The World according to Yemi Alade

Written by on April 12, 2020

 Yemi Alade is a Nigerian Afropop singer and songwriter. She gained prominence after winning the Peak Talent Show in 2009, and is best known for her hit single “Johnny“.[1][2][3]

Yemi Eberechi Alade was born in Abia State, Nigeria, to James Alade and Helen Uzoma. Her father is a police commissioner of Yoruba descent while her mother is of Igbo descent, resulting in her being referred to as the Yoruba-Igbo girl. A native of Ondo State, South West, Nigeria, Alade is the fifth born of seven children in her family. She went to St. Savior British Primary School and later attended Victory Grammar School in Lagos. Alade studied geography at the University of Lagos.[4]

Alade’s debut studio album King of Queens was released on October 2, 2014. Alade collaborated with producers such as Selebobo, Sizzle Pro, Shady Bizniz, Philkeyz, Young D, GospelOnDeBeatz, DILOJB Jezreel, Mr Chidoo, Fliptyce, EL Mcee and Beat Nation. The album was preceded by the singles “Johnny“, “Tangerine” and “Kissing”. It features guest appearances and skits from BoviR2BeesPhynoChidinma, DIL, Selebobo and Diamond Platnumz.[5] Alade promoted the album by touring several African countries, including Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.[6] The album’s deluxe edition was released in November 2014; it contains French versions of songs originally performed in English. The cover art for the deluxe edition was unveiled on 21 October 2014.[7] According to the music platform A Nation of Billions, King of Queens sold over 100,000 copies.[8]

Alade became the first African female artist to reach one million subscribers on YouTube.[22] Her song “Johnny” currently holds the YouTube record for the most watched African Female music video of all time.[23] Alade was featured on “Don’t Jealous Me”, a track from Beyoncé‘s soundtrack album The Lion King: The Gift. She appeared on the track alongside Mr Eazi and TeknoRolling Stone magazine revealed that Alade also recorded a verse for an earlier version of “My Power” in June.[24]

Alade released her fourth studio album Woman of Steel on August 30, 2019. Alade describes the album as a “buffet with different kinds of meals and drinks”.[25] She named the album Woman of Steel to reflect her tough veneer to command the same degree of respect as her male counterparts.[26] Moreover, she derived the title after coming to the realization that she is her own superhero.[27] Musically, Woman of Steel is an Afrobeats record that incorporates elements of R&B and highlife.[28][29] The album primarily explores topics such as love, socio-politics and poverty.[28] Alade spent three years recording the album and said it would be released on August 30, 2019.[25] The album’s cover art features Alade wearing a headcap inspired by the Nefertiti Bust artwork.[30] Artists featured on Woman of Steel include Rick RossDuncan MightyAngélique Kidjo and Funke Akindele.[31] In an interview with The Star newspaper, Alade said some of the songs that made the album were recorded the previous year while others were recorded in August.[25]

In September 2019, Alade signed a multi-year licensing deal with Universal Music Africa (UMA) and UMG France. UMA will serve as the exclusive worldwide record partner for Alade while UMG France will serve as the international rollout partner for all of her releases under the label.[32]

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