Highly talented songbird Yemi Eberechi Alade never stops catching our undivided attention since she won the maiden edition of the Peak Talent Hunt back in 2010 and she has shown no sign of slowing down ever since. Born to a Yoruba father by an Igbo mother, you can call her that ‘Igbo-Yoruba Girl’, armed with a slew of singles from “Fimisile’’ with Eldee the Don to “Ghen Ghen Love’’, “Birthday Song” to mention a few. Freshly back from a nationwide tour, locking down an interview with the delectable singer seems to be an herculean task but we eventually caught up with her and we journeyed through the mind of the sexy songbird as she talks about her music, what has kept her going and most importantly her forthcoming album. Excerpts:
How is it going down with Yemi Alade at the moment?
It’s been a wonderful year, have been working and at the same time learning since I began working with my new crew Effizzy Music Group, trying to keep up with the energy of their working style, and on their part keeping their pace with me. We have been busy touring the nation, recording and working with different producers on my forthcoming album. I tell you, these guys are bulldozers and I am happy to be working with them.
Tell us about your new song “Johnny’’
“Johnny” is a song I had the chance to record when I went on my nationwide tour to many places especially in the east where I never thought I had fans, I was surprised to see many people singing along to “Ghen Ghen Love” which I sang in Yoruba and the show of love by these fans was over-whelming, it was in that spirit that I hooked up with an Enugu State based producer Cele Bobo and we recorded “Johnny” and the feedback ever since has been massive. I have never had it so good in recent times like this; everybody is asking who “Johnny” is, in fact. I have changed my name on my blackberry phone to Mrs. Johnny (laughs out loud)!
Who is “Johnny” that you sang about?
“Johnny” is that bad guy out there who wants to date every girl next door, every beautiful woman he sets his eyes on. “Johnny” wants to date all the Yemi Alades and Tiwa Savages.
Tell us about your forthcoming album.
My team and I are working towards releasing an album in the next six months and we are trying to be very vibrant because I will be serving my fans different dishes on the same plate.
Which collaborations should we expect?
Have got loads of people that I have worked with and many that I am still going to work with but I would not like to let the cat out of the bag now, I will say everybody knows about the song I did with Eva but we are still working on others, we are also trying to nail an international act on the album.
What would you call your style of music?
I do Afro-pop and R & B. People always try to call me ‘our Nigerian Whitney Houston’, yes I do love her but my music is African but yet fresh and pleasing to the ears, I try to leave a trace of where am from in every song that I write, I make it clear in my music that this diva is a Nigerian.
You are beautiful and much loved by everybody, how have you been able to stay off scandals?
Scandals have no chance in Effizzy Music Group, me and my team try our best to stay busy; knowing that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
Who are your role models?
I love Beyonce for her stage craft, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston for their vocal prowess, Rihanna for her fashion sense and Nicki Minaj just because I think am related to her by blood (laughs out loud).
What does Yemi Alade stands for?
Yemi Alade stands for good music as well as African Women who believe they are beautiful, strong and fierce on the inside and outside.
Why do you think people say you are Nigerian Whitney Houston?
Well, maybe it’s because I love her so much, and may her soul rest in perfect peace. A lot of people have said I sound like her; probably because I listen to her songs a lot and they inspire me.
What’s your take on Artist/Record Label break-ups as its becoming a regular occurrence in the music industry?
I think it is a two-way thing, artistes should start seeing their recording contract agreement as a marriage, when your partner is not meeting up with certain things that you really need, you don’t just say “am walking out”. The parties involved should sit down and talk about their differences, our watchword should be “let us build and not break”. Instead of breaking up, that thing that the artist is looking for, you add it and build the dream except in a situation where there is no understanding at all. Record Labels on their part too should always try and make their artist happy instead of enslaving them.
Can we have a peep into your fashion sense, beauty regimen and accessories you can’t do without.
Fashion for me must be simple, edgy and classy, I have a simple beauty regimen, I eat fruits everyday and I don’t go to bed with make-up. I exfoliate my skin regularly and drink a lot of water too. As for accessories, I can’t do without stylish rings; I call it Gang star rings though, a neck-piece for ear-rings, I can go for as long as a year without them.
What’s your advice for Yemi Alade wannabes?
My advice to them is to try and be the best and only the best at what they do, put God first, stay consistent and patient and they should please follow me on twitter @yemialadee and let’s talk, tweet and laugh.