. I’m sharing this because it gives me joy. And I can’t keep it all to myself.’”

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