|Birth name||Oludemilade Martin Alejo|
|Also known as||Zaheer|
|Born||January 29, 1993|
Lagos State, Nigeria
Oludemilade Martin Alejo (born January 29, 1993), known professionally as Ycee (also stylized as YCee), is a Nigerian rapper, singer and songwriter. He gained popularity after his single "Condo", which features vocals by Patoranking, earned him two nominations at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. He was also nominated for Best Artist in African Pop at the 2015 All Africa Music Awards and for Next Rated at The Headies 2016. Ycee signed a record deal with Sony Music in October 2016, but terminated his contract with the label in February 2018.
Early life and education
Ycee was born in Festac Town, a housing estate in Lagos State, Nigeria. He completed his basic education at Dr. Soyemi Memorial Nursery and Primary School. He attended the Nigerian Navy Secondary School in Ojo for his secondary education. Ycee studied marine biology at the University of Lagos.
Ycee started his music career in 2012 as an underground rapper. He signed a record deal with Tinny Entertainment. Due to his educational engagements, he took a brief hiatus from music after gaining admission to the University of Lagos. Ycee released the critically acclaimed song "Condo" in May 2015; it was nominated for Best Collaboration of the Year and Best Music Video of the Year at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. On 20 July 2015, he released the hit single "Jagaban". Nigerian rapper Olamide asked him to be featured on the remix. He gained further exposure after receiving a nomination for Revelation of the Year at the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards. Moreover, he was nominated for Best Artist in African Pop at the 2015 All Africa Music Awards.
Ycee sold out a headline gig at the O2 Academy Islington on 12 January 2018. The gig featured additional performances from his label mates Bella Alubo, Sona, Eugy, Ms. Banks and Flosha. On 15 January 2019, he announced on Instagram that he left Tinny Entertainment. He also announced the launch of his record label ANBT, an acronym for Ain't Nobody Badder Than.
Ycee released his debut studio album Ycee vs Zaheer on 8 November 2019. It is a mixture of hip-hop, trap, Afrobeats, Afro-house, hyphy, R&B and alte. The album serves as the follow-up to his 8-track debut EP First Wave (2017) and his collaborative EP with Bella Alubo, titled Late Night Vibrations (2018). The album was produced by Adey, Jay Bidz, Ballertosh, Fanatix, BeatsbyKarma, Syn X, Krizbeatz, Jay Popping, Buzzin Producer, AP Da Don, Two Seven, Elmore, Willis Give Dem and KO. It features collaborations with Davido, Niniola, Phyno, Ms Banks and Dapo Tuburna.
Over the course of his career and since his rise to prominence, Ycee has featured on notable records to break upcoming artists. He featured on records to break his label mate Dapo Turbuna "Nothing" Remix in 2016, Label Mate Bella on Radio in 2017 before going ahead to create a joint EP with her (Late Night Vibrations). Ycee also featured on Big Man Doingz by Arosino alongside Dapo Tuburna and Karma. Some Say it was his way of giving back to emerging artistes as he was once on the receiving end of such impact through Olamide on his remix to Jagaban, his breakthrough single.
- Ycee vs Zaheer (2019)
|2012||"Smile On Me"||Non-album single|
|2015||"Condo" (featuring Patoranking)|
|"Jagaban" (Remix) (featuring Olamide)|
|"Omo Alhaji" (Remix) (featuring DJ Maphorisa)|
|"Ahahn" ("Ooouuu" cover)|
|2017||"Link Up" (featuring Reekado Banks)||First Wave|
|"Juice" (featuring Maleek Berry)|
|"Don't Need Bae"|
|"Kill Nobody" (featuring Calibrii)|
|"Bubbly" (featuring Falz)|
|"Need To Know" (featuring Seyi Shay)|
|"N.O.U.N" (featuring KLY)|
|2018||"Say Bye Bye" (featuring Eugy)||Non-album single|
|"Juice" (Remix) (featuring Joyner Lucas)|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award ceremony||Award description||Recipient||Result|
|2015||2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards||Best Collaboration of The Year||"Condo"||Nominated|
|Best Music Video of The Year||Nominated|
|2015 MTV Africa Music Awards||Revelation of the Year||Himself||Nominated|
|2015 All Africa Music Awards||Best Artist in African Pop||Nominated|
|2016||The Headies 2015||Rookie of The Year||Won|
|The Headies 2016||Next Rated||Himself||Nominated|
|2017||AFRIMA 2017||Best African hip-hop||Won|
|Soundcity MVP Awards Festival||Best Collaboration||Nominated|
|2019||The Headies 2019||Lyricist on the Roll||Nominated|
- "Olamide Jumps on the Remix to 'Jagaban' by Ycee". BellaNaija. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Bodunrin, Sola (8 September 2015). "Fresh: Ycee Releases Jagaban Video". Naij. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Shola, Ayeotan (22 August 2015). "Olamide, Davido, Wizkid, Sarkodie Dominate All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) Categories [FULL LIST]". Entertainment Express. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Tomi (19 December 2016). "Headies Awards 2016 : Complete List of Nominees". Culture Custodian. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- Jayne Augoye (5 February 2018). "Tinny Entertainment announces termination of Ycee's deal with Sony Music". Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- Ecomium Weekly (28 July 2015). "'I'm not a womanizer' – YCEE". Ecomium. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Bodunrin, Sola. "Exclusive: Ycee The Jagaban Speaks On His Success". Naij. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Ade-Unuigbe, Adesola (19 October 2015). "Kiss Daniel, Korede Bello, Falz, Wizkid, Olamide, Davido & More Nominated for the 10th Annual Nigerian Entertainment Awards". BellaNaija. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Bodunrin, Sola (19 October 2015). "Exclusive: Olamide Teams Up With Jagaban Master, Ycee". Naij. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Anazia, Daniel (25 July 2015). "Ycee Makes A Come Back To The Music Scene With 'Condo'". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Toyin Owoseje (January 13, 2018). "YCEE brings the Afrobeats Juice and plenty of sauce with surprise guests at sold-out London show". International Business Times. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- BellaNaija (2019-01-17). "New Year, New Record Label? YCee parts ways with Tinny Entertainment". bellanaija.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
- admin (2019-01-17). "Ycee Announces His Own Record Label". Freeinstrumental.com.ng. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
- Motolani Alake (8 November 2019). "YCee releases debut album, 'YceevsZaheer'". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- BellaNaija.com (2017-07-07). "New Music: Dapo Tuburna feat. Olamide & Ycee – Nothing (Remix)". BellaNaija. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
- "Essentials: Bella Alubo and YCee get in their feels for 'Late Night Vibrations' EP". The Native. 2018-01-31. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
- "Arosino - BigMan Doingz ft. Ycee, Dapo Tuburna & Karma « tooXclusive". tooXclusive. 2018-10-04. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
- "Heartbreak inspires YCee's new 7-track EP, 'Love Drunk'". Pulse Nigeria. 2021-10-02. Retrieved 2021-10-02.