Want my job? with singer-songwriter EyiTemi

EyiTemi shares the highs and lows of her songwriting journey so far

Want my job? with singer-songwriter EyiTemi

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader? 

I am singer songwriter EyiTemi. EyiTemi is actually my birth middle name, not just my artist name. It means ‘This is Mine’ in the Nigerian language, Itsekiri. I was born in the UK but spent a huge chunk of my life in Nigeria so consider myself to be fully British as well as full Nigerian.

I have sang most of my life, mainly in church, but only started the singer-songwriter-artist journey in 2020 during lockdown! I wrote my first song Someday, quickly followed by Alone and Old Friends. Many many songs later, here I am on my third album (and first full album) after 2 EPs.

Tell us about your new album, 'Kaleidoscope.'

Kaleidoscope is a collection of songs I wrote over a period of time. It charts the ebbs and flows that move us through life’s different seasons. There are the seasons around the impact of heartbreak in Someday and the personal struggles reflected in Voices (identity), Dear Son (family), Lavi (bereavement), Groundhog Day (existential crisis) and Vision Blurred (uncertainty, loneliness)

There are also seasons of growth, hope and acceptance reflected in, Let Me Go, In Quiet Moments, One in A Million and the rousing acapella statement that is Impossible, Possible. One in A Million, the first song from album, is released 24th May.

What are your sources of inspiration for this album?

Sources of inspiration start from my life. Everything in this album, I have felt and so it is very personal. Sound wise, I love a broad range of music and so you will hear these elements in my music - from Soul to Jazz to Folk to Hip Hop

What are the highlights of your career to date? 

Starting from scratch 4 years ago and playing a solo show for the prestigious London Jazz Festival was a highlight. Having people come up to me and tell me how my music helped them, continues to be a definite highlight. This is why I do what I do. To share my experience in a way that it resonates - for people to feel heard and know they are not alone in what they are feeling, pushes me to continue to be vulnerable and honest in my writing.

Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it? 

The biggest challenges, fear and self doubt - What’s my place in this industry that has so many many talented people? Why start now? Am I good enough? What do I have to offer? Can I really do this? What if I fail?

Many things have helped me overcome - it is all a continuous process. These include: understanding that we all have our unique voices and no one could tell my story the way I tell it, recognising there is space for everyone, knowing that the only thing that is certain is, if I do nothing, nothing will happen. If I do something however, anything can happen. I also connect to the heart of why I do what I do and let that guide me when these doubts raise their head. I don’t have to know all the answers. It just needs one step at a time.

Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what? 

The changes in the industry includes demystifying what it takes to get the music from you the artist to the listener. With the advent of the internet and all the tools on offer, you don’t need the labels to get your music out. It is now possible for anyone to make music. 

What the labels do bring to the table are distribution channels - airwaves/radio, PR & Marketing to get the music to the widest range of people…but there are still increasingly more ways with social media to break through that stranglehold.

You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say? 

So many things. The three key messages are: 

  1. You are enough
  2. There's a treasure trove of talent within you - dare to believe in it
  3. Your difference is your superpower.

Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job? 

Creative arts has never necessarily been an easy path to take. Music is no different. It is however the natural path when you are born to do it -  when nothing else would do! Do it first and foremost because you love it. Protect that love and focus on why you are doing what you are doing...and then build a career around it. The career path part is made that much ‘easier’ these days with the internet and social media. Use it to your advantage, creatively. You no longer have to be signed to a music label to get your music out there 

Finally, do not be shy to ask for a chance from anyone. The worst that can happen is people can say no! I cannot begin to list how many times I have asked, even when it’s seemed very cheeky to, but sometimes it got me through the door.


Voice Magazine

Voice Magazine

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