“A F*cking Vibe”: Kemi Ade Dives into Her Seductive, Empowering ‘DRIVE’ Dawn & Dusk EPs

Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha
Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha
A stunningly soulful, seductive collection of empowering, introspective, and expressive songs, Kemi Ade’s double EP DRIVE ‘Dawn’ & ‘Dusk’ is a vibe in all the right ways.
Stream: “DRIVE (Dawn Edition)” – Kemi Ade




I wanted to make a project where every song was a moment: A presentation of my lack of control over love, too. 

A stunningly soulful, seductive collection of empowering, introspective, and expressing songs, Kemi Ade’s double EP DRIVE project is a vibe in all the right ways. It’s smoldering R&B ready to light up the 2020s: A provocative and compelling musical journey through groovy, confident highs and immersive lows that brings us up close and personal with one of South London’s most exciting artists.

DRIVE Dusk - Kemi Ade
DRIVE (Dusk) – Kemi Ade
your head’s in the future
need you in the present
the rest is history
so why are you waiting?
that’s in the future
need you in the present
the rest is history
so why are you waiting?

Released January 22, 2021 via Tenwest, DRIVE (Dusk Edition) marks a dynamic start to the year for British singer and songwriter Kemi Ade. The three-track record arrives hot on the heels of last October’s introductory DRIVE (Dawn Edition) EP, whose expressive songs set a high bar of propulsive, intimate, and bouncy R&B.

“The idea to split the EP actually came from my engineer,” Ade tells Atwood Magazine. ““2AM” was last to complete and there was a chance it would be on it. So to make sure it was on the project, we split the project up. Turns out that the project was meant to be a two-part. It sounds wonderful back to back as well.”

Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha
Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha



A six-song set with two short introductory tracks for each record, DRIVE (Dawn Edition) and DRIVE (Dusk Edition) mark an ascendant moment for Kemi Ade’s artistry.

Since debuting with the fervent “Third” and her subsequent EP Ownesty in 2017, Ade has made a name for herself as an artist to watch in London. Her strong foundation is as much based on thoughtful lyrics as it is evocative R&B instrumental work, and her own intoxicating vocals. Following a few singles release in 2018 and 2019, DRIVE (produced by Blue Lab Beats) represents her next big step forward: Its songs dive deeper and stretch farther than any had released previously.

Ade explains that her EP titles reflect the energy and emotion of their respective songs. “The Dawn title came from the energy the first three songs gave me. Daytime fun, playfulness & confident energy. Dusk came from the vulnerability you feel at night when everything you’ve been wanting to say finally comes free.”

“I definitely think DRIVE shows my sound and how expansive it is and how it can be,” Ade reflects. Dusk especially brings a new aspect to my artistry. I wanted to make a project where every song was a moment: A presentation of my lack of control over love, too.”

Each of DRIVE‘s tracks is special in its own right – from the unadulterated energy and bounce on Dawn‘s “Future” to the tantalizing sonics on “CROWN” and the smooth resonance of Dusk‘s “PROMISE,” Ade spellbinds with a dazzling, wide array of sound.

In the blink of an eye (Eye)
Changes I’ve realized (‘Lized)
Why you keep tellin’ lies?
In the blink of an eye (Eye)
Something you always hide (Hide)
Faces you can’t disguise
Give it to me
Let me taste your juice
You keep breakin’ me down
And now I’m here, I’m used
– “PROMISE,” Kemi Ade



Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha
Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha

She cites Dusk‘s closer “LASTONE” and the aforementioned “PROMISE” as two personal highlights. “It changes everyday, but I think ‘LASTONE,’ that one was a vulnerable moment. ‘PROMISE’ as well – that song makes me feel something. Like my heart has been exposed with a warm hug.

An engulfing two and a half minute experience, “LASTONE” makes for an intense end to Ade’s current musical moment. Slow and propulsive, with glittering piano sounds floating off in some ethereal distance, the heavy track features some of the artist’s most impressive singing as she croons and sways, letting her voice ebb and flow like the tide alongside the instruments.

“I realised that I’m not limited to one sound,” she says, reflecting on takeaways from DRIVE. “But mainly, that vulnerability and confidence in sexuality is such a beautiful thing. Also don’t be afraid to lose control in love: I’m beginning to realise the beauty is that we have no choice.”

Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha
Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha



Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha
Kemi Ade © Prexa Shrestha



Ade’s effervescent attitude is the perfect compliment to DRIVE‘s stunning six-track allure.

Dawn and Dusk pull us in and drag us under, hypnotizing listeners through a fine balance of earnest and heartfelt sentiments drenched in a deliciously heated R&B environment. There is no denying Kemi Ade’s talent; she is undeniably one of the UK’s most exciting voices in R&B, and an artist we cannot wait to hear more from in the coming years.

Experience the new EP via the below stream, and peek inside Kemi Ade’s DRIVE project with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of Dawn and Dusk!

Vulnerability and confidence in sexuality is such a beautiful thing.

— —

:: stream/purchase DRIVE (Dusk) here ::
Stream: ‘DRIVE (Dusk Edition)’ – Kemi Ade



:: Inside DRIVE (Dawn and Dusk) ::

DRIVE Dusk - Kemi Ade

— —

FUTURE

This one was one of the easiest to make, had a few friends come to the session with Bluelab Beats, I wanted to use their voices to add texture to the song. This one pretty self explanatory though, one person head is always in the future whilst the other persons is in the present. It’s a cry for them to get on the same page.

CROWN

Is my empowerment song. Asking the person who wants to be in your life if they are worth your time and energy. If they are worthy to be in your presence.

5ADAY

Was inspired about my sexuality and my need to express my control over my own sexual need and wants. Feel by empowered them as well.

2AM

The last song I completed on the project this one is special to me. I made it during my first session with Dan Hollaway, definitely one of my favourite producers to ever work with. We even got real strings in the song. I hope people just connect with this one.

PROMISE

Another Bluelab beats collab, this one was the last song we did together and the quickest. It was at the end of the vocal session for FUTURE, I think we had 2/3 hours left and I wrote it and cut it then. I took the song to my friend Jaylow he vocal produce the end of the track. I didn’t hear it straightaway. PROMISE is special to me though, it’s a vow I made with someone special.

LASTONE

This one was freestyle, I realised once I recorded it. It was a conversation. That moment of realisation that you are no longer in control of how you feel and all you need is clarity.  A plea for reciprocation, if you will.

— —

:: stream/purchase DRIVE (Dusk) here ::

— — — —

DRIVE Dusk - Kemi Ade

Connect to Kemi Ade on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © Prexa Shrestha

:: Stream Kemi Ade ::



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