Tems might have just released the power breakup anthem we needed to hear before we say goodbye to this year. In “Not An Angel,” Tems has moved on from an undeserving lover, and she’s not looking back at their relationship thinking she could have done something to save it. Nope! She’s a girl who knows when to cut her losses and run.
“I was a loner when I was with you / I would’ve given myself for you / Now I’m changin’ over, I’m movin’ on now / No turnin’ back, I can’t be with you,” Tems sings in this R&B and Afro-pop mix, unapologetically telling a lover that she’s done with whatever relationship they had.
At one point, the Nigerian singer tells her lover to leave his proclamations of love aside, “All of a sudden you’re askin’ for me / You know your love don’t do nothin’ for mе.” She boldly insists that all she wants to hear from him is “I’m sorry.”
In the chorus, she sings, “’Cause I’m not an angel / I’m just a girl that knows the truth / And I couldn’t save you / You couldn’t see what I’ve been through.”
True to the song’s message, Tems said the song represents moving on from something and not letting any memory of that thing keep dragging you down. “This song is about knowing your worth and moving on in life from anything holding you back,” Tems said of the track, which was accompanied by a black-and-white visualizer directed by Nakato and Lemost.
The visualizer sees Tems expressing her feelings by singing along to the song. I love that she’s the only one in the entire visualizer because I think there’s power to that move. It depicts independence, and that’s one of the main themes of the song.
Tems penned the track with her producer Sarz and it’s the second single to be released from her upcoming debut studio album, after “Me & U.” It also marks Tem’s second solo release since her 2021 EP If Orange Was A Strange Place.
Speaking on her creativity, Tems told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, “I think when you create anything, period, you’re tapping into something spiritual because you’re creating something from nothing. I think music is very spiritual no matter what it sounds like, no matter where it’s from, no matter whether it’s acknowledged or not. I think music always has an energy and I just want to be as honest as I can in my music.”