Yemi Alade: the songstress on the rise
If you were at the O2 Academy in Islington, London, in April last year, you would have appreciated the height Yemi Alade has taken her music to. She rocked the venue with her energetic performances that brought African magic to life to her London audience.
At home, she spices music concerts with her energetic performance, which endear her to a growing fan base.
No wonder she was among the six musical artistes (Tekno, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage and Wizkid) who featured with Queen Beyonce on the movie soundtrack for this year’s live-action remake of Disney’s “The Lion King” on July 19, 2019, with the hope of the world rediscovering Nigeria’s vibrant music scene.
Born as Yemi Eberechi Alade, the Afropop singer and songwriter who stages as Yemi Alade is unarguably an artiste on the rise. She is among the top Nigerian female music acts, who are giving their male counterparts a run for the money.
Alade made her musical debut in an all-girl group called Noty Spices in 2005, but her music became widely popular after she won the Peak Talent Show in 2009. She later released her first single “Fimisile” under the Jus’ Kiddin’ label.
In 2012, she signed onto the music label, Effyzzie Music Group, and released her single “Ghen Ghen Love”.
In July 2013, Alade released the video for her romantic afro- R& B song “Bamboo”, produced by Fliptyce. “Bamboo” went on to be a moderate hit and a popular wedding song. In the last quarter of 2013, she broke records when her most recent hit single, “Johnny”, produced by Selebobo, was leaked on the internet. The song became an international smash hit as it dominated music charts in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Liberia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and the United Kingdom, among others. It was listed as one of the best songs of 2013, despite the fact that it was released towards the end of the year and without a music video.
Alade has been featured on the covers of several magazines and performed around the world, sharing stages and songs with Mary J. Blige, Shina Peters, M.I, Wizkid, Becca, May D, Waje and Yemi Sax. She also headlined the Super Diva’s Nite at the 2013 Calabar Festival, and opened for the 2013 Headies Awards (popularly referred to as the “Nigerian Grammys”).
In 2014, Alade was featured on Yung6ix’s track “Lights”, as well as, on a remix of “Sebiwo” by Beninese afropop star Lace. Alade teamed up with award- winning cinematographer Clarence Peters to create a music video for “Johnny”, which was released in March 2014 to critical acclaim and had more than 32 million views on Youtube, as of December 2015.
Alade joined M.I, Waje, Timi Dakolo, and Burna Boy in singing the theme song for Port Harcourt, the UNESCO 2014 World Book Capital, as part of a project urging young people to read and stay in school. Shortly after that, Alade released a new single entitled “Tangerine”, featuring Selebobo; the critically acclaimed track charted across Africa. She appeared as a guest artist on Falz’s debut album.
She released her debut album, King of Queens, on October 2, 2014, and then went on tour. Yemi Alade then released her second studio album, titled “Mama Africa”, in March 2016.
She once occupied the red chair at The Voice Nigeria season two, a music talent show. Then, her presence was well-felt as she joined the trio of Timi Dakolo, Patoranking and Waje who reprise their roles as coaches, critique contestants’ performances and guide their teams of selected artistes through the remainder of the season whilst also competing to ensure that their act wins the competition.
“Yemi Alade is widely recognised as one of Nigeria’s biggest musical exports with incredible appeal across the continent and in other international markets. Not only is she an amazing vocalist, Yemi is also recognised for her energetic and entertaining performances on stage”, Wangi Mba-uzoukwu, who was then director, M-net West Africa, explained on why Alade joined The Voice Nigeria artistes coaching crew.
But she thinks her music is beginning to mature with more electrifying performances, exciting albums, collaborations, tours and concerts in the offing for her fans and the Nigerian vibrant music scene.
She urges fans to look out for more energy on the stage as she is ready to excite with her music.