Body & Soul

COVID-19 gave me my best songs –Darey Art Alade

After a few years of missing in action in the music scene Nigeria’s super talented singer, Dare Art Alade is back with a new tune. In this interview with Ifeoma Ononye, he speaks about discovering the deepest part of his music skill during the pandemic and what inspired his new single


It took you a long time to come out with a new song. Is it deliberate or you work according to the flow of inspiration?


All of the above really. Sometimes the inspiration comes first. Other times words and melodies or I just camp out with other producers and songwriters and we vibe!


Aside from music, what other forms of entertainment have you considered going into?


As many people may remember, over the years I’ve been a radio DJ and an on air personality, TV presenter, hype man, event host and MC, actor (yes I’ve done some stage plays in the past). And I was a creative director responsible for several groundbreaking experiences such as Love Like A Movie, Livespot X Festival, Born In Africa Festival, The F a l z Experience t o m e n – tion a few.



Tell us about the new single you are promoting right now. What inspired the lyrics?


‘Jah Guide Me’ was written and produced during the lockdown and it represents so much more than just the uncertainties that COVID-19 brought upon us. It represents human frailty and also the economic difficulties we all face as Nigerians. With the rising cost of food, fuel etc. Our only respite is God hence the lyrics contained within the record.


Was there any member of your family that has talent in music that you took after?


My late father Modupeola Afolabi “Art” Alade was a jazz musician, TV producer and host of the famous Bar Beach Show and Art Alade Show of those golden years in Nigerian entertainment. People say I took after him a lot although I was quite young when he passed on.


What kind of music did you enjoy while growing up?


I enjoyed everything from classical music to church music, Jazz, Apala, Highlife, Agidigbo, Juju, R&B, Cuban music, Soul, Blues, Hip Hop and alternative. I literally listened to everything and soaked them all in.


At what point did you tell yourself that soul and R&B music is what you are cut out for?


My genre of music is what I coined Afro&B and is a fusion of African rhythm, soulful lyrics and vocals laced with distinct melodies that pierce the soul.


Many singers who started with slow music have had to drop out or switched because an average Nigerian prefers club banger music. How have you been able to maintain the kind of music you are doing despite the fact that Nigerians love party jams?



I have a l w a y s m a i n – t a i n e d that variety and diversity will only help us to grow our industry and you can see that because of such consistency, other younger acts have been able to find their footing on the scene, make a name for themselves, pay their bills and carve a niche, complete with fans and all. Nigerians have gone past the old days of enjoying only one type of music.


Have you ever thought about making music that can keep people dancing for long?


Every musician has a calling. I found mine a long time ago!


The COVID-19 pandemic made many musicians dive deeper into their creativity, what did you discover during these times of staying indoors to stay alive?


I discovered more depth. Introspection is the key to uncovering new layers to one’s humanity. Quality time with family was also an added bonus of this pandemic period. In all, I’ve recorded some of my best music till date and can’t wait to share them with the world!


As a coach for many music talent shows, what do you usually look out for?


I am currently a coach on The Voice Nigeria Season 3 and I am looking forward to sharing my experience with the contestants who come onto the platform. I will also be learning from them, so it’s gonna be a great time for us all. I look out for great vocals, ability to interpret emotions, diction, communication and generally star quality that is hard to come by. You’ve got to bring something different from what we are all used to hearing. Unleash your true potential!


What qualities would you say makes a good music artist?


Passion, hard work, perseverance, dedication and a good heart. I omitted talent because it’s not going to be what separates you from the others. Everyone has talent…


Who is Darey outside of the public eye, is he a homely man, a jovial person, outgoing guy or an introvert?


Darey is an easy going, fun loving, homely yet sociable guy. A people’s person who is also able to mind his business when necessary. I always strive for balance in my life. Too much of anything isn’t good for the soul.


What other hobbies do you have that is not connected to music?


I love sports, gaming and travelling. I play tennis, football, basketball, snooker, table tennis with a lot of dexterity. I also love to ride motorcycles and take drives around town. In addition to meeting people from all walks of life.


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