Yemi Alade has taken the Afro pop music scene by storm with her uptempo, fresh hits and unique brand of sass. Born in Abia State, Nigeria in 1989, Alade draws upon her Yoruba and Igbo roots to create songs that reflect her heritage, while still appealing to the masses. She is often affectionately referred to as a “Yoruba-Igbo girl” because of her heritage. She comes from a family of seven children and is the daughter of a former police commissioner. Before beginning her music career, she earned her degree in geography from the University of Lagos.
Gifted with musical abilities from an early age, Alade was asked to join her church’s adult choir at the age of 12. She also entered many singing and dancing competitions in her youth, which helped her prepare for her career in the spotlight. Her earliest musical influences include Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey. After joining the all-girl pop group Noty Spices in 2005, Alade’s first big break as a solo performer came when she won the Peak Talent Show in 2009. This win prompted her to release her first single, “Fimisile.” She eventually signed with the label Effyzzie Music Group in 2012.
Yemi Alade scored her biggest hit to date with the release of “Johnny,” which is a single from her 2014 album King of Queens. The song explores themes of cheating and revenge in a rather humorous fashion. The video for the song has earned over 52 million views on YouTube. Since then, she has gone on to release other hit singles like “Na Gode” and “Classical Freestyle Girl.” Her second studio album, Mama Africa, was released in March of 2016 and has received mostly positive reviews with singles including “Do as I Do” and “Ferrari.”
In addition to her solo success, Alade has gone on to collaborate with acclaimed superstars like Mary J. Blige, Wizkid, and Yemi Sax. She was a featured performer at the Calabar Festival’s Super Diva’s Nite in 2013. That same year, Alade was the opening act during the Headies Awards ceremony, which is often considered to be the Grammy Awards of Nigeria.
With all of her success, Alade still finds time to help others in need through her philanthropic efforts. A percentage of the proceeds from her Mama Africa album go to benefit the #FeedAChild project to support orphanages in Africa.