30 seconds interview: Kemi Ade

Kemi Ade

Croydon’s queen of neo-soul Kemi Ade is making waves with her alternative, woozy seductive take on the sound.

Her forthcoming O.W.Nesty EP follows hype from the likes of Complex and Reprezent, and captivating live performances alongside grime MC Novelist and Denai Moore and at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

Since she first emerged with debut single Then, produced by Jimmy Logic and remixed by KEI-LI of Darker Than Wax, Kemi has also left an impression with performances at the Reload Sessions and Ont’ Sofa.

Kemi takes prompts from the likes of Erykah Badu and Jill Scott but also her own eclectic melting pot of influences from jazz to electronica, folk and beyond. We spend 30 seconds getting inside her head to pre-empt the release of the new EP…

I first started writing music because…  
It’s the only way I know how to express myself.

I have been making music since… 
Uni I guess, but I’ve always been writing since as long as I remember.

My music is… 
Honest and full of soul.

You’ll like my music if you listen to… 
Me hahaha. And if you listen to The Internet, Hiatus Kaiyote, Solange and Erykah Badu.

My favourite venue is…
Obviously Madison Square Gardens, saw Chris Brown there actually. But I’d love to have a show in a secret speakeasy bar. Codewords only.

Music is important because… 
Can you imagine life without it, it would be COLD. I need it to feel, I think.

My biggest inspiration is…
Jesus won’t lie, can you imagine touching that many people. And Beyonce, my mum and Jasmine (my best friend). Strong women in general.

My dream collaboration would be… 
Kaytranada and Kendrick. Tooooo dope.

To try me out, listen to my song… 
Third. I think you’d like it actually.

If I wasn’t making music I’d be… 
Dunno different life, different path, maybe the Queen of Sheba.

In 10 years’ time I want to be… 
A living legend.

facebook.com/KemiAdeMusic

Listen to Third from the EP, released this Friday (17 March).

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