To put it simply, Aramide’s music is soothing. Perhaps as a result of this, organisers of the Headies awards decided to give her the award for Best Vocal Performance in 2015. She still has a lot to unveil in 2016 she told ABISOLA ALAWODE.
Most upcoming musicians hold the view that having a good voice is all they need to make it in the industry. Are they right to assume this? If no, what other skills is needed to survive in the industry?
Having a good voice is a part of it. Because talent must be guaranteed, but it’s not enough most times. You need confidence and courage, and also time to concentrate on your craft. Everyday rehearsal is very important, especially for live performances and also creating a brand that people can identify with. Hard work and patience is needed. It takes a new business between two to four years to stabilise or become really successful, and that is how I look at it personally. Lastly, be realistic with your expectations, especially when people make promises. And have a good attitude.
The video for your song I Don’t Care recently hit the airwaves, and judging from the responses it has garnered, more and more people are warming up to your music. How do you feel about this?
I Don’t Care is a song I enjoyed writing and recording as well. It was produced by SizzlePro. The video was shot by Stanz visual and we had fun and great chemistry on set. I am happy it came out great and everyone loves it. So to answer your question, it’s an amazing feeling and I’m grateful to God. I think people are always ready for good music, especially if it’s really good. And I’ll keep working very hard to always be better than my last.
Would it be right to describe your style of music as alternative soul? If yes, what are your thoughts on the alternative scene in Nigeria presently?
Here in Nigeria, my genre of music is grouped under alternative music. But my music is actually soul music or afro-soul. Like I always say, Afro Soul is the fusion of African sound and language with soul music. And the alternative sound is getting bigger. More artistes are sticking to their sound and are not afraid of sounding different anymore. I believe there is space for it and it will get bigger with time. People are paying attention to our sound now, and that’s really encouraging.
What are you doing to separate yourself or stand out from other alternative/soul artistes out there?
I’m a female instrumentalist. I . and sing at the same time, and my sound is me and I’m always myself. That makes me stand out. I always work very hard at getting better at my craft.
Besides building a fan-base for Brand Aramide, tell us more about your plans for the future.
Right now, I’m working with my producers on my album which is dropping sometime in this year. I’m really excited about this project. I’ll be shooting videos of songs from the album. I’m also looking forward to doing a tour; taking music to the people. And the plan is to be successful, create evergreen music and be a good reference to the younger generation. I’ll love to go back to Jos and probably get involved in one or two charities or projects. I’ll want to give back to the town that helped me discover and nurture my talent.
You once said that in the next five years, “You picture yourself being an international artiste”. By international, what do you mean?
By international I mean outside Nigeria, outside Africa. Across Europe and America. I believe that is possible and I have an amazing team that supports me. And we are all really working towards that.
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Any plans for a full length album anytime soon?
Yes! Definitely in 2016.
You grew up in Jos, Plateau State. Would you say this had an impact in the kind of music you do today?
Yes it has. I think the music I was exposed to and the people I surrounded myself with helped create my sound. And there are amazing musicians in Jos. People take creativity seriously in Jos.
If you had the chance of working with one musician in the world, who would it be and why?
That will definitely be India Arie. She is an amazing song writer and guitarist. She made me love soul music and also the guitar. Doing a collaboration with her would mean the world to me.
How do you plan to distribute your music, seeing that, in Nigeria, we still haven’t gotten it right with our distribution channels.
It has gotten better over the years. However, my team and I are already creating retail-driven distribution model, and also collaborating with well-known distribution companies. There are basically different means of distributing music, we would explore all avenues.
What piece of advice would you give anyone who wants a career in the art?
My advice is that such one should be patient. Learn to take criticism and work hard. Remember, every step you take towards your career adds up; it’s never a waste.