Fader Magazine features Africa’s leading female artiste Yemi Alade in an article and exclusive interview and pictures christened; “How Yemi Alade Hustled Her Way to Become the Queen of Afrobeats“.
The moving piece paints a colourful picture of Yemi Alade’s talent, music, enormous success, international appeal and how she is bridging her continent’s cultural divides to become one of its biggest stars.
According to Fader, “Yemi Alade gives everything up on stage. There’s a video of the Nigerian artist performing at London’s Wembley Arena as part of Dance Afrique in summer 2015 that finds her lost in the emotion of her yearning ballad, “Duro Timi.” Dressed in a sequined bodycon playsuit with peaked fluoro shoulders, she gestured emphatically into the crowd, seized the microphone stand as if removing an obstacle in front of her, and broke into angular dance moves. Alade’s facial expressions flipped from tender to outraged as she commanded the focus of the crowd with ease.”
On trying to break through as a woman she says “We have to toil 10 times harder. Many times I have been at events with guys who I have bigger songs [than], but just because he’s a guy he’s given preferential treatment. It’s not the guys’ fault. It’s just the way the world has been wired; females are mostly placed as second place. We’re seen more as gracious and calm than strong and powerful, so we have to rise above sexual harassment, financial constraints, culture, even rise above nature sometimes — that monthly visitor! [laughs] But I wear my game face when it’s time for business. And I don’t go alone — I go with a team that knows what they’re doing. When I show up, you’re going to understand that power just walked in.But I don’t try to please anybody. I don’t try to make it like, Oh I want to do this so you can like me. Not everyone loves mangos, but I think mangos are amazing. Not everybody likes peaches but I think peaches are amazing as well. I’m just myself.”
Written by Alex Macpherson for The Fader
Photographed by Annie Collinge for The Fader