DSC01742 scaled

Yimeeka Is Defining Art On Her Own Terms

At just 24 years old, Yimeeka—born Yimika Owoseni—has already established herself as a multifaceted creative, juggling roles as a musician, producer, and creative director. Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, and currently based in Canada, Yimeeka channels her experiences and unique perspective into her music. Known for her soothing sound that evokes feelings of peace, Yimeeka’s latest self-titled EP, Yimeeka, is deeply personal and reflective, offering a reflective house music experience.

Finding herself back home in Lagos due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she began learning production from friends like Cracker Mallo and Pheelz, and has never looked back. Her first EP, Alter Ego, established the young artist as a budding producer with an ear for genre exploration. Her evolution is effortlessly showcased in her recent Yimeeka EP as she embraces her artist persona and subtly commands attention in each song. Recently named Spotify’s EQUAL Songwriter Ambassador for June, Yimeeka is set to co-curate the Created by Women playlist, further solidifying her influence in creative territories.

Yimeeka embodies the spirit of a true artist who refuses to be confined by a single label. Her music and creative projects not only reflect her own journey but also inspire others to embrace their multifaceted identities and chase their dreams with purpose.

You describe your music as peace inducing. Is this something you intentionally infuse into your music?

I think naturally that’s who I am. I make music that, in the grand scheme of things, makes me feel good. So I think because I’m always looking for peace, that is what I would mostly resonate with. However, the more music I make, I realize that there are meant to be other emotions when it comes to music, not just peace but sometimes chaos. There’s peace in chaos. When I started leaning towards house music, I was like, I love how this sounds but what if I was to make it?  How would this sound? That’s how I channeled the songs on this EP, making music that’s based on how I feel. I’m very self-aware. I take a lot of time just reflecting on myself. Most of the music I make is about my own experiences. I enjoy writing about myself, things I can’t say to people because with music that’s the best place to tap into. The reason it’s always so peaceful is because whenever I write it, I’ve already experienced and accepted everything I need to, but I still want to share the experience regardless. 

IMG 4327

How has inhabiting different places shaped your sound as an artist?

When I lived in Dubai, for five years I didn’t do anything music related. I literally was just a student. However, leaving Dubai and moving back home to Lagos during the COVID-19 pandemic was how I started making music. I had all the time in the world in Lagos. I think it was my first time being back home in a long time that I was like, what can I actually or enjoy in Lagos? I had friends that were producers. I reached out to one of them, Cracker Mallo, and he started teaching me. A lot of the songs on the Yimeeka EP are stories from when I was in Dubai. I never really had a medium to express myself living there, because it’s a conservative city. A lot of times you can’t say or do too much, even with the people around me. I feel like now I’m in a more expressive environment with expressive people. With this EP, I wanted to show myself at the purest form and as well sing about the things that I never said back then. 

Would you have explored music the way you did if you hadn’t been stuck in Lagos?

I think I would have. I’ve never really felt like I fit into an organization. The concept of people doing a 9-5, I just knew I was never going to do that. Over the years, from when I was a kid in high school, the one thing I had always related with was music but I never had the chance to fully express myself. It’s hard for you to tell your parents, who don’t even know anything about the music industry, that you like music. However, from when I was a kid, I’d always been disturbing my mom in high school. I told her I wanted to do piano lessons, but she didn’t get it. She told me, no, you’re not doing that. I tried as much as possible to still learn the basics of the keyboard. 

When I was stuck in Nigeria, before I decided to make music, I worked in an events company – stage lighting, art direction, and events. I was still in the music industry and I was learning from people. If I wasn’t stuck in Nigeria back then, I would have found my way regardless. A lot of my friends are creatives, even in Dubai. I already had Ademola Falomo in my life who even then was an active video director. He would always push me. Santi was also in Dubai so at some point I would have found my way to them. 

So you’re a producer, you’re an artist, and you’re a creative director. Can you talk a bit more about your experiences with creative direction?

I’m the type of person that people always share their ideas with and ask for help in building them up. I think maybe because I’m a listener, I try to listen to people and understand them. I’ve had friends that I’ve been grateful to have supported these ideas. Right now, I’m currently Pheelz’s creative director, but before that I had a company called Àwa Studios and Kan Àwa with my friend. We were trying to document afrobeats. My friend’s dad was a pioneer in music – Kennis music – and we noticed that we never really saw anybody truly documenting afrobeats and the struggles that other artists were going through then. So we started Kan Àwa which was a creative consultation company. It was a safe space for me to see my ideas through. We interviewed a lot of the OGs like Sound Sultan before he died. It was sad but a huge part of me was happy that we could show him in his most comfortable form, because he looked beautiful. One of his most iconic pictures that people post is a picture that he shot in our studio. It makes me happy to see the logo of the studio just behind that picture.

I try as much as possible not to limit myself. When they first announced Lojay, and he had his first ever show in Lagos, I built his stage for him. And it was lovely to see.  We worked on the sound design and art direction  for the Martell x Davido announcement.  Because of who I am, I’ve always loved even just being behind the scenes and watching people grow. So if I have an idea that will help somebody grow, I will be one to say and push it.

How did the idea for the theme of this EP come about?

I would like to say the songs actually naturally fell into place. For Foolish, which was the last song, I made that song in February, just because I had started learning how to play the bass guitar in January.  Foolish was the first song I ever learned how to play. It was an idea I was singing for the fun of it and it grew into a lovely song. 

With my first producer project, I was still shy, even with the production, it was still a bit shy. It was expressive but I wasn’t trying to do anything too crazy. With this project, I’ve experienced so much in life. I’m taking more risks. In the Silence,  I made it at the beach with my friends. It was something that I did just out of boredom but turned into something beautiful.

Iro was an idea that just started in October. Most of the songs are actually fresh. The oldest song is Destruction, which was an idea that I had for Davido that  he never really used. All these songs were songs that I felt the world was ready to hear. I had experienced enough to truly showcase to people who I am.

IMG 4325

What has been the hardest thing about executing this EP?

Creating content because I’m a bit awkward and I’m a visual learner as well. I need directions. If you ask me to tell another person what to do, it’s easy because I’m looking from the outside but for myself, I don’t know what I look like from the outside. With Tiktok you have to be able to do something to pay attention. I enjoy Tiktok because of the memes but I don’t really think I have anything funny for you guys to come and look at me, but I can laugh with you. I think I’m starting to understand that you don’t necessarily have to look into the camera all the time to create content. There are other ways you could shoot content. Seeing more people in the industry do stuff that are very different from the norm is inspiring.

I still find it weird when people come up to me and I say “I’ve heard your EP”. It  is very mad. In my mind I’m like “ you people are actually listening to me”. For the longest time, I thought people never really heard me because I’m not a very vocal person. So it’s interesting to see that people resonate with me and I’m not alone in my thoughts and feelings. I’m grateful that I’m finding people that understand me to a certain level.  I don’t need them to understand me completely but at least you can feel what it is that I am feeling.

Can we expect to hear any new sounds from you in the near future?

I am very experimental but I am enjoying house music right now. Doesn’t mean the next project you hear from me is going to be House.  I’m still actively working on house music. I’m also working on other vibes. I just want to just constantly experience these things and share them.

I think one thing I want to try is Afropop or Neo-Soul. I like soulful singers and Neo-Soul has very sweet chords. It’s something that I would like to tap into at some points in my life but then I don’t know if I have what I want to sing about yet. Imagine, Neo-Soul chords on a Fela-type beat. To be honest, I tried that yesterday and it sounded really really good. 

Do you gravitate towards collaborative environments?

When writing for myself, most times I enjoy making it in solitude but working with other people, I truly just enjoy being in the studio and vibing. I don’t really like when I feel pressured into making music, so I love when we are just catching a vibe and whatever we make, it’s going to  be beautiful. Something that I don’t like and I’ve noticed would be artistic ego in the room. You can be in the room with a lot of dope artists and everyone is trying to show off. The reason why I don’t necessarily enjoy camps is that most times it’s not properly controlled. You could have four great vocalists in the same room, and you can be hearing a beat and all four vocals are trying to sing whatever melody they have, and different runs. Sometimes that just makes working hard because it’s like how do I even divide this? But then obviously a lot of great artists that you would meet that are not even like that so it just depends.

20 years down the line, how would you like your work to be remembered?

I would like to be described as someone that went for everything that they wanted to do regardless of societal limitations. I want to be that person who knows they did everything they wanted to do and did it proudly. One question I’ve recently been asking myself is what kind of artists do I want to be? I think I’m in the process of creating who I envisioned myself to be. For any artist that is trying to come up, especially my female producers and singers, Ask yourself who you want to be. What do you want to leave in this world and for the next person? I’m still going to make mistakes and I want the next person to learn from it. I just hope that I’m able to inspire the next person to be the best versions of themselves.  Never stop, always strive to do whatever it is that you want to do. Do it with humility, do it with kindness and let yourself show very well in your purest form. 

Form a band with any 5 artists

I would like Telz to play the drums. Pheelz would play the electric guitar. I would really like Simi to sing but at the same time I would really love Ayra Starr to sing too. I’ll get two vocalists. Why am I limiting myself? My last person would be Adekunle Gold.

Written and Interviewed by Anabel Rose Kubabom

Follow @theimullar on Instagram and Twitter for more.

The iMullar is the voice of emerging African music and the lifestyle that surrounds it, showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds, we are the authority on who is next.