Temilade Openiyi was born on June 11, 1995 in Lagos, Nigeria. Born to a Nigerian mother and a British-Nigerian father, Tems family moved to the United Kingdom shortly after birth. Her parents separated when she was five, and relocated to Ilupeju, before moving to Lekki, then Ajah. At school she was noticed by her music teacher and she learned the piano.
In 2018, she quit her marketing job and released the single “Mr Rebel.” The song blew up and earned Tems two nominations at the Nigerian awards show The Headies: Best Vocal Performance and Best Alternative Song.
She scored another streaming hit in 2019 with the single “Try Me.”
In 2020, she joined fellow Nigerian artist Davido on the Afrobeats remix of Khalid’s “Know Your Worth.” That same year, Tems released her debut EP, For Broken Ears.