Singer Yemi Alade was recently named brand ambassador for the social digital wallet, Nairabox.
In this exclusive interview with Kemi Filani Blog, she talks about the new deal, her controversial N2.5million dress to the BET awards and more. Enjoy!
You were recently made Nairabox Ambassador, how do you feel about it?
I'm happy. Being a Nairabox Ambassador doesn't hurt anybody, so why would I say no. It's a cool trend. I like to be part of trend setting people, so that's one of the reasons I accepted the deal.
As an Ambassador of that brand, what should your fans expect from you?
I'm part of Nairabox and there's an interesting part of it that connects with my music.
Nairabox users get to know about and listen to some of my new songs before any other people.
Yemi Alade has been endorsed by made brands, does it often get to you, making you feel it's becoming too much work?
No oh! It doesn't! It's better to have so much to do than to be idle. And you know one can't get endorsed by two similar brands as same time. If after one or two years, your contract expires, then perhaps a competitive brand would want to take over.
What are you doing at the moment?
Well, i'm still pushing my last album, Mama Africa. And I have dropped like four videos off the album. I have done a videos for Africa, Koffi, Nagode, Ferrari.
Besides that, i'm working on more videos to come out very soon.
Your last album was more of Afrocentric, what prompted that decision?
Yes! That was the focus. After all, the title is Mama Africa. It had to be Afrocentric.
Nigeria music industry is majorly dominated by the male artistes, and only few females are at the top, does that put pressure on you?
The pressure is there because I have to keep up with what my male counterparts are doing. It's also tough and challenging because in African the women are always looked down upon. So there's a lot of physical and psychological issues that we tackle as an African female artiste, whether you are A' List or Z list. Well, I have chosen to on God's list.
What's Yemi Alade's staying power?
It's definitely God all the way; day in, day out. And also the team that doesn't sleep. Shout out to Effizy music group. Then the passion, because money can't buy passion.
Would we say the passion for music brought you this far, or just because you started with Peak talent show?
Talent is given by God by Peak talent show is definitely the right step in the right direction. It was my first professional step physically.
How do you feel attending BET awards for years, back to back, yet you haven't won any of the trophies?
BET is a big award ceremony and African categories had just 6. We all know that in Nigeria alone, we have over 15 popular artistes that are doing well- both male and female.
Then in the whole Africa, I was picked amongst the first 6 in three different categories- year after year.
Which means that i'm doing something very good. I didn't come back dry. I was next to Beyonce and her likes.
Did you really buy that gown you wore to BET for N2.5M?
(laughs) Do you want to buy it from me? Well, you can check it out yourself. Check the designer out. You don't need to hear from me to confirm it. Just go online and see things for yourself.
|Yemi in the N2.5million dress|
We know celebrities don't usually put on same dress after wearing it to an occasion, do you intend wearing that gown ever again to any event?
(laughs) Well, watch and see. That's all I can say, just watch and see.
Yemi Alade is amongst the top ten successful music stars in Nigeria, she has been endorsed by different brands, but when is she getting married?
Well, whenever it's God's time.
So, in other words, you are still looking for your Johnny?
No! Not at all. He should be the one looking for me, i'm tired of looking.
You have remained with this African hairstyles, would ever try another style, like Brazilian hairs and the likes?
The truth of the matter is; fixing of hairs is not normal. The normal ones are African hairstyles.
You have maintained a clean slate in the entertainment industry filled with controversy, how have you been making it happen?
I'm just being myself and not going about looking for someone's trouble.
It has become a trend for some female celebrities to date their male managers, and you have been listed to be a part of this, what's your take on that?
Male Managers no be human being? The managers are there to take care of the careers. But seriously, if I had a female manager would you be asking me all these?
What are your expectations for the rest part of the year?
Well, I pray for peace, and every lover of my music in all their endeavors. Then expect more musical surprises from me.
Did you ever know you'd come this far?
Well, I never knew but all the same, i'm still a pencil in God's hands. I'm a moving train.
Can you share the journey of your humble beginning?
Well, my challenges can't define another man's own. You know music is a very intensive financial project. Omo the hustle tough then oh. Money no dey to even use record the song wey you wan use blow.
Then I'd meet with producers, beg them to help out. I'd volunteer to buy fuel for the Generator so that at least they can help me do a song. You know that kain thing.
However, I thank God for Effizy music group for believing in me and investing what they had in my career. Since then, it has been higher and higher.
Did those challenges of then, get to you so bad that you almost thought of quitting?
I have a BSc in geography, so I told myself, if worse comes to worst, I dust up my certificate and pick up a white collar job. I thought about that alternative several times.
So what actually kept you going then?
God! Then the passion! They kept me going higher and brought me to where I'm today.