- 31 Oct 23
The North-East Inner-city Dublin youngster showcased his abudnant personality and unmistakable talent with a raucous Y&E series set - supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
On Thursday evening, North Dublin youngster Temi NLA provided what was potentially the most high-octane, impassioned performance the Hot Press Y&E series has seen so far.
Temi has firmly established himself as one of the most exciting and compelling new Irish voices. Soulfully merging hip hop, rap and R&B, Temi's style is a unique concoction of slick vocals, hypnotic beats and whirlwind verses, citing Chris Brown, Iann Dior and Ne-Yo as sonic inspirations.
A strong sense of spiritual faith is also at the core of Temi's artistry, his music bearing an emphatic sentiment — "PUT GOD FIRST." Temi NLA — meaning Temi the Great — derives from his African name, Temitope, of his father’s Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. This year also saw Temi hailed as a Hot Press- New Local Hero finalist.
While he has already blessed us with a steady stream of impressive singles, the most recent being ‘Little One’, the Y&E audience was greeted to a special set consisting entirely of unreleased material.
From the offset the vibe was immediately different. While we have been virtually welcomed into a fine range of pubs, classy living rooms and messy bedrooms thus far in the Y&E series, Temi decided to set up shop in a mysterious and futuristic neon-lit room.
Joined by his trusty companion Conor Donohue on the decks, as well as some close companions, Temi’s confidence and excitement was evident from the offset.
The self-proclaimed “one and only”, the young singer assured us that we were “about to witness some greatness right now” – braggadocious sentiments that were undoubtedly backed-up by his enigmatic performance.
Despite his abundant certitude of his own abilities, Temi wasn’t afraid to showcase some vulnerability throughout his song - many of his lyrics discussing the struggles of untrustworthy young relationships, evident in the emotional ‘Cheating Again’.
The intensity didn’t falter for a second – it’s no wonder the wiz-kid performed a headline show at the Sound House earlier this year before he was legally able to drink — suffice to say his talent speaks for itself.
“Why haven’t the 3 Arena hit me up yet,” quipped Temi in-between tracks, his ski-masked entourage in full agreement with that particular thought.
To perform with such bravado and passion at 18-years of age would already be impressive enough, what makes Temi so special is that he’s just as skilled behind the scenes - informing the virtual crowd that many of the tracks on display were self-produced.
He also took the time to get real, offering his support to watchers-on who may be struggling - “Anybody who’s going through a tough time at the moment, you’ll get through it. Keep on pushing on, you have my faith,” reassured Temi, showing us that he has a wise head on his shoulders despite his youth.
As he rallied through r&b banger after r&b banger, the songwriter kept reminding the audience to stick around, promising a groovy unreleased house bop to close the set.
He put his money -and his dancing shoes -where his mouth was, as his posse joined him in a triumphant, boogie-filled grand finale.
Combining humour, energy, and charming cockiness, with a genuine soul underneath it all, Temi NLA is an unmistakable rising talent.
Watch Temi NLA's performance in full below.
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Catch the following up-and-comers take over the Hot Press Instagram in the coming days…
Tuesday 31st: Holly Munro
An Irish singer-songwriter gaining recognition for her electronic-infused brand of folk-pop, Holly Munro's distinct sound draws inspiration from icons Bjork, Kate Bush, and Joni Mitchell. She also happens to be Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor's sister, spending most of her days alongside her producer in the same Somerset studio that Tears For Fears recorded Songs From The Big Chair in. With its folk sensibilities and ambient textures, her upcoming EP Up Against Your Nature is both reassuringly nostalgic yet excitingly fresh.
Wednesday 1st : Polly Barrett
Already renowned in the Irish folk scene with two studio albums under her belt, Polly Barrett is no stranger to the creative process and performing - having recently appeared at the Milwaukee Irish Fest alongside the Coronas, Wallis Bird and a host of Irish acts. Rediscovering her creativity through Forest Therapy, she explores the overwhelming love for one's child and parenthood on her new album Sapling be… a journey through motherhood, love and loss, the very life cycle of nature itself.