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I almost missed my slot in Beyonce’s Black Is King album, Yemi Alade reveals

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Yemi Alade


Ward-winning Afro-Pop singer, Yemi Alade, has been unveiled as a collaborator on Beyonce’s Black Is King visual album, which is a sequel to her 2019 Lion King: The Gift album.

The Ondo indigene, however, revealed that she almost missed out of being a featured artist on the 2019 project, out of oversight.
“When my management had gotten the e-mail from Parkwood (Beyonce’s self-owned entertainment company), we disregarded it because we didn’t believe that it was true.

“Eventually, he (my manager) had the conversation with them and then they (Parkwood) were already almost two weeks to the end of the production. I eventually got to the office and we went to see the manager in Los Angeles. I had no talking or singing voice; I was just weak. I get the opportunity to get this far and I have no voice!

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“But luckily, I got a lot of vitamin shots and throat teas, and I pretty much went into hibernation mode where I did nothing but nourish my body. Eventually, I had a somewhat talking-singing voice. I got into the studio and somehow, we were able to do this,” she tells Lagos-based media firm, NdaniTv.

Yemi, who is also very prominent for her visual representation of African culture in her music videos and pictures, also acknowledged that her song was selected out of 150 other African entries.

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“By the time we got there, they had already picked 150 other songs that they had gotten. And I hadn’t even jumped on it, yet. So, I just told myself that I am going to do all that I can and if I don’t make the project I would just go home knowing that I did my best.”

She continued: “Looking around me, the most captivating thing was that there were several boards in all seven studios in the office and they all had African interests on them. Right there, on the artistes’ board, somewhere in the middle, I had my big face there with my Black Magic album cover; this means that they had been listening to me. Not just listening, watching; not just me, but watching a lot of us.

“I just felt like I was doing something greater than I thought I was,” she said. The Black Is King album, which was released recently, is a visual adaptation of the songs from the Lion King: The Gift album. It features Yemi Alade, alongside some other Nigerian visual artistes such as Meji Alabi, Jenn Nkiru and Ibra Ake and others.

According to Disney, the official digital distributor of the project, Black Is King re-imagines the lessons from the 2019 Blockbuster for today’s young kids and queens in search of their own crowns, inspired by The Lion King: The Gift album, which featured several African artistes.

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The album was also announced to be available on Cable Television Giant, DSTV, in selected African Countries, including: Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Togo, Kenya, among others.

Beyonce is also credited to have written, directed and executively-produced the album. It was filmed in several locations across West Africa, South Africa, New York, Los Angeles, London and Belgium.

Yemi Alade emerged into the limelight, when she won the Peak Talent Show, in 2009. Since then, she has released over four critically acclaimed albums: King of Queens (2014), Mama Africa (2016), Black Magic (2017) and Woman of Steel (2019). 

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