David Alaba’s sister, Rose May, romances African sounds

Rose May Alaba, pop singer and sister of Bayern Munich player, David Alaba, is home to work with Nigerian producers and fellow musicians, AKEEM LASISI writes

Many Nigerians can’t still stop hoping that Bayern Munich forward, David Alaba, can play for the Super Eagles one day. But if that is not going to happen, there is a consolation from the family of the football star.

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His sister, Rose May Alaba, is potentially a big thing to happen to the Nigerian/global entertainment scene. The 23-year-old lady is a pop singer already making waves in Austria. Apart from having asserted her talent at the Austria Music Awards, she wrote and performed the theme song of the 2017 Special Olympic World Winter Games in the European country. The song, titled Can You Feel it, has become one of the four singles that the pretty Rose now has to her credit.

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While she released her first two singles — All of This is You and Love me Right — in 2016, Take Your Time is her latest, released after Can You Feel it in 2017. Now, Rose is in Nigeria to, according to her, experience the musical environment and strengthen her art with African sounds. She is in Lagos with her Ogere Remo, Ogun State-born father, George Alaba, who, interestingly, has been a DJ and a recording artiste, too.

The Alaba senior used to work at Lagos-based Tabansi Records. He is a contemporary of the likes of Christ Okotie, Felix Liberty and Majek Fashek.  In 1984, he moved to Austria, where he met his Filipino wife, Gina, mother of David and Rose May. Although George went as far as recording some albums and made good impact in Austria, he has ‘been retired’ by the family who maintain that all they need to do now is to support the new generation represented by Rose May.

Yet, like a river that still adores its source, Rose May says her family are her primary source of inspiration. Although her mother may not have waxed any record, she is also a singer. As a child, she — Rose May — loved to play football, and she found a trainer in her brother, David, who had, since childhood, shown great tendency for the round leather game. As time went on, however, it became clear that Rose’s musical talent was more compelling.

By age six and seven, she sang often. By eight, the father enrolled her in a piano school and this has helped her a lot. While Rose May has also taken advantage of YouTube to train herself on other areas of music, she also studied acting, although she has not done much acting beyond some musicals she participated in.

“I have been doing music all my life,” she says. “By age 13, I began to write my own songs. But it was three years ago that I started music professionally.”

The singer is proud of what she has done so far — especially her singles and major performances. But she aims by far higher than she has done in her career.

She says, “I try to find and nurture my own sound. I am not where I want to be yet; so, I am determined to work harder. I really love African music. My fans in Austria listen to African music as it is a big thing.

“I was born and raised in Austria, but I am proud to be home and back to my roots. I want to work with the producers and songwriters I have been listening to. I am home because I want my music to have African influence.”

On the challenges she is facing as a musician, she says there is sometimes a lot of pressure on an artiste. According to her, it is not everyone that is ready to patiently and genuinely work with the artiste towards success.  Her belief is that some just come around for the quick money they think they can get.

She adds, “The social media is also a factor here. It wants to give you a picture of what should be. But you want to satisfy people without compromising who you want to be.”

Rose May is reluctant to give names yet, but she already has a list of Nigerian music makers she wants to professionally romance.

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