Yemi Alade

Yemi Alade
Yemi Alade 2018.jpg
Yemi Alade performing in Lagos, Nigeria 2018
Born
Yemi Eberechi Alade

(1989-03-13) 13 March 1989 (age 32)
Abia State, Nigeria
NationalityNigerian
CitizenshipShe's a native of Akoko in the northern part of Ondo State, Nigeria
Alma mater
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
TelevisionThe Voice Nigeria
Parent(s)Helen Uzoma
Musical career
BornAbia State, Nigeria
Genres
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2005–present
Labels
Associated acts
YouTube information
Channel
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2019

Updated: 15 June 2021
Websiteyemialadeofficial.com

Yemi Eberechi Alade (born on 13 March 1989), is a Nigerian Afropop singer, songwriter, actress and activist.[1] She won the Peak Talent Show in 2009 after which she signed to Effyzzie Music Group, and had a hit with her single "Johnny" in 2014.[2][3][4] Since then Yemi has gained prominence in the music industry and considered one of the biggest artistes in Africa.[5] Following the releases of her albums King of Queens and Mama Africa with huge commercial success recorded for both albums, this made her embark on world tours consecutively.

She won the MTV African Music Awards for Best female in 2015 and 2016 consecutively and was nominated for Artiste of the Year in 2015, making her the first female to win the MAMAs for Best female consecutively twice and nominated for Artiste of the Year. In 2015, Alade was the first Nigerian female to be nominated for the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) for Best African Act and was nominated for the BET awards for Best International Act: Africa in 2015 and 2016. Yemi is also applauded for her creative and overwhelming stage performances, fashion and music videos,[6][7][8][9] She has won The Headies Award for Best Performer twice, 2018 and 2019. The slot was initiated at The Headies 2018 and she was the first artiste to win the category.[10][11]

Alade sings in English, Igbo, Pidgin, Yoruba, French, Swahili and Portuguese. Her music has been of influence in many African countries and the world as she is acclaimed "Mama Africa" for her versatility in using different African languages and attires in her songs and music videos.[12] Alade's father was a police commissioner of Yoruba descent, while her mother is of Igbo descent.[13][14]

On 9 June 2020, Alade was mentioned to be among the forefront artists/musicians from across the world to perform at The Global Goal: Unite for our future sponsored by the Global Citizen aimed to highlight the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic especially in the most remote places in Africa and across the world.[15] On 27 June 2020, Yemi Alade performed in the Global Goal: Unite for Our future alongside Miley Cyrus, Shakira, J Balvin, Jennifer Hudson, Coldplay, Usher, Justin Bieber, Quavo, Christine and the Queens and Chloe X Halle.[16][17]

Early life

Alade was raised in a multi-tribal home from Nigeria, Her father James Alade was a commissioner of police from Ondo State, Nigeria while her mother Helen Uzoma is a native of Abia State, Nigeria. According to Yemi, She taps from the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities of her parents. Alade attended secondary School at Victory Grammar School, Ikeja, and the University of Lagos, (both in Lagos, Nigeria) [13][18]

220px Yemi Alade performing on the maiden edition of Peak Talent Show in 2009
Yemi Alade performing in the Peak Talent Show, 2009

During her university education Alade took part in a TV talent show called Peak Talent Show where she emerged winner. That was Alade's debut appearance on TV and where she gained popularity. She was then signed to Effyzzie Music Group.

Music career

2014–2016: King of Queens and Mama Africa

Alade's debut studio album King of Queens was released on 2 October 2014. Alade collaborated with producers such as Selebobo, Sizzle Pro, Shady Bizniz, Philkeyz, Young D, GospelOnDeBeatz, DIL, OJB 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 Bovi, R2Bees, Phyno, Chidinma, DIL, Selebobo and Diamond Platnumz.[19] Alade promoted the album by touring several African countries, including Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.[20] 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.[21] According to the music platform A Nation of Billions, King of Queens sold over 100,000 copies.[22]

220px Yemi Alade Mama Africa %28album%29 listening party
Yemi Alade and Runtown at the Mama Africa (album) listening party, London

Alade's second studio album Mama Africa was released on 25 March 2016.[23] Alade disclosed its title was Mama Africa and said it would focus on the strengths and weaknesses of an African woman.[23] The album combines elements of Afropop, highlife, R&B, coupé-décalé, hip-hop and pop.[24][25] Alade said recording the album was a struggle because she was constantly traveling to different countries everyday.[25] She also said she recorded the album to "capture all of Africa in one CD".[25] Alade told The Fader magazine she collaborated with artists from West Africa, East Africa and South Africa.[25] She enlisted GospelOnDeBeatz, DJ Coublon, Selebobo, Philkeyz, BeatsByEmzo, Masterkraft, Rotimi Keys and Mr. Chidoo to produce the album.[26] Mama Africa features guest appearances from P-Square, Sarkodie, Sauti Sol, Flavour N'abania, Rotimi Keys, DJ Arafat and Selebobo.[26] It was made available for pre-order on iTunes a week before its official release.[27] Alade announced that proceeds from the sale of the album will go to the Feed a Child charity initiative.[26] The album's deluxe edition was released on 6 April 2016, and features collaborations with South African musicians Bucie and AKA.[28] Mama Africa charted in Germany, Malaysia and France.[29]

2017–2019: Black Magic, Woman of Steel, Universal Music and Endorsements

Alade's third studio album Black Magic was released on 15 December 2017.[30] A follow-up to her 2017 EP Mama Afrique, the album features guest appearances from Falz and Olamide.[31] Black Magic was made available for pre-order in November 2017.[32] Prior to disclosing the album's title, Alade posted the acronym BM on social media and wanted her fans to guess its meaning.[32] The album was produced by DJ Coublon, Vtek, Sarz, Krizbeatz, Young D, Sess, Fliptyce, IAmBeat, Philkeyz, 2Kriss and Echo.[33] It was supported by the previously released singles "Knack Am", "Single & Searching" and "Heart Robber". The album received generally negative reviews from music critics, who panned its lyrics and Alade's songwriting.[34][35] Prior to that, On 9 May 2017, Alade was announced as a coach in the second edition of The Voice Nigeria to replace 2baba who was a former coach on the live show. She coached on The Voice Nigeria (Season 2) alongside other Nigerian artists like Waje, Timi Dakolo and Patoranking.[36]

On 1 December 2017, Alade was featured on a campaign "Make The Future" by Shell Oil Company in Nigeria. She was also starred in the company's music video "On Top of the World" which also featured Jennifer Hudson, Pixie Lott, Luan Santana and Monali Thakur.[37]

In July 2019, Alade became the first African female artist to reach one million subscribers on YouTube.[38] Her song "Johnny" currently holds the YouTube record for the most watched African Female music video of all time.[39] 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 Tekno. Rolling Stone magazine revealed that Alade also recorded a verse for an earlier version of "My Power" in June.[40]

220px Yemi Alade in Sydney 2019
Yemi Alade performing in Sydney during her Woman of Steel tour
Woman of Steel is all about drawing the inner strength that you have in you and being the superhero that you've always needed and part of being as hard as actual iron, is breaking free from the confines of having to be exceptionally "tough" all the time and feeling free to tap into womanly instincts. It's about finding power in various expressions of womanhood: hard, soft, or otherwise. "There are important, delicate things that we need in this world," she says. "We need all the things to be who we are. I don't think the world should be trying to tell us, we're too emotional, or too this or, we're too that. No, we are exactly what the world needs.

Yemi Alade speaks to Okay Africa [41]

Alade released her fourth studio album Woman of Steel on 30 August 2019. Alade describes the album as a "buffet with different kinds of meals and drinks".[42] She named the album Woman of Steel to reflect her tough veneer to command the same degree of respect as her male counterparts.[41] Moreover, she derived the title after coming to the realization that she is her own superhero.[43] Musically, Woman of Steel is an Afrobeat record that incorporates elements of R&B and highlife.[44][45] The album primarily explores topics such as love, socio-politics and poverty.[44] Alade spent three years recording the album and said it would be released on 30 August 2019.[42] The album's cover art features Alade wearing a headcap inspired by the Nefertiti Bust artwork.[46] Artists featured on Woman of Steel include Rick Ross, Duncan Mighty, Angélique Kidjo and Funke Akindele.[47] In an interview with The Star newspaper, Alade sang some of the songs that made the album were recorded the previous year while others were recorded in August.[42]

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.[48]

Over the years, Alade received multiple ambassadorial contracts and partnerships from different brands both locally and internationally. She was endorsed by brands like Luc Belaire, Glo, Maybelline, Shell and many more[49][50]

2020: Black Is King and Empress

On 16 January 2020, Alade was announced the new brand ambassador for Hollandia Yoghurt.[51]

Yemi Alade starred on Beyoncé's Black Is King visual trailer and was announced to be featured in the movie set to be released and premiered on Disney+ on 31 July 2020, then premiered for African countries on DStv Mnet on 1 August 2020 [52]

On 25 August 2020, Alade was announced to be among the coaches participating in The Voice Nigeria Season 3 alongside Waje, Darey and Falz,[53] Alade is also one of the returning coaches from The Voice Nigeria (Season 2) alongside Waje[54]

On 17 November 2020, Alade announced the release of her fifth studio album titled Empress. She released the tracklist and the cover art of the album and slated that it would be released on 20 November 2020. The tracklist of the album contains 15 tracks and it features guest appearances and collaborations from the Grammy award winning Estelle, Vegedream, Patoranking, Rudeboy, Mzansi Youth Choir and Dadju.[55] She also enlisted Vtek, Phil Keyz, Egar Boi, Dr. Amir Krizbeatz, IamBeatz, Youp Boelen, Jimmy Huru and Yung Felix as producers of the album. The guitarists she likewise enlisted are Fiokee and Max Meurs.[56]

Advocacy

Yemi Alade has engaged in advocacy programs over the years of her music career.

On 7 November 2018, Alade visited her secondary school Victory Grammar School, Ikeja which she also engaged in charity work. She helped the students who had difficulty in eyesight with equipment to help them see clearly. She engaged into this through her foundation (Helen and James Pathway Foundation).[57][58]

220px Yemi Alade performs at the Nairobi Summit 2019
Yemi Alade performs at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, 2019

On 15 November 2019, Alade was featured on The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 for the movement A Global Call to Action for handicapped children in Kenya. She performed alongside Chawki [59]

Coronavirus advocacy 2020

In 2020, Alade joined the United Nations Development Programme to speak for protection and aiding of poor people across Africa affected by the corona virus pandemic.[1] She also was featured in the campaign Unite for the Future by Global Citizen[16] In partnership with Nelson Mandela Foundation and MTV Base, Alade joined One Campaign on a movement Stand Together against Covid-19 She was featured on the campaign song "Stand Together" which collaborated with other African artistes like 2Baba, Ahmed Soultan, Ben Pol, Teni, Amanda Black, Stanley Enow, Gigi La Mayne, Prodigio and Betty G [60]

On 23 September 2020, Yemi Alade was appointed a Goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by the organization's administrator Achim Steiner. She pledged with the UNDP that her focuses on Sustainable Development Goals would be on inequality, empowering women and creating awareness for the impact of global climate change.[61][62]

Tours

Yemi Alade has gone on four world tours following her studio albums:

220px Yemi Alade performing for 50%2C000 fans in Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium%2C Dar es Salaam%2C Tanzania
Yemi Alade performing for 50,000 fans in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
  • King of Queens Tour
  • Mama Africa Tour[63][64]
  • Black Magic Tour[65]
  • Woman of Steel Tour[66]

Discography

Albums

Title Details
King of Queens
Mama Africa
  • Released: 25 March 2016
  • Label: Effyzzie Music Group
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Black Magic
  • Released: 15 December 2017
  • Label: Effyzzie Music Group
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Woman of Steel
  • Released: 30 August 2019
  • Label: Effyzzie Music Group, Universal
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Empress
  • Released: 20 November 2020
  • Label: Effyzzie Music Group
  • Formats: Digital download, CD

Extended plays

Title Details
Mama Afrique
  • Released: 30 June 2017
  • Label: Effyzzie Music Group
  • Formats: Digital download

Selected singles

Title Year Album
"Fimisile" 2009 Non-album single
"Ghen Ghen Love" 2013
"Johnny" King of Queens
"Tangerine" 2014
"Kissing"
"Taking Over Me" 2015
"Temperature"
"Duro Timi"
"Na Gode" Mama Africa
"Do as I Do"
"Ferrari" 2016
"Kom Kom"
(featuring Flavour)
"Africa"
(featuring Sauti Sol)
"Tumbum"
"Knack Am" 2017 Black Magic
"Single and Searching"
"Heart Robber"
"Bum Bum" 2018
"Kpirim"
"Oh My Gosh" Non-album single
"Oga"
"How I Feel"
"Bounce" 2019
"Home" Woman of Steel
"Give Dem"
"Vibe"
"Shake"(featuring Duncan Mighty)
"Remind You" 2020
"Shekere"
(featuring Angélique Kidjo)
"Boyz" 2020 Empress
"True Love"
"I choose You" (featuring Dadju)

Promotional singles

Title Year Album
"Classic Girl Freestyle"
(Jidenna's "Classic Man" cover)
2015 Non-album single
"Koffi Anan (Freestyle)"[67] 2016
"Want You"
"Get Through This"
(featuring Mi Casa)
2017
"Issokay" 2018
"How I Feel"
"Number One"
"Open Close"
"Oh My Gosh"
"Bounce" 2019

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Director Ref
2019 Home (The Movie) Nneka Clarence Peters [68][69]
2020 Black Is King Yemi Alade Beyoncé [52]
2020 Omo Ghetto: The Saga Mogambo Funke Akindele-Bello [70]

Television

Year Title Role Notes Ref
2017 The Voice Nigeria Coach Replaced 2baba a coach from season 1 [36]
2020 Returns as coach for season 3 [54]

Awards and nominations

AFRIMA Awards (All Africa Music Awards)

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2015 "Kissing" Best Female Artiste in Western Africa Won
2018 "Herself" Best Female Artiste Won
2019 "Oh My Gosh" Best Female Artiste in Western Africa Nominated

AFRIMMA Awards (African Muzik Magazine Awards)

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020 Herself Best Female Western Africa Nominated
2020 Herself Best Live Act Nominated
2019 Herself Artiste of the Year Nominated
2019 Herself Best Live Act Nominated
2018 "Oh My Gosh" Best Female Western Africa Won

MTV African Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2015 Herself Best Female [71] Won
2016 Herself Best Female [72] Won
2016 Herself Artiste of the Year Nominated

MTV Europe Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2015 Herself Best African Act Nominated

Soundcity MVP Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020 Herself Best Female Nominated
2020 Herself African Artiste of the Year Nominated
2020 Herself Digital Artiste of the Year Nominated
2019 Herself Best Female Nominated
2019 Herself Best Pop Nominated
2019 Herself Digital Artiste of the Year Nominated
2019 Herself African Artiste of the Year Nominated
2018 Herself Best Female Nominated
2018 Herself Best Pop Nominated
2018 Herself Digital Artiste of the Year Nominated
2018 Herself African Artiste of the Year Nominated
2017 Herself Best Female Nominated
2017 Herself Digital Artiste of the Year Nominated
2016 Herself Best Female Won
2016 Herself Best Pop Nominated
2016 Herself African Artiste of the Year Nominated

Independent Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2016 Mama Africa Best Album-World Beat Won

BET Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2015 Herself Best International Act: Africa [73] Nominated
2016 Herself Best International Act Nominated


Nigeria Entertainment Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2014 Herself Female Artist of the Year[74] Nominated
2015 Herself Female artiste of the year Won

City People Entertainment Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2014 Herself Female Musician of the Year[75] Nominated

MOBO Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2014 Herself Best African Act[76] Nominated

YEM Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2012 Herself Female Artiste of the Year[77] Nominated

ELOY Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2013 Herself Most Promising Female[78] Nominated

WatsUp TV Africa Music Video Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref
2016 Want You African Video of the Year Nominated [79]
Best African Female Video Nominated [80]
Best West African Video Nominated [81]
Best Afro Pop Video Nominated [82]
Best African Dance Video Nominated [83]
Ferrari Best African Traditional Video Nominated [84]

The Headies

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2019 Herself Best Performer Won
2018 Won
2017 Best Performer Won
2016 Herself Artiste of the Year Nominated
2015 Herself Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year Won
2015 "Duro Timi" Best Vocal Performance (Female) Nominated
2015 Herself Artiste of the Year Nominated
2015 King of Queens Album of the Year Nominated
2015 King of Queens Best R&B/Pop Album Nominated

External Link

See also

References

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