It’s 2016 and the theme for Alexandra Robbin’s book ‘The Geeks Will Inherit the Earth’, an analysis of how the standards of popularity will be reversed over time is already coming to pass. But instead of your imagined Hollywood high school nerd with large glasses and heavy braces, thanks to the worldwide hipster revolution, these days, we have outspoken left-field unconventional minds who have confidently embodied their outcast-hood in style, purpose, and relevance. But with the added smarts and quirkiness you would expect from anyone not used to social scenes or conforming to stereotypes.
In the chaotic waters of Nigerian music, repeated formulas and mega pop stars who expect their audience to marvel at the same trick over and over again, Temi Dollface manages to represent some form of artistry. A creative mind who has dedicated herself to re-writing African stories while drawing a new space for her artsy style and music to breathe for itself.
With a vintage style she “suspects” was picked from living her equally stylish grandmother, Temi Dollface is the perfect definition of the artiste who has set her brand on a deliberate path to be non-conformist.
Born Temi Phil-Ebosie to a visual artist and ballet dancer mother, Temi Dollface taught herself to play the piano at the age of 7 seven and began experimenting with songwriting afterwards. Though mostly composing songs with gospel and Christian themes, her early exposure to her mother’s mosaics and classical music served as her earliest influences.
With equal parts of her upbringing spent in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, she was further exposed to the cabaret style of legendary French singer Edith Piaf, the music of Afrobeat King Fela Kuti, American Jazz singer Billie Holiday amongst others further. This influenced the moulding of her style into a genre she calls “Drama soul,”a funky mid-tempo musical arrangement that blends theatrics, visual imagery and alternating vocal pitches.
Though Temi Dollface is a non-conformist by measure of being a master genre bender, she is still a music purist who will never sacrifice what real music should be for anything less. Not even to soothe the palates of mass audiences not used to reading between the lines for subtexts and context in music.