I remember the night I first heard the name “Temi Dollface”..
I was at home in London just after giving birth.. up late with nothing to do, my husband mentioned “I just saw a video by a new artist, I think you’d like her, she has the kind of style you like.” He also went on to proclaim that she had the best video he’d seen in a long time from a Nigerian artist. Now this really intrigued me. My husband, bless his socks..is VERY critical. He can dissect a video from beginning to end. So coming from him this was high praise indeed.
Anyway, after the conversation I figured I’d just browse through youtube to see what i’d find. I mean, as I said, I’d heard of her but i’d never seen any of her videos or heard any of her songs that I could recall. Let’s just say, I didn’t go to bed till about 5 am.. I fell in Love with her!
I searched online for everything that I could find about her. I loved her clothes, her quirky sense of style and her very playful character. Her hair and makeup are always perfectly matched to suit her clothes which generally tend to be vintage styles from the 1920s to 1970s complete with accessories. She rocks her natural hair (albeit it relaxed but that’s ok as it’s still refreshing to see an artist with her real hair). Her makeup although quite colourful in her video, in real life tends to be more downplayed. Like Tiwa Savage, Temi dosen’t usually wear a black inside liner so as not to make her eyes look smaller than they are (she likes the doll look). And on her eyes, she dosen’t tend to wear alot of shadow rather opting for coloured liners & mascara combined with a top black winged liner and lashes. So most of the colour pop comes from her lips and cheeks in true pin up style. Red lips are a favourite of hers and I have to agree it looks fabulous. Glad to see her use different shades of red such as MAC’s Lady Danger rather than just sticking to Nigeria’s favourite shade of Ruby Woo.
For me she’s an “artist” in every sense of the word. She’s carved out a unique image for herself which can stand out anywhere in the world. She’s not a “nigerian artist” she’s an “artist who’s from nigeria”. Which means that she can go very far on an international scale, but it also means she faces a slightly uphill battle on her homegrown turf because she’s not conforming to the normal expectations of style and sound. Alot of people right now just don’t get her. She was recently featured in GQ Magazine’s 25th Anniversary Edition and described as “Africa’s Janelle Monae”. While I love Miss Monae.. I’d like to think of Temi as quite simply Temi. She’s perfect as she is.
So after several months of admiring her from afar, I finally got to meet her at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Nominations Party. It was probably one of the funniest meetings i’ve ever had. I kind of spotted her from across the room and thought “omg that’s her”.. but of course I didn’t want to look like a crazed fan.. (yes I was famzing her). So I managed to make my way over closer to where she was and luckily realized she was with Helen Paul.. thank God for knowing people.. So Helen luckily introduced me to her and we hit it off straight away. I declared my artistic love for her.. well it’s more like a makeup artist girl crush.. and I was beyond excited to find out that she knew me and loved my work too.. *yay*… it still makes me giggle when I find out that people know who I am.. after all.. who am I really? heheh
I’ve put together some of my fav looks from her as well as her beautiful video for “Pata Pata”.. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.. and stay tuned for our next Celeb Spotlight coming up soon!
Kudos to the Creative Team:
Director: James Slater, Make up by Natasha Lawes, Shot on 16mm by Carl Burke, Art Direction by Sam Skinner, Animation and Graphic Design by Matthew Dolan, Styling by Temi Dollface (self styled) and co-styling with the help of Alton Hetariki for the Dancers
You can watch the really cool Behind the Scenes Video too: