Yemi Alade is a star. A hardworking lady with lofty levels of energy and passion that seeps into her work. You could hear it in the tone of her voice as she rides a beat, rocking it from just a tune, to its climax as a song. It is present in her branding, as the bright colours creates a cynosure that teases the senses. Her performances are high-octane affairs, a nexus of supple feminine offering and scintillating art.
It is that passion that has formed the foundation and fuel for all that she has achieved, as she has created far more than expected, and risen through the ranks of the industry to pole position. 27 years old, two albums, approximately 70 million views on YouTube, and a continental fan base, Yemi Alade is one of Nigeria's biggest music stars and one of the most successful.
In all of her resurgence which started from 2014, there’s something fundamentally absent from the singer’s brand. She works hard, thinks hard, and executes hard, and has evolved into more than a musician – she’s gone into fashion, one of her interests. In November 2015, Yemi Alade launched her jewelry collection under the Bland2Glam platform in elaborate ceremony that had Florence Ita-Giwa in attendance. The price of jewelries in Yemi Alade's collection ranges from N5,000-N30,000. In June, the pop star launched the first ever collection from her House of Tangerine brand at the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2016. She was also the ambassador for the 2016 Africa Fashion Week Nigeria. Clearly, Yemi Alade is diversifying her portfolio. In February 2016 she announced that she would also be releasing a shoe line.
But music has been her essence, and it is on its waves that she relies on her primary form of identity and relevance. This year, the singer already has an album to her credit. Her sophomore project, “Mama Africa”, is barely four months old, with a heavy reliance on Afrocentric turns. Of all the songs from the EP, Yemi is yet to enjoy a true hit song in Nigeria from her album. Popular? Yes the press is good. But hits? Not exactly. Although the album had 6 videos.
But now, Mama Africa is not the focus. The singer appears to be done with the album and its marketing which has taken her deep into her Afrocentric branding. Her new single, ‘Want You’, is far from the theme of that album, and by extension, the very opposite of what she has been building in the past three years.
‘Want You’ is a fusion of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and Afro-Caribbean music, the sounds that are better appreciated far from the shores of the country. The new song will be right at home in the whelming pot of influences – London – and also the capitals of Europe, and the US clubs.