South London soul songstress, Kemi Ade, returns this Friday with new single ‘Honest’. We caught up with her to find out about a few tracks that have influenced her sound throughout the years.

Hailing from Croydon, South London, Kemi Ade returns with new single ‘HONEST’ in which she delivers a melting pot of seductive tones and delicately crafted sounds. Kemi’s alternative soul has garnered attention with the likes of Exclaim!, Complex and BBC 1Xtra; and her live performances have captivated audiences from support slots with Normanton Street and Denai Moore to headline shows at the world-renowned Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

Kemi defies her youth with impressive lyrical and emotional maturity, it’s clear that her songwriting is an honest reflection of herself and her environment. There is a sense of liberation as her thoughts and feelings are laid bare and served up over luxuriant melodies. This is a glimpse into love and life in Kemi’s world and you can’t help but find yourself wrapped in the warmth of her vocals and immersed in the depths of the story – a story she welcomes you into with the hopes that you will find yourself.

We spoke to Kemi to find about a few tracks that have influenced her sound.

The Civil Wars – 20 Years

I  have this huge infinity for Country & Americana music. The stories they tell, the harmonies, I feel like when it’s done right it’s special. I came across The Civil Wars because I used to watch this TV show ‘Nashville’. So good btw. lol. So I wanted to find the songwriters for the show. The Civil Wars are one of them. The chemistry, the stories, the harmonies… even when they play covers. I’m so sad they broke up, but damn did they teach me to be vulnerable and open. This song particular was the first one I heard and I destroyed the repeat button. I’ve never felt so sad hearing something so beautiful.

Jai Paul – Jasmine

So the first time I heard this song, I was fucking mind-blown. How is this a demo please lool. The merge between soul, funk and electronic has my soul. Like he’s not Future Soul, he’s not Neo-Sou or just R&B; he’s something other and he inspired me to be happy that I also live in that other. And he has that guitar lick OH that guitar lick is my lyfffffffff. If you’ve ever noticed most if not all my songs have a feat of guitar. (Shout Out ELIZA BROWN). So this song reminds me to be fearless and it’s okay to be me. And like HOW IS THIS ABOUT ALADDIN. COME ON RUDE. DISCLAIMER: it’s my best friend’s name and I really wanna work with him.

The Internet – Special Affair

If this is not the coolest song you ever heard in you life you are lying to yourself. Like that bassline. That guitar. Lordt waow I AM LIIIIVVVVVIIINNNNNNG Okurrrrrr. The video is insanely cool as well mehnnn. I became more and more obsessed with honing in the vibe of live bass and guitar after I abused this track. like come on!

Frank Ocean – Nature Feels

‘I’ve been meaning to Fuck you in the garden’. I mean if that’s not an opening line. I listened to this song about 6 times a week. It’s just so beautiful. And it’s obviously MGMT Electric Feels. It’s that perfect blend of Electronic and RnB. I love a great story and beautiful bass. Probably my fave Frank Ocean song. If noticed in Honest i’ve got the cute little ad-libs, this song reminded i can do that and just have fun to create that moment.

Fleetwood Mac – Dreams

My mum used to be a carer and when I was younger I used to go with her to the jobs. I’d sit in the car and listen to Heart 106.2 (sing the jingle). This song is probably one of the main reason I love music the way I do. Stevie wrote her truth and the production is the most simple yet effective thing I ever heard. Every instrument is doing something for a reason, to invoke an emotions and help move the story to a point where all you know is dreams. THAT IS MAGIC. That’s the magic I aspire to create.

Kemi’s new single ‘Honest’ is out this Friday.