Yemi Alade’s bright chance at bringing home BET award for the Best International Act Africa got dimmed recently as she lost it to a Ghanaian singer. Despite that, she tells ORUKPE NELSON in this interview that her career would still blossom
How would you describe the music industry in Nigeria since your debut?
It’s been very entertaining, very endearing, very challenging sometimes and it’s full of a lot of opportunities, and I am happy that somehow I have been able to, let’s say find my sound and for my sound to be accepted, that’s a huge deal for me, a very big deal.
Music has been described as a spiritual form of communication; what’s your take on that?
That’s a very big yes. Isn’t it crazy enough for one man or woman to go into the studio and record a song, you put it out there and millions of people are relating to it? Some people start crying at the sound of the song and some people make it their favourite displacing their old favourites. All of a sudden when they listen to the song a tough decision becomes very clear to them, you know. I believe it is very spiritual.
How do you feel losing BET Awards especially when expectation had grown remarkably?
I feel great. I want to thank the people that were rooting for me and the fans on social media and off social media; they are the award plaque I need.
Were you ever scared you might lose to someone else?
The BET Awards or any other award is not an entitlement, I was not scared, I am never scared. We are all winners, being nominated alone means you are a winner, I try to pick the positive out of any situation and move on quickly.
Your new works are enjoying massive rotation on air as usual, let’s talk about this.
It is God. I just released a music video for Pose which features Mugeez of R2Bees off my debut album King of Queens. The video is doing well as usual; the album has produced many hit singles and bagged numerous awards and nominations. It is the God factor and hard-work, you do not get to the top by chilling and having drinks; God blesses the fruits of our labour. Fans should also expect new music soonest.
Your latest album is entitled King of Queens; what inspired this title?
King of Queens is an album that focuses on empowering those who might be going through troubled times, it is also an album that focuses on just giving; giving the listener’s strength – it is an empowering album encouraging people who are settling for less to up their game and go for the best, and also stating the fact that gender should never be a restriction in whatever choice of career that one chooses.
Did you also grow up in the barracks like most children who had a parent in the police?
No, I did not grow up in the barracks mostly, but we moved around a lot due to my father being a commissioner of police at the time. Changing of schools, neighbours and all that happened back then. (When asked about what memories, she holds of her dad who died earlier in the year, the songstress wouldn’t budge, so we moved on).
You were quoted to have said you wouldn’t mind dating Phyno; do you have a crush on him?
(Chuckling) It was a fan’s request and I as the “Mama Tangerine” would not mind making the wishes of the fans come true. Phyno is a very good looking and talented gentleman nonetheless.
You both seem good together especially with regard to your approach to music; would you marry him if he appears serious about it?
If Phyno and I were dating; in love and serious, marriage is a very possible reality. Music is an art and we are both on the same page regarding that, so we treat the music with great respect to ensure that the world gets the best.
Some say you’ve successfully filled the shoes of late Goldie Harvey; do you find such comments flattering?
May her golden soul rest in peace. It is flattering that people compare me to a super strong woman, a warrior that stood for what she believed in, a rebel and an icon.
Where are you taking music? You’ve been so unstoppable lately.
I am taking my music out of this planet earth if possible. Thankfully, my music has travelled across the globe; there are videos online from fans in Russia, Netherlands, and Sweden to name a few. I look unstoppable because of God; God blesses not man, not forgetting my hardworking team and record label. When you have people who believe in you, behind you impossibility is nothing.
Understandably most works of burgeoning artists like you often tend to be experimental, but on the contrary, Johnny seems excitingly detailed. Does that say anything about the subject you chose to sing about?
Everybody has a Johnny in their life at a point in time, or must have experienced a similar situation. But the thing is that even though I mentioned only three names in the song, in my own case, it’s a book full of names.
You performed at the APC convention, is that an indication you’re a member of the party?
My job is to entertain, I love entertainment. It’s what I do for a living. In a country like ours where we have so many gifted artists, when I am called upon to render services, I would render. Fortunately and unfortunately, there are assumptions that I am aligning with APC. I am not a person of political party or parties; I go with what I do. It has nothing to do with APC or any other party. I have not pledged allegiance to any particular party and I probably never will.