Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Nigerian Afropop star invades the Caribbean

Published:Friday | August 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Multi-award-winning Nigerian Afropop singer songwriter Yemi Alade has been riding on waves throughout the Caribbean. Africa's biggest female artiste, she has been an Afrobeat favourite in Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, Dominica and St Lucia, with a growing fan base. The Johnny crooner will be one of the headliners at the St Lucia's Roots & Soul Festival, scheduled for September 1-3 at Pigeon National Landmark.

A three-day star-studded event featuring reggae and dancehall, Afrobeats, R&B, blues and soul music, the stellar line-up will include some of the best in music. Beenie Man - Jamaica's King of the Dancehall - US '90s R&B/hip-hop stars Ashanti and Jah Rule are among the acts. The Root & Soul Festival is the second-largest music festival in St Lucia after St Lucia Jazz Festival.

Having performed in Haiti on August 8, when Alade hits the stage on September 1 with Beenie Man, they will be the biggest stars for the night. The Afrobeat star is known for her full-hundred performance and fresh sounds, and this time will be no different as she will be backed by her Ova Sabi band. "It's a privilege to share the stage with some of the world's best artistes and bring that African flavour. It's exciting to be able to play live music at such a prestigious festival. We will be turning out to have fun as well," she told The Gleaner.

She has helped to take Africa to the world as she wraps her agile vocals around the continent's rich styles and legacy. She has reached new heights of stardom with fans across Africa and beyond. With a large African population living in the Caribbean and Afrobeat a growing trend in the region, she is intent on giving them a taste of her homeland and connecting with the Nigerian diaspora. To this end, since 2015, she has been represented in the region by Jamaican Music and PR company Down 2 Earth Productions.

She emerged in 2009 as the winner of the popular Nigerian Peak Talent Show. A native of Abia State she pursued her musical ambitions while earning a BSc degree in geography at the University Of Lagos. The competition gave her the platform to launch her mainstream musical career, and she released her debut single Fimisile in 2010. In 2012, she signed a major record deal with her current label, Effyzzie Music Group, an independent Nigerian record label spearheaded by Taiye Aliyu, who took her career to an international level with her 2013 hit single Johnny.