Multi-talented singer and songwriter, Darey Art-Alade, son of renowned Nigerian entertainer, Art Alade of blessed memory, started music professionally when he emerged third runner-up at the 2004 edition of Project Fame Academy.
He bears his mind in this interview with DUPE AYINLA-OLASUNKANMI on a number of issues, including his 10th wedding anniversary, why he went ‘Naked’ on his album and other issues.
YOU recently celebrated your 10th wedding anniversary, tell us about it?
This is a personal milestone that was spent with my wife and kids. I believe it is important to keep the memories away from prying eyes.
How would you describe the experience of being married for a decade without front page headlines?
Marriage is a beautiful thing. Front page headlines are most times ugly and negative and sadly that’s what sells the news. The two things are like oil and water. Don’t mix!
Does your wife feel threatened when you are amidst female fans?
I just asked her. She said no oh and laughed out loud.
What brought about the concept of your song, Pray For Me, featuring the Soweto Choir?
It is a wonderful song that was simply born out of inspiration. Oscar heman-ackah who produced the song has also worked with the likes of P-square and others. He told me of a story of how P-square left home many years ago in order to achieve their dreams. The rest as they say is history.
You have been in the game for a very long time, yet you do not follow the general trend of music. How have you been able to manage your own style?
I have never been one to follow trends. It is just not in my composition. I like to keep things simple and create new waves. Most of my life’s work has paved the way for others and birthed new beginnings. Staying true to oneself is extremely important in the music game.
There was a period you went silent. What was behind that decision?
I think this was a few years ago when I was focusing on live spot as a creative agency and ensuring our team had the wherewithal to operate on the next level and help our teeming clients bring their ideas to life. All that while I was still recording music which gave birth to the Naked album that had songs like Pray for me, Orekelewa, I go make am and others.
You usually pick international stars for your concert, why?
Love Like A Movie has had several international stars from Nigeria, Africa, Europe and beyond, featured in different capacities. From dancers to singers to special performers to special guest appearances and red carpet hosts. The format of LLAM is quite detailed and extensive and we have been able to raise the bar for event production and audience experience in Nigeria.
Don’t you think it is quite expensive bringing them down to Nigeria for a day concert?
I guess you are referring to our special guests in the past like Kelly Rowland etc. There is no price you can put on creativity. Whether you charge $10 or £5m per appearance, what is paramount is the value you add to wherever you are required to showcase your creativity.
What is the next big project you are working on?
I really wish I could tell you about it but it is under wraps for now. Be rest assured that I am recording new music though amongst working on other ground-breaking projects.
What is it like working with artistes whose genres of music are different from yours?
Always a pleasure to learn from others; making music is magical, so traversing each genre brings a lot of excitement.
Aside music, do you have other engagement that also adds to your income, as an artiste?
Certainly; as I mentioned earlier, Livespot group is a rapidly growing creative agency that creates the wow factor for our clients. Aside from Livespot, our other business interests include interior decor, equipment hire, solution consulting and more.
Going naked for the cover of your fourth album, tell us what makes that album special?
It came from a special place; naked is a metaphor for baring emotion. All you need to do is listen to it in order to understand the depth and soul.
You were reported to be the first Nigerian male singer to strip in this manner; did you get negative response towards this particular concept?
Not at all. People realised what the actual message was especially when everyone began sharing their own “naked” moments on social media that showed their own vulnerability. Naked is all about being okay with who you are regardless of circumstances.
Are you fully back to Lagos?
Fully back to Lagos and still operating in Abuja. Please don’t ask how.
Share with us the fun memories of being son of Art Alade?
There are too many to mention! He was always making us laugh even when he tried to be stern. He always loved music around him and he always cared about his family. Sometimes I would go out with him and just watch the effect he had on people. I also remember him helping me with my music homework when I was still a young boy.
You said in an interview that you don’t care about money, why are you then working if not for monetary gain?
Money comes and goes and does not respect anyone. What is important to me is how i make people feel. It is about having a positive effect on people around you. Lending a helping hand, building a legacy that will outlive you, of course you need money to survive. Saying I do not care about it does not mean I do not need it. We all do!
Can you share with upcoming artistes the secret to being a successful brand?
Be prayerful and God-fearing. Be good to people who come your way. Stay humble and true to yourself. Learn your craft well and become a master at it. Everything else will fall in place!
Would you say getting endorsements is also a surviving strategy for an artiste?
It is not a bad thing as it helps you pay your bills and keeps your brand out there but it is more important to build your brand to that level where you are sought after. Unfortunately, piracy is still ripping our income apart so artists have to find new ways of surviving.
What is the difference between Darey the artiste and Darey the father?
This is a question for my kids! The artiste is the public figure and the father is the local superhero his kids look up to!
Source: The Nations