In FCE profile interviews, we go up close and personal with your favorite upcoming artists. This week’s feature is no one else than the creative and self-styled TemiDollFace. Her single “Pata Pata” has created waves across the rhythmic hills, plains and city streets of Africa and beyond the artistic ears of music lovers worldwide. With a sounds she refers to as “Drama Soul”, who is Temi? Where is she from and where is she going? Here is an exclusive for you. Thats why we are FatalCut Entertainment saying it as it is…
“As a songwriter, Temi a.k.a’Temi DollFace’ is fast establishing a reputation for her elegance of expression, her cerebrally-artful play with words, her inventiveness, risk-taking and disregard for prevailing rules on what is and isn’t acceptable.
It took the cumulative effect of getting her foot in the industry door, having to grapple with a lack of creative control over her output, the resulting self-doubt and creative drought, a stint as frontwoman of a band, some much needed reassessment, and finally, the very welcome awakening of her trust in her individuality and creative abilities, to bring her to this it point.
Both Temi’s style and music are a curious cocktail of past, present and future. She has a breathtakingly broad musical palette that reflects the influences of Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie wonder, James brown, Fela Kuti, Earth Wind & Fire, Joan Armatrading as much as it does Pharrell Williams, N.E.R.D, outkast, Missy Elliot to name but a few. Despite dalliances with different genres, she refers to her sound as ‘Drama Soul’. A sound that’s all dressed up as playful but is at its very core profound and lyrically piquant.
Music came surprisingly early and late to Temi. At the age of 7, she wrote and composed her first song with a keyboard given to her as a gift by the pastor of the church she attended; her self-education in playing the keys began. For the years that followed, and up until her teens, she sang at church and performed at every given opportunity.
Her mid point was a degree in food Science, at which time she had put music on the back burner, no longer considering it a career option because it didn’t fit into the mileu she came from.
This was short-lived as music inevitably came to the fore and a career in it started to make perfect sense again. Time at performance school followed, and she’s been chasing dream since.
Temi has quietly been creating her masterpiece under-the-radar and plotting her trajectory into your hearts and minds.”
Well this is a story in two parts I think.
The most crucial thing that happened to me happened a few years ago when I got signed to a major record label. You would have thought it would be the happiest, most fulfilling time of my life – Quite the opposite; I wasn’t aware that I would have no say over how the songs I had written and composed were produced. I became a bystander in my own life, watching my music being bastardized and my essence sucked out of each song. I screamed inside.
I was now living in a dictatorship. It didn’t help that I had a manager who was solely in it for personal gain, and would remind me daily that I had no talent and if it weren’t for him, I would never have got the deal. I knew I’d got signed purely off-the-back of my live one-woman performance to the label staff, for which I got a standing ovation.
As far as the record label went, the recommended wisdom was “stoop to conquer”, “grin and bear it, such opportunities are hard to come by”, “you’ve got to bend a little to gain a foothold in the music industry”, but I was doubled-up in pain from being forced into the mold of everything I’m not.
We (or rather, they) were now halfway to finishing the album and it had my name on it. The words “you only have one chance at a first impression” started to ring in my head. I had to do something.
I didn’t want to be just someone else’s creation. I needed to be the creator. The long and short of it is I summoned the courage to take legal action against my manager and walk away from an environment that did nothing to nurture me creatively. I now relish the creative freedom of where I am now and wouldn’t swap my trajectory with anyone.
On my better days, I’m 80 percent gym bunny/healthy eater and 20 percent Krispy Kreme addict/closet Binge-eater. A lot of the time the balance is tipped, helped along by my addictive personality and the latter has her wicked way. I used to be much larger and like many women, I still struggle with my weight. I trained as a fitness instructor partly to keep it in check. In the spirit of making a conscious effort to do so, you can expect that TDF Gym bunny will be taking centre-stage in the very near future.
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Enjoy Temi’s timeless Pata Pata music video on FatalCut Entertainment below.
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