Today, South London singer-songwriter Kemi Ade releases her brand new EP ‘Drive – Dawn Edition’ via tenwest. This will be the first set of two EPs, with the latter (Dusk Edition) due to drop early next year. The EP is a culmination of a year long hiatus that saw Kemi work as a songwriter for artists such as BSHP and Rebecca Garton. Now re-focusing on herself as an artist, ‘Drive’ is a body of work that showcases Kemi songwriting and vocals.
We had the opportunity to speak with Kemi on her upcoming project:
For those who may have not heard of you, who are you and what do you stand for?
“Singer, Artist and Songwriter for the past 5 years. I make music not tied down by any genre, inspired by everything. I just want to give a voice to people to remind them that loving yourself and putting yourself first is key. And to also remind others to love themselves, and not to be too hard on themselves. Be as gentle with yourself as you are with other people. That is who I try to be as a person and convey this through my music. I try to create that place for whoever listens to me.”
What inspired you to start making music?
“I never had an inspirational moment; I have always wanted to make music, I feel like I came out of the womb knowing. I just more so convinced myself to put all my eggs in one basket and try. My earliest memory of music is my Mum performing in this huge concert hall, and me playing with toys but toys were not interesting at the time for me my mum was.”
As a liberated Black woman living in the U.K. you previously mentioned that in the States Black women have more of a platform to express themselves freely. I would love to hear more from you on this, as you are Black woman that does not seem to hold back in your music?
“The reason I say this is because artists in the US currently have a platform, they may not have a diverse range of tones within the Black community. However, because there is a plethora of Black womxn currently with the spotlight on them they are able to create more of a movement on how they want to be portrayed. Over here it is so hard to pinpoint all the Black Female leaders within the music industry, we kind of get one and then we are supposed to just see the face of one. Then once that one has had their time, then the following year it repeats. So, we do not get that space to just say OK these are the different narratives of being a Black British womxn.
These are the array of emotions, sexualities, and beauty; we have not had this kind platform in mainstream culture. On the other hand, when it comes to the Black culture scene, because we have not been policed by mainstream media, we can do it regardless. We are in that where we have the Ivorian Doll’s, Rebecca Garton and myself we are all sexy in our own way. I feel like when it comes to the U.K., we have the opportunity to express ourselves freely as Black women, we are yet to be policed but I feel the policing may come.”
You have a new video dropping for your single 5ADAY, share more with us on what this song represents?
“5ADAY is about womxn being proud about being able to dictate how they like their head and sex too. lol. The pre-chorus goes “get down on your knees, I am ready for service. Go harder baby I am worth it, you’re begging so don’t you desert it”. I love good music. So when it comes to releasing, I didn’t question the message. I don’t really care about the opinion on what the song’s about as long as it is good music. And it’s a great song. When we re-made the production it slapped, and when I listen to this track again & again it makes me move my body and feel good; and I want others to feel good too.”
What can we expect from Kemi Ade in the future?
“An EP that comes in two parts, more visuals, a song that I wrote with Rebecca Garton, a lot! Lots of work and lots of music!”
Is there anyone you would like to work with?
“Recently I have been listening to K-Pop, I would love to write some songs for Black Pink. Lucky Daye would also be a great R&B collab.”
Kemi Ade’s new EP ‘Drive – Dawn Edition’ is out now via tenwest click here.