by JOE AGRO
Born to a Yoruba father and Filipino mother, Rose May Alaba always wanted to be a singer. And with the release of her single, ‘Go Down Low’, she has continued to rise in the music industry. In this interview with JOE AGRO JR. Rose May explains why she is embracing Afrobeats, her inspirations and what she is currently doing, among other things. Excerpts:
WHAT was growing up like in Austria?
I had the best time growing up in Austria. We grew up very humble and in a beautiful area. I’m very lucky with my parents coming to Europe from two different continents (Africa and Asia) at a very young age. They’ve worked and still work hard for our family so we could enjoy the best of life.
How did you start doing music professionally?
I started doing music at a very young age. My parents discovered my talent and helped me improve it. I always knew that I wanted to be a singer and with the help of my dad and his knowledge for the music business, since he was an artist himself, that’s how I got to start doing music professionally.
How is Nigerian music, Afrobeats, perceived in Austria?
It’s well perceived. Through the new generation and their love for Afrobeats, the wave has already reached Austria and Germany. We got a lot of young Djs and artists representing that kind of music culture and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
What inspired your love for Afrobeats?
The musicality of it. Growing up, I used to listen to Afrobeats through my friends and the way we sing and vibe to it is just so different to pop music.
Your father is Yoruba and local languages are being used in many Nigerian songs. Do you have any favourite line from any local music?
No do shakara.
Your brother plays for Bayern Munich. How has that influenced your music career?
Both parts are entertainment and David himself loves music a lot.
And how does it feel having your dad as your manager?
Very safe. I’m very lucky having parents who fully support, motivate and inspire me to do what I love. They never doubt me. It’s good to know having someone as a manager who only wants the best for me and knows that it’s not all about the money.
Which Nigerian artiste do you admire the most and why?
Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Davido. I love how they stay true to themselves and it clearly shows in their music.
You did a collaboration with Mayorkun. What was the experience like working with him?
Yeah, we did a song together called 50/50 produced by Kiddominant. We weren’t in the studio together since he was recording from Nigeria and I was in the studio in Munich. We met on set for the video shoot for the first time and got along great. He is very humble and I’m grateful for this experience because I really respect what he does.
Which other Nigerian artiste do you look forward to working with?
Burna Boy, Odunsi the Engine, and many many more.
You also studied acting. What is happening to that side of your career?
Music was always my first love, acting came second. What I’m really trying to do is fully focus on my music first and get to where I want to be. That doesn’t mean that I scratch acting out of my plan; I just wanna do it when the time is right.
You clocked 25 on May 26? How would you rate where you are now?
Musically, I am definitely not where I planned to be at this age but happy that my career is heading into the right direction and I try to follow God’s timing. As a person constantly trying to know myself better and better with the help of God.
What inspired your song, ‘My Love (sabi o)’?
Just a feeling I had in that particular 30 minutes in which I wrote the song. The song says it all.
You once described Nigerian guys abroad as flirts. What informed that?
Omg. That was a misunderstanding.
If in a relationship, what was the attraction?
If not in a relationship, why not?
That’s not what I’m focused on. If the vibe is not right from the beginning, what’s the point of putting energy to it?
What was the inspiration behind your song, ‘Go Down Low.’
Young John sent the beat over and I was just vibing to it in the studio in Vienna and did a couple of toplines. When I came to Nigeria, we worked as a team. Jiggy and I were in the studio where we finished up the song – team work makes the dream work. And I am really excited because the video is going to drop on the 7th of June. It was directed by Sesan. So, stay tuned for that.