Yemi Alade was in Kenya recently during the recording of the popular show Coke Studio.
In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, the singer confessed that she can’t get enough of local delicacies such as pilau and how she’d love to learn how to barbecue nyama choma.
1. What happened to the girl group you once belonged to, Naughty Spice? – When I was in high school we formed a group of four girls called Naughty Spice and I was called Ginger Spice. Unfortunately, the group had to break after we were all admitted to different universities. It gave me the push to the right direction of where I wanted to go. One of the girls in the group is the one who went and lined up and filled a form for me to go and compete in a local talent competition which I won.
It became evident that I had to do music because if it wasn’t for her I don’t know where I would have ended up. From that time I have been taking decisions for myself, taking the bull by the horn and trying to be the woman that I really want to be.
2. You recently shared the stage with American musician Jennifer Hudson. How was the experience? – It was such a privilege for Shell to pick me to represent Africa alongside other artistes from different countries who included Jennifer Hudson from US to produce one track.
The idea was basically to take clean and sustainable energy to communities which lack it. We would take things that have been thrown away as waste and use them for energy and keep recycling them and at the end it’s like cleaning up the the environment.
3. Rumour has it that you have beef with Tiwa Savage. Is it true? – Of course not. We are cool people. All over the world people like to knock heads of female together. It’s always the females.
4. What misconception do people have about you? – So many things have been said about me even as an artiste and fellow celebrities as well, but I will take this opportunity to advise them. If you haven’t spoken to someone one on one and they haven’t told you something, don’t listen to them. Don’t believe everything you hear or see if you haven’t talked to the person. I am who I am.
5. How was your life growing up? – Growing up was amazing, I was born to a Yoruba father and to an Igbo mother which are two different tribes in Nigeria. I enjoyed the differences of the cultures and also the similarities, especially the food.
6. What is the most memorable collaboration you have ever done? – The most memorable collaboration right now I will say it is the one I did with Trey Songz, but mostly behind the scenes. In terms of the actual song, that collaboration is yet to come.
7. Any advice to the young girls who look up to you? – You are beautiful no matter what people say. The challenges and shortcomings that you might face today, remember they were there even when our mothers were young girls and it is important for us to raise above the challenges. Do not focus on the challenge, when you see the challenge rise above it and from there you will build a sky scrapper, don’t settle on a challenge find a solution.