Omolade Oyetundun Rachael popularly known as Ladé is a Nigerian musician, singer, songwriter and performing artist. Ladé who is the only child of her parents was born in Mushin, Lagos and hails from Kwara State.
Ladé became famous after the she was identified as the voice behind the Airtel 444 theme song. Lade rose to prominence following the release of her viral song “Adulthood na scam” anthem.
Ladé speaks with Rayo Kasali of Simple Magazine/TV on her journey to stardom, what makes her happy, some of her on going projects amongst many others.
How did music start for you?
Music for Lade started at a very young age. I started in Church, I was in the choir and that was where I started training myself to be better, it was at age 15 that I decided to actually do music full time.
How will you describe yourself in terms of music?
I will say I am a performer because it’s not just about recording in the studio for me, it’s about letting people know that there is more than just being in the studio and putting things together or cooking up things in the studio. You can be more when you see them, let them feel that you are not afraid to come to them.
What kind of songs were you listening to as a child and what songs inspired you?
Growing up, it was gospel music, and a couple of Asa songs that really inspired me. I think it was from that point that I started learning how to write.
In terms of genre, how will you describe your sound?
I will say my sound is a fusion of Afrobeats and other genres. I blend Afrobeats with Soul, High-life sometimes with RnB. It’s just all about taking Afrobeats to the world.
What inspires/attracts you to music?
What attracted me first to music was my awareness that music is a gift for me. I will also say the performance attracted me because I’m the type of person that loves to connect with my audience; I don’t just want them to get a feel of my song only when it’s recorded, I also want them to connect with me when I perform the songs to them live. There is something about when I perform live, I know it, and people that have watched me perform live also know it and they feel it.
Between studio sessions and live performances, which do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy performing live because I am able to connect with my audience and I am able to give them what they could not get from my studio recorded songs.
How did you get into the jingles business?
It was during lockdown in 2020, I did a cover to Duduke by Simi, and my boss at that time reached out to me and he wanted us to work on some things so he asked that I should just keep coming around to the studio. After a month, he brought this jotter and he wanted me to sing on a beat. I was just excited, just doing my thing and when I finished it, he just told me in case you hear this thing on radio, it is an advertisement for Airtel and I was surprised – that is how the jingle journey began.
What was your reaction like the first time you heard it on air?
I was like “Lade, you are doing well. You made it to people’s ears.” There was no face to it, but I was still proud of the fact that I have something outside that people are really talking about and people are really excited about, both young and old.
How was your family’s reaction to it, did they know about it?
Yes, they knew because they’ve always listened to me, even when I was not really out there. When I do my recordings, I send it to them to get their opinion on it, I also send to my friends too. When they heard it they asked if it was me, not to confirm but they asked because they were surprised and proud of me.
How did you handle the comparison with Teni?
To be honest, at first I was excited, because putting me on the same level with somebody like that is really huge, that means they’re seeing something really great because Teni is really great, so being put on that level, I was excited. At the same time, we all want to take glory for our work, it’s not like I felt bad, I just really wanted the attention and for people to know that this is me doing my thing and I think I was able to do that to an extent.
After the success of the AD, did you get your commission for it?
Of course, a lot. I am the voice behind a lot of jingles in the country right now. I am proud to say that.
Can you mention some?
I will give you 5: Goldberg Omoluabi, Travel beta, LaCasera, Maltina, VestPay, HomeWin, there are so many I can go on and on.
What is your music making process like?
My strength is in my melodies, so I start first by laying my melodies because they come from somewhere, and it’s always true. I just lay them then put my words in them after.
Writing a song is like having a child, and once the song is finished, it’s like letting the child into the world. There is this belief that artistes, especially writers, find it hard to let go of their child. Does it work for you too?
Yes, I think it is like that for every creative. If you are working on something and you dedicate so much time to work on a particular project, it’s not always easy to let it go because, firstly you are telling yourself, ‘after I drop this, I am going back to make something and that thing has to be better than the previous one’.
Before you decide to let one go, it takes a lot because some works that we do are really precious to us and if we had our way, we will keep it to ourselves alone but “what is a gift if you can not share it with the world.”
What inspired “Adulthood na scam?”
Adulthood anthem was inspired by hustle, and this was from a young girl trying to make things happen for herself; a young girl trying to make statements in an industry dominated by men, trying to prove that there is so much I can do.
At that point, I was trying to get producers, get people to actually see that there is something here that you guys need to pay attention to, it was not easy. Life generally was not so fair at that point, and I was like I wish I did not have to grow up.
Did you ever think people will apply the song to everyday life?
When I recorded Adulthood anthem, I did not think it was going to be this big because it started off as a one minute song that I recorded for Tiktok content. When I sent it to my team, they were like, where is the rest, they told me to go back to the studio to finish it that the song is a hit. I had to go back to the studio and we rounded it up. Listening to it, I felt like this is something a lot of people can relate to, probably everybody was just waiting for someone to put it in a song.
Did you expect it to go viral?
I did not expect it to go viral at all.
How did you react to that?
I was excited, and I was shocked because, I will not say I didn’t believe in what I put out but I just felt, what are people really seeing in this song because it was just me expressing myself and what I was going through. I am happy with the fact that it spoke to millions of people as well.
I guess many doors opened after that?
A lot of opportunities came after Adulthood Anthem.
Will you still say adulthood is a scam?
Please O!. It’s still a scam and to the young ones still coming, I am sure the song will speak to them to let them know that as you’re growing up, you’re coming to meet something “hooge”
What makes Lade happy?
Asides from food and music, what makes you happy?
I am a family person, when I see my family doing good and great, I am always happy.
How are your family and friends relating to your new found success?
They are taking it really good and they are really supportive, even though it was not like that in the beginning, but they are really supportive now.
I guess they see that music is not a scam?
How do you relate with your fans, especially the guys?
Well, Lade is a fine girl, so it’s normal for my male fans to crush on me. Send me a DM if you are still on the list or if you want to be on the list, but yes, I take them well and we just talk about it and I tell them thank you.
Are you in a relationship?
No comment. I love Jesus and Jesus loves me.
What next are you working on?
I don’t want people to think ‘Adulthood Anthem‘ just clicked, I want them to know that there is so much coming from Lade, really bigger things than Adulthood Anthem. I am working on a body of work and it’s going to be dropping very soon.
How has the industry responded to you?
The response from the industry is actually fantastic. I did not expect people to accept me with open arms and I mean people in the industry. I also figured out that I didn’t have to do too much to get them on my side. I will just say the Grace of God is speaking for me.
How was it like working with Goya Menor?
It was good, the song with Goya is titled ‘Grace,’ working with him was really amazing. I just wanted to see what a blend of his style and my style will sound like and I am grateful it came out well.
You have a song with Mr. Soul?
Yes, ‘Get Money’. Mr Soul is my producer, and he produced Adulthood Anthem. We decided to work on his first single, I did the song but it’s his first single.
Looks like you have a whole lot of features, who else are you going to work with?
Okay, I will just give one, I have a song coming with Crayon, it’s going to be on my body of work, and many more.
If you had to pick a playlist, 5 songs, 5 artistes, who are the artistes?
Burna Boy, Lasmid, Bayani, Koffe, and Asa.
As a celebrity, is there something being famous has deprived you of?
A lot. I was born and raised in Mushin, and for someone born and raised in Mushin, there is a lifestyle. Not that I am razz, I am a very good girl but there is this spirit that comes with your environement, that is the hustle spirit and the drive to move forward, and the drive to buy things on the road. I can’t do most of those things anymore, I can’t just stop by and say I want to buy some things, some people will just start hailing me and asking me to share money. Basically I don dey spend money and I think it’s too early, you people should pity me.
If you could work with any artiste all over the world, who would they be?
The list is endless, but in no particular order, I will really love to do a song with Koffee, and second person will be Asa..
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years time, I believe Lade is going to be a global brand and I should be married.
Watch full interview on Youtube here;
Interviewed: Rayo Kasali
Photography: Bolurin Visuals
Camera: Ibrahim Olowolagba & Felix Babalola
Assist: Adetola Adebayo & Alex Edun
Styled: Fits by Spunky
Makeup: Newface Flawless Beauty
Creative Director: Rayo Kasali
Executive Producer Adedamola Edun