By Rita Okoye
She is young and full of energy, ambitious and hard working too. Award winning singer, Yemi Alade has come a long way since she won Peak Talent Hunt Show in 2009. Only last year she wrote her name into history when she won Best African Female Act at MAMA 2016 and today, there is no doubt that she is one of the hottest Nigerian music acts. The half Yoruba and half Igbo babe in this interview talks about her past struggles, passion and marriage.
Last year was a fulfilling one for you as you got endorsed by many brands. Is the pressure getting to you?
No it isn’t. It is better to have so much to do than to be idle. And you know, one can’t get endorsed by similar brands at the same time. If after one or two years your contract expires, then, perhaps, a much more competitive brand would want to take over.
What project are you doing at the moment?
Well, I am still pushing my last album, Mama Africa. And I have dropped like four videos off the album. They include Mama Africa, Koffi, Nagode and Ferrari. And besides, I am working on more videos which would be released very soon.
Your last album was quite Afro-centric, what prompted that decision?
That was the focus. After all, the title is Mama Africa; it definitely had to be Afro-centric.
The music industry is dominated by male artistes, does that put pressure on you?
The pressure is there because I have to keep up with what my male counterparts are doing. It is also tough and challenging because in Africa, women are always looked down upon so there are a lot of physical and psychological issues that we tackle as African female artistes whether you are A-List or Z-list. Well, I have chosen to be on God’s list.
What is Yemi Alade’s staying power?
It is definitely God all the way day in day out. And also the team that doesn’t sleep. Shout out to Effizzy Music Group and of course, there is the passion because money can’t buy passion.
A while ago it was reported that you wore a dress worth N2.5M to an event, is that true?
(Laughs) Do you want to buy it from me? Well, you can check it out yourself., check the designer out. You don’t need to hear from me to confirm it. Just go online and see things for yourself.
Celebrities don’t usually wear the same dress twice. Do you intend wearing that gown ever again to any event considering the price?
Well, watch and see. That is all I can say for now; just watch and see.
Yemi Alade is among the top 10 most successful music stars in Nigeria. When is she getting married?
Well, whenever God decides.
So, in other words, you are still looking for your Johnny?
No! Not at all. He should be the one looking for me, I am tired of looking.
It is a popular trend that female celebrities date their male managers…
Male Manager nor be human being? The managers are there to take care of the career. But seriously, if I had a female manager would you be asking me all these?
Did you ever know you would come this far?
Well, I never knew but just the same, I am still a pencil in God’s hands; I am a moving train.
Could you share the journey of your humble beginning?
You know, music is a very intensive financial project. Omo, the hustle tough then oh. Money no dey to even use record the song wey you wan use blow. Then I would meet producers and beg them to help out. I would volunteer to buy fuel for the generator so that at least, they can help me do a song. You know that kain thing. However, I thank God for Effizy Music Group for believing in me and investing what they had in my career. Ever since I have been moving higher and higher.
Did you ever think of quitting?
I have a BSc in Geography so when things got pretty tough I told myself ‘if worse comes to worst, I will dust up my certificate and pick up a white collar job.’ I thought about that alternative several times. It was God and the passion that kept me going.