Yetunde Antonia Alabi, better known as Sasha. Standing at a 1.75 metres, Alabi who currently has two albums in the market is a law graduate of the University of Lagos. Interestingly, this rapper who is easily referred to as Nigeria’s hip-hop queen doubles as a designer - a trait she copied from her mother who owned a fashion outfit
You have a law degree so why settle for music?
Music has always been a part of me. Even in school, I was always doing music. From school, I attended shows making sure that I was seen out there. I remember that I contested Unilag’s Girls Nite-out annual talent hunt show and emerged the first runner-up. From then, I never looked back knowing that was what I wanted to do. Today, I am proud of the decision I took and I thank God for where He has taken me to in this business. I’ll say it has been the grace of God and my consistence. Hip-hop music is not easy, mainly because it is male-dominated. Yet you have to be relevant if you want to be taken seriously. So, yes, I have the degree but God carved me for this industry and his grace is helping me. I think that’s why I stuck with music and ’am not regretting it.
You recently released an album titled “Sasha speaks.” Why that title?
Well, that title was borne out of my experience and a little from other people. If you listen to the entire album, you’ll see that I was sharing life experiences, between when I entered the industry and the present. I went further to talk about experiences that were shared by friends and other people I have come across in the course of my career. It’s just all about me and life itself. And I am sure those who have listened to it would know what I am talking about . I did the album with my whole heart and I believe it will be felt positively by those who listen to it.
Many refer to you as Nigeria’s leading hip-hop diva. How do you relate to that?
Like I said earlier, it is by the grace of God that I am where I am today, and I am humbled when I hear people tell me that. Thank God we have a number of female hip-hop acts coming into the industry this days and it is surely a welcome development. Hip-hop is something I do well and I often put God first and ask for his help.
You’ve grown from an unknown act to a top act in so short a time; how do you manage the fame that comes along with it?
I really can’t say if I am managing it but thank God that it’s not affecting me. I come from a very large family and I am the last of eight children. If I were not popular musically, people would still know me as that kid who used to dance up and down the house. I got used to being recognised from a tender age and I have always attached myself to entertainment right from when I was in primary school. I am just being me in all I do.
It is widely believed out there that artistes, hardly do well in terms of albums sale. Are you also affected by the malaise?
Artistes go through such phase but I only know and can talk about myself. Sasha Speaks is doing well currently but my first right album was also very successful. Until last year I was doing a promotional tour of some select African countries based on my first album.
I learnt that you are perhaps better known in many other African countries and do collabos with some of their artistes. Tell us about it.
It’s really amazing. I travelled to Kenya last year to perform and was surprised to hear people who ordinarily speak Swahili sing my song. I was humbled. It was really so hard to believe. I have done a collabo with Ivannea Jose a.k.a Dama Do Bling. She is a Mozambiquan rapper. I am still trying to penetrate into many more African countries.
The rumour mills are agog with tales of you currently being in a relationship with fellow artiste, Naeto C. How true is this?
Sorry, I don’t talk about my personal life. Besides, you just said its a rumour and I can’t react based on that.
But is it true men run away from you because they feel that you have an intimidating personality?
I wouldn’t say they “run away from me.” If they do, they wouldn’t often walk up to me - as often as they do -to commend what I do. I don’t chase them away when they do that. Well, I sometimes hear that some men are intimidated by my height. They say I am so tall but really I don’t know why they should feel intimidated by that.
You have been with Storm Records for quite awhile. It seems the company is treating you well?
Well, it’s been a very interesting experience and a working relationship which has been favourable to me as the artiste and the company. I guess that’s why I am still there. It’s been a fantastic relationship, we have like minds, we understand the business and rub minds together