Written by Clement Oluwasegun
Nigerian singer, Yemi Alade who just released her EP entitled: ‘Mama Afrique’ is of the opinion that “the fans deserves more.” She made this known in a recent interview. Check out the full interview below:
Q: You have indeed conquered Africa and captured the world with your music. How do you feel?
A: “I feel like the way I felt when I just started my musical journey, if not more pressured to do more. The work load and rate has increased drastically; it is more exhausting and tougher than before but nonetheless, I am extremely grateful for the journey thus far. African music is capturing the world, I am part of it and it is an exciting time to be doing music.”
Q: You are currently on tour in the UK and US. Tell us about it.
A: Yes I am! This is the Mama Africa/King of Queens World Tour, in support of my two studio albums. The first leg kicked of at the Le Trianon, Paris and we take the United States this June. I would be visiting numerous cities across the globe with my band and dancers and be giving a piece of me at each stop. I am ecstatic about this tour and I am urging everyone to come out, because it is going to be historic. My musical director, choreographers, the entire production team and I are leaving nothing unchecked. The first show of the U.S leg kicks off on the 30th of June in Los Angeles and it goes on like that till August.
Q: Your EP drops today. What experience did you seek to create for your fan’s listening?
A: The Mama Afrique Extended Play (EP) is a continuation of the Mama Africa album. So, the continental pop music in the LP should be expected, as well as lingual twists, soaring ballads and more.
Q: Challenges while recording the body of work?
A: Finding time to record, in between concerts, shoots, travelling, media appearances and more was a huge challenge. It is a constant struggle.
Q: Any particular favourite song on the EP?
A: Nakupenda is a favourite, but I love every song on the EP. The fans love ‘Gucci Ferragamo’, ‘Want You’, yet ‘Charlee’ is causing a major uproar.”
Q: You are currently shooting 12 videos for all songs on the EP. What is the rationale behind this?
A: The fans! They deserve more!”
Q: You are also on the Voice Nigeria as a coach/judge. What experience has this created for you?
A: It is a experience I would not trade. I won talent show years back, and it is safe to say that platform launched my musical career, so coaching talents and helping them do the same is a dream come true. The level of talent and voices I have been privileged to work with on the show is very high and it a good thing. Nigeria has so many great voices that deserve to heard.
Q: You are an energetic performer who would rather do live band than perform to CDs. Is this to prove that you are, indeed a better and all rounded artiste?
A: Performing live is the proper and normal thing for artistes to do. International artistes do this, it is not to prove anything, it is just to give fans the best. They pay to come and get a performance, if they wanted to listen to my CD, they might as well stream or buy the music and listen to it in the comfort of their homes. When people dress up and pay to come watch you, be respectful and try to put out a good outing by all means necessary. I agree there are some scenarios that you have no other option than to perform without a band, if they arise, artistes should either decline to perform or perform over a performance track, not over the actual song. The world is watching Africa, so we must arise to the occasion.
Q: You were involved in a Shell project recently. Tell us about it.
A: The Shell project was a global one tagged #MakeTheFuture. Different artistes were selected to represent different continents and I was picked for Africa, so I worked with Jennifer Hudson, Steve Aoki, Pixie Lott, Tan WeiWei and Luan Santana on a theme song “Best Day of My Life”.
The campaign aims to inspire youths and entrepreneurs for bright energy ideas that can help in the global quest for more and cleaner energy.
Q: As an artiste as experienced as you are, what limitations would you say hamper the Nigerian entertainment industry as a whole today?
A: Structure is a major limitation, if a solid structure is put in place, many other things would fall in line.
Q: After this EP, what is next for you?
A: To keep touring and a third studio album hopefully!
Q: Tell us something not many know about you?
A: “I am a fantastic cook.”
Q: What is the inspiration behind your hair styles?
A: The essence of the African woman basically.
Q: Is Yemi Alade single and what qualities would your ideal man possess?
A: No, I am married to music. Haha, but my ideal man must be God fearing, among other things.
Q: Most prized bodily asset?
A: Hmm, My voice, my eyes, my mouth. I love my full body abeg!