Interviews, Music

Pop star Yemi Alade explains what inspired the song and video of Johnny

–  Keeps mum on relationship with Alex Ekubo

YEMI Alade came to public consciousness when she won the Peak Milk Talent Show.  She went ahead to release a single, Fi mi sile. The beautiful entertainer is out again with another single, Johnny, which is enjoying massive airplay. 

In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, Yemi Alade explained what inspired the song, Johnny, the video and more…

...with Alex Ekubo

…with Alex Ekubo

How would you rate your career over the years?

The rate at which my career is progressing is very unbelievable. I am really excited and happy with the kind of fan base I have built in a short time.  Basically, I would say I’m doing awesomely well.

How did music start for you?

Professionally, it started in my third year at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) when I won a music talent show which gave me the push I needed that time.  That was how I started my journey in the music industry.

What are you up to at the moment?

Apart from the fact that I am still searching for Johnny, I just shot a video for it which featured a lot of great people like Alex Ekubo, Beverly Osu, Saeon and many more.  I am also working on my album, King of Queens, as well as other pet projects that float around kids, encouraging them to take education serious and by doing that, they can also achieve their dreams.

There was a time you were hot in the music industry and suddenly, you went low.  What happened?

That happened after I released Fi mi sile with Eldee.  At that time, I was in my final year at the University of Lagos and needed all the attention and focus for my studies.  So, I went low.  I had to stop my music for a while until after graduation.

What inspired the song and video of Johnny?

Johnny was a song that came into my thought while I was on a nationwide tour.  When I got to Abuja, an OAP approached me and said, ‘Why is it that female music artistes never mention the names of men in their music?’ And they always talk about love.  So, I got to Enugu and started a song with Selebobo and we started thinking of names because the girls have the most interesting names and we eventually came up with Johnny.

Yemi Alade

Yemi Alade

Why the choice of Alex Ekubo as Johnny?

The only John I know is John the Baptist and I could not have called him to be in the video.  My team and I just felt Alex Ekubo was the perfect person for the video because of his character.  He is a very funny guy both off and on set.

How were you able to get the likes of Beverly Osu, Saeon, Bovi and others in one video?

I really don’t know how to put that in the right words but all I can say is that even before my team approached them to be part of the video, they already loved the song individually, and I am thankful to God that it was a success.  They made it happen and I’m really grateful to them.

There was an alleged romance tale between you and Alex Ekubo, is it true?

All I can say is, no comment.

Do you think the song alongside the video of Johnny would be widely accepted?

When Clarence Peters showed us the first cut of the video, I was scared.  But here it is today, the acceptance is massive, not just in Nigeria, but outside the country.  We have the song and video already on Ghanaian blogs and Ghanaian top charts.  We have people calling from other cable networks requesting for the video.  I believe Johnny is just beginning to kick.

Speaking about the costumes, how were you able to get the African attires?

I have an amazing ‘Glam Touch.’  I had my hair stylist on set all through, makeup artistes as well as designers.  All the costumes used in the video were all ‘handmade’ by Remy Smith and another wonderful designer.  We were on it for almost two months.  It was a lot of work but I’m happy it all came out successful.

How much did the music video gulp?

I really can’t put a figure to that because I spent a lot of money.  It cost me millions.

yemi-alade-3-of-4-1How do you intend recouping all the money back?

I feel I invested my money, and surely, I will get it back.  At the moment, I don’t know how but I know I will recover all the money spent.

When should we expect your album?

It would be out towards the third or fourth quarter of this year.  The album would contain my songs featuring certain artistes from Nigeria, Africa and other international artistes.  I am just taking a step at a time but the album is what I believe in.

What would you say you have achieved from your record label?

I have achieved a lot of my dreams.  Effyzie is a good brand.  They are ready to listen to whatever ideas you have without any discrimination.  They are ready to go the extra mile to make all your dreams come true.  I am grateful that I’m with them and I hope to be better and bigger.

What do you think of the Nigerian music industry?

Content wise, we have a lot of artistes who go out of their way to make sure that they are sending good messages through their songs.  But the industry is growing every day.  I believe Nigeria is the hot spot and it would be bigger.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I pray that when they have to call top five music artistes in Nigeria, I should be counted among them.

Who do you wish to have collabos with in the industry?

I would certainly want to work with Fally Pupa because he is very indigenous in his music, his personality and other things.  I would love to work with Nicki Minaj because I see her as a very strong woman.

Aside music, what else are you into?

At the moment, I am fully into music.  Although I have other pet projects that I’m working on but I don’t want to make them public yet.  In no time, I would let the world know what I’m cooking.

What does fashion mean to you and which fashion item you can’t do without?

Fashion is an expression of oneself, it is the way you define it. It is not about clothes or trends but about an attitude.  Anytime you see me, I can’t do without my frames, I love them.

When are you likely to get married?

For now, I’m focusing on my music.  It is every woman’s dream to get married but when the time comes, I would.




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