This year has brought a series of iconic accomplishments along with it for Yemi Alade. In July she appeared on Beyoncé’s groundbreaking soundtrack album The Lion King: The Gift, and in August she released a 15 track album. The album, Woman of Steel, is her fourth studio album and it features international sensations Rick Ross and Angelique Kidjo. In addition to all of that excitement, Universal Music Africa (UMA) has announced this week that Yemi Alade is the latest Nigerian member of the Universal Music family.
Yemi Alade’s label, Effyzie Music Group, signed a licensing deal with Universal Music France. Taiye Aliyu, CEO of Effyzie Music Group, shared the news on social media yesterday. Effective immediately, Universal Music Africa will serve as Yemi Alade’s worldwide record music partner. This will expand the reach of her music exponentially.
The Universal Music Group is a giant in the music industry, with divisions and affiliates all over the world. Within this group are some of the most renowned labels on the globe like DefJam Recordings (Justin Bieber), CashMoney Records (Birdman, Nicki Minaj), Motown Records (Erykah Badu), Capitol Records (Sam Smith, Katy Perry) and Island Records (Amy Winehouse, Elton John). Coming under the management of this illustrious group is a massive leap forward for Yemi Alade’s career.
Yemi Alade’s first major moment in the limelight was when she won the Peak Talent Show in 2009. Between 2009 and 2014, she released 10 singles alongside other projects. Her steady work finally paid off in 2014 when she released the massive hi-life music hit Johnny. Johnny took Nigeria and Africa by storm; the song remains one of her most successful singles till date. In January this year, the Johnny music video hit 100 million views on YouTube, making Yemi Alade the second African artiste to break that record, after Davido.
Yemi has carved a very original niche for herself. Universal Music Africa called her the African Queen of Pop in its press release, and Yemi’s music can be largely classified as afropop. But in a recent interview with Ndani TV, the singer referred to her music as hi-life and confessed that she never expected to venture into the genre. After her big win at the Peak Talent Show in 2009, she spent most of her time trying to build a career as an R&B singer. Johnny was a different sound for her, and it was the difference that launched her into stardom. Since then, her career has catered to the African continent as a whole with unique blends of pop, afrobeats, and her own brilliant take on hi-life music.
The Guardian Nigeria
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