I may not be a huge fan of Yemi Alade but I do acknowledge her contribution to the African music industry. This is her fourth studio album, Woman of Steel and it’s a good listen. Of course, her home country will relate more to it than I ever can but credit must go to Yemi Alade for her efforts to accommodate a wide range of audiences. This is Yemi Alade with Woman of Steel.
Woman of Steel is album #4 by Yemi Alade which was released today (30th August 2019). The album was available for pre-order a week prior to the release. Let me just give Nigerian artists for taking the streaming platforms seriously unlike the Kenyan artists here. That is the case but this album is not yet available on Spotify. It’s weird because I was complaining about the same in H_art the Band’s debut album review.
The album is 15 tracks long and lasts about 54 minutes or so. A fairly long listen in my opinion. However, I will let it slide because the album is good as a package.
This might be Afro-pop music but Yemi does stick to her Nigerian roots with the production. I mean, she is not trying to hide it. Even her collaboration with Rick Ross maintains the Nigerian style of production (even though Ross does add his usual rap beats to it). Yemi Alade is proud of where she is coming from and that is respectable.
There is diversity in Woman of Steel from RnB tracks like Remind You, Reggae inspired tracks like CIA, club hits like Vibe & Shake and her telling us how she doesn’t like poverty. What I do like the most that none of the tracks don’t feel out of place, making it a worthwhile listen. Even if you had a hard time trying to get what she was saying in the song Poverty, she went ahead and did a Swahili version of it.
This is not the first time she has remade a song into Swahili. It’s more of a strategy for her to get more people to listen to her music. Targeting the audience in East Africa is quite a smart move because we are more receptive to other African music. Remember how we were all going crazy here when Sho Majodzi released John Cena on YouTube?
Did I have any favorite tracks? Yes, I do love Yeba, Vibe, and Poverty (Swahili version). The rest of the songs are just okay.
Nigerian music to the world
Like it or not, Nigerians are the current pioneers of African music. Just look at Burna Boy, Patoranking and now Yemi Alade. They are making serious moves right now that is not only creating a buzz in other African countries but in other continents as well.
What intrigues me is that they are even willing to accommodate new listeners in their songs which makes them even bigger stars. Yemi has dominated the East African industry with hits like Nagode and Africa. Poverty will also be doing rounds in the coming weeks or so once she makes another visit here.
I believe Kenyan artists can learn something from them. These artists are making serious moves and the music they are putting out solidifies their place in the African music industry.
Woman of Steel is a good fourth album by Yemi Alade. I appreciate how she sticks to her roots and still accommodates new audiences alike. There is nothing much to complain about really. 8/10