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Yemi Alade Talks About Music Diversity, “Mama Africa”, Grammys

Yemi Alade
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Yemi Alade is currently regarded as Africa’s queen, with two albums to her name, a string of international releases, and performances across the continent.

She recently did release her sophomore album “Mama Africa”, which contains the songs ‘Ferarri’, and ‘Nagode’, with the deluxe edition already out.

Yemi visited Pulse Nigeria for an interview on the album, her career, and also broader subjects regarding the concept of competition among female artistes in the Nigerian music industry, and many more.

below are excerpts from the interview.

On her switch in style after ‘Johnny’: “Yes I agree that there was a switch from before ‘Johnny’ to that point in time after I released ‘Johnny’, But it wasn’t intentional…We didn’t see it coming, we didn’t plan it. It all started from the hairstyle, then it transcened into the attire, and it manifested itself in my delivery and attitude on-screen.”

On the concept of Nigeria having a throne for female musicians: There are several thrones. If there are thrones for guys, then there are thrones for females. But sincerely, there is only a galaxy of stars. There’s really no throne…he throne belongs to whoever is your favorite at that time.

On her music lacking diversity: People have the right to their opinions, and I definitely know that I’m in an industry where everybody wants their opinion to be heard. The least I can do is sometimes listen, and sometimes do me. If I had been listening all the time, I don’t think I would even get half way to where I am now. I probably would have quit music a long time ago. Because you even have lizards that have opinions too. If you ask the Lizard next door, the lizard would want to talk. You can’t understand their language, but they want to talk. So opinions are opinions, that’s all.

On Making ‘Grammy’ Music: A lot of people ask me “When are we going to go to the Grammys?…”Will you start making Grammy music?”

I ask them, ‘Did Justin Bieber have to change his sound to African music for you people to put it on your playlist? Mba (no). The Miriam Makeba and Angelique Kidjo that we are all referring to, if we listen to their music, it’s just about very African. It’s because they are African, that’s why they are special where they are outside the country…

You cannot lose yourself trying to find what you don’t have. I’m definitely the kind of person that doesn’t like to be in the box, so I don’t say no to any genre of music. I’m just going to go with the flow, and definitely be God’s grace we just will get the Grammy. But I’m trying to be an example of any other person by myself.

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