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Kemi Ade

"I really love trees, I love taking walks through the forest. I’m a solo cinema person"

South London singer & songwriter Kemi Ade is back with 'Drive – Dusk Edition' this is the culmination of a year long hiatus that saw Kemi work as a songwriter for artists such as BSHP & Rebecca Garton. Now re-focusing on herself as an artist, the ‘Drive’ EPs allow Kemi to flex her songwriting and vocal muscles, effortlessly combining elements of 90s synths, jazz, soul and R&B into a sound that is distinctly her own. We sat down with her to find out who inspires her musically and what song would she use as the theme song to her life currently.

NEO: How long have you been making music?

KEMI ADE:I've been creating music for the majority of my life and as a career for 5 years.

NEO: Who inspires you musically?

KEMI ADE:Andre 3000 was trending this morning and I was going through his songs again and I actually deeped he is a huge inspiration to me and other artists like Frank Ocean, Jazmine Sullivan. Outside of the R&B scene there is a West London producer/artist that i really love called Jai Paul. Those are my favourites. I always pull up again and again.

NEO: What’s life like for you outside of music?

KEMI ADE: I like trees! In fact I really love trees, I love taking walks through the forest. I’m a solo cinema person, I love movies and drawing. If i'm not hanging out with my friends doing those things i'm doing those things by myself i find it liberating.

NEO: What was the inspiration behind your recent release

KEMI ADE:Initially I didn't have any inspiration. I'm one of those artists that create first then find the meaning. I don't really know what it is called but I call it ‘prophetic creation’, because once it is done it explains to me what I was doing or gives me a sign of what I have gone through or what i have felt. Now it is complete I have figured out the inspiration behind this release is about control and the lack of control. I have realised that with love as much as you try to control all the aspects you cannot and the greatness that come when you realise who does not have to have control.

NEO: What is the most memorable moment in your career so far?

KEMI ADE:My song ‘Future’ was played on BBC Radio 1 on my birthday. It was so beautiful i shed a little tear.

NEO: When experiencing a creative block, what do you do to combat it?

KEMI ADE:One of my friends, who is a producer, said we do not experience creative blocks; we are just tired. We have to rest and let that feeling go and pass us. I tend to go to the forest, sit with my speaker and have a little picnic and let the sun hit me and then just unfold. If i then like what comes out i like it, if i don’t then i don’t. That usually opens up the floodgates for my music to spill through

NEO: You are left in the world with three songs: what would they be? And why?

KEMI ADE:Frank Ocean- Nature Feels. I love the frank ocean version of the song. There is nothing like it, though I do like the original version by MGMT. It kind of feels like having indie and R&B on one track.

Idle Wild Blue- Outkast, but it is actually an Andre 3000 song, it reminds me of New Orleans

And also Zion Wolf Theme- Jai Paul because it is one of the best songs i have ever heard in my life and to be honest i wish i made it lol!

NEO: What song would you use as the theme song for your life currently?

KEMI ADE:I don't know why but the song that came to my head right now is Fleetwood Mac- Dream. It is an amazing song! I have it on vinyl. I'm actually totally obsessed with them. That song just sounds like magic

NEO: What is the first thing people notice about you?

KEMI ADE:I think, if i am being honest, it is how tiny my eyes are lol. After I interact with people they always say I have good vibes and good energy and I have a calming aura which is nice. I do always try to stay calm and encourage those who are around me.

NEO: What is one thing that you are deeply proud of in your life?

KEMI ADE:Putting out music. Man that can be really hard! I think people underestimate the emotional wear and tear it takes to release music. You have to remind yourself once it is out. It no longer belongs to you, it belongs to the world now.

NEO: Let us know your socials

KEMI ADE:@kemiade