Tems Opens Up About Co-Writing Rihanna’s Return Single “Lift Me Up”

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"Rihanna has been an inspiration to me."

In less than one year, Tems has worked with some of the biggest artists in the game. From Beyonce and Grace Jones to Drake and Future — the Nigerian songstress shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

Tems added another icon to the list of stars she’s been able to work alongside this year after co-writing Rihanna’s comeback single “Lift Me Up,” which will be featured on the soundtrack for Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever. Earlier this week, the “Free Mind” singer opened up about writing for the Barbadian star and how the upcoming single will pay tribute to the late Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman. 

Tems performing at 2021 Afropunk Atlanta

“After speaking with Ryan [Coogler] and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life,” Tems shared. I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them. Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.” Tems co-wrote the record with Rihanna, Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler.

Tems comments come on the heels of Rihanna releasing the cover art and confirming her new single, tweeting, “Tonight. MIDNIGHT EST. #LiftMeUp.”  The songstress recently turned heads with beau ASAP Rocky at the premiere of Black Panther 2: Wakanda rocking matching olive green Rick Owens outfits. 

Also attending the premiere was the cast of the highly anticipated Marvel film, including Lupita N’yongo, Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan and Letitia Wright. Wright, who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri in the blockbuster film, opened up on the red carpet about missing’s Boseman’s presence at the premiere. 

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 26: (L-R) Rihanna and A$AP Rocky attend Marvel Studios' "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" premiere at Dolby Theatre on October 26, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/WireImage)

“I’m bracing,” she told Variety. “I’ve seen some member’s of Chad’s team. When we lock eyes, we know how this feels. We have to take a step away. I see my aunt locking my eyes with me, she’s very proud. I have to take a step away. It’s emotional. We’re trying to hold it together.”

Catch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in theaters on November 11. 

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