Rose May Alaba connects continental dots with Ibadi
Apart from the fact that she’s an actual princess, Rose May Alaba is a voice of royalty. And with her latest single dubbed, Ibadi, a voice of culture too.
Born to a Nigerian Prince who left the comfort of his palatial home in Ogun State Nigeria on an academic sojourn to Austria and to a Filipino mother, Rose May Alaba grew up with a constant cultural awareness and diversity.
While geographical barriers have hindered Rose May from learning her father’s tongue, it hasn’t robbed her of interacting with other elements of the culture, such as music and food. And it’s evident in her latest bop, Ibadi, her first time singing in Yoruba.
“My father told me what ‘Ibadi’ means, and he also helped me with learning the right pronunciations for the song. He’s my biggest supporter and my biggest critic. He is also my Manager,” she tells Weekend Beats.
Produced by Blaise Beatz, the mid tempo jam thrives with May’s sonorous rendition, while also being special for an interesting lyrical arrangement that reminds one of singers like Tiwa Savage, Niyola, among others.
Through her music – a mesh of Afro Pop, RnB, and Electronic Dance Music – Rose May conveys an energetic and soulful spirit that connects with free-spirited young listeners. She tells Weekend Beats that her current exploits are woven around embracing her Yoruba roots and encouraging other Nigerians in the diaspora to do the same.
“I tried to infuse all parts of my cultural influences into my music. I am really excited about this song because this will be the first time I will be singing in Yoruba. I am challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone and I hope I make my people proud.”
Rose May’s earliest interactions with music are also tied to her parents’ influences, both of whom were musicians in their days. Her father George was a rapper and DJ while her mother Gina also used to occasionally entertain people with her music.
Rose May grew up listening to her parent’s music; it was these early influences that perhaps contributed to her decision to pursue a musical career.
May’s embrace of her Nigerian heritage has drawn her to Nigerians on Tik Tok many of whom have become fans, and hence the singer elected to only release the song on the App.
“I think the song is custom-made for TikTok and the snippet is already getting a lot of love on the App. So, I just want people to vibe to it and enjoy the song.”
On the vision for her career, Rose May Alaba says that her intention is to contribute to the global acceptance of Afrobeats, while using a unique approach.