Yemi Alade was born in Abia State, Nigeria, to Helen Alade (nee Uzoma), a business woman, and James Alade, a retired Police Commissioner. Her mother, a native of south-eastern Nigeria and her father is of south western Nigerian descent, thus earning her the moniker, “that Yoruba-Ibo girl”. The fifth of seven siblings; Yemi, has four brothers and two sisters.
She grew up listening to popular music of the late eighties and early nineties and singers like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Etta James and Aretha Franklin. The captivating vocal ability she possessed placed her in the church adult choir at the age of twelve and was known to have made melodies from everyday conversations. In her words; “I’ve practically lived my life on stage”, Yemi was exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. She grew up in several Nigerian cities owing to her father’s job description. Yemi Alade was educated at Saint Saviors’ British Primary School, Lagos and then Victory Grammar School, Lagos, before proceeding to the University of Lagos where she majored and graduated with a B.Sc in Geography in 2010.
Yemi Alade began making music professionally in 2005 when she was the lead of a girl group called Noty Spices managed by Storm Management. Afterwards she entered the maiden edition of the Peak Talent Show in 2009 and went on to win the competition based on her talent as a singer and performer under the supervision of Bayo Omisore. Her debut single “Fimisile” featuring eLDee became a radio hit accompanied with an engaging music video which introduced her officially as a musical force and gained her fans across the continent.
In mid 2012 Yemi Alade signed a deal with Effyzzie Music Group and started working with hit producers DJ Klem, D’tunes, E-Kelly, Sizzle Pro, Fliptyce and renowned South African producer Garth. Shortly afterwards she released her successful single ‘Ghen Ghen Love’ which was produced by the iconic OJB Jezreel. ‘Ghen Ghen Love’ became a hit topping numerous radio and video charts across Africa. She was also featured on singer Dipp’s album on the track ‘Rock Ur Body’ and the song and video went viral and received praises earning the duo an award nomination for best R&B video category at the Nigerian Music Video Awards 2012. In the first quarter of 2013 Yemi Alade enlisted IcePrince and Sasha P for the remix of her single ‘Ghen Ghen Love’, and the massive collaboration was premiered with a high-profile online hangout powered by Google influenced by Michelle Obama’s live Google hangout broadcast on websites and became a global trending topic.
In July of 2013, Yemi Alade released the emotive video for her romantic afro-R&B ‘Bamboo’ produced by Fliptyce. ‘Bamboo’ went on to be a moderate hit and a massive love and wedding anthem. In the last quarter of 2013, Yemi Alade shocked and broke records when her most recent hit single ‘Johnny’ produced by Selebobo leaked on the internet. The dance number received major critical acclaim and became an instant smash hit topping and dominating countless music charts across the globe and it been listed as one of the best songs of 2013 despite the fact it was released towards the end of the year without a video.
Yemi Alade who has covered a number of magazines and performed across the globe sharing the stage and songs with Mary J. Blige, Shina Peters, M.I, Wizkid, Becca, May D, Waje and Yemi Sax headlined the Super Diva’s Nite at the 2013 Calabar Festival, and also was called upon to open the 2013 edition of the televised Headies Awards ceremony (popularly referred to as the Nigerian Grammys) with an electrifying performance.
Yemi Alade is currently touring and working on her yet to be titled debut album with is slated for an early 2014 release after the video for Johnny which is already in works with director Clarence Peters is released.
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