…Says: ‘I’m not really a clout chaser’
BY ROTIMI AGBANA
Afro-soul/jazz musician and multi-instrumentalist, Aramide Sarumoh is not resting on her oars to remain on top of her game, in spite of the fact that her brand of music is relatively not popular among the lovers of contemporary Nigerian music.
In this interview with SHOWTIME CELEBRITY, the ‘Fun mi lowo’ crooner talks on her music, family life and annual concert among other sundry issues.
Looking back, how would you describe the level of success you’ve recorded in your music career?
I’m grateful to God for how far he has brought me and I’ll say, I’m still working very hard to achieve the things I really want to achieve. But for now, I’m on my way and I’m not stopping anytime soon. I still believe there’s so much more out there. But so far so good, I’m achieving and conquering and I’m happy.
Judging by the dynamic nature of the Nigerian music industry, the Aramide brand of music gained traction faster than expected. What would you say was responsible for this?
Consistency played a major part/role in sustaining my brand; being Aramide, making the type of music that I make, hard work and commitment.
Word on the street is that an award winning artiste of your pedigree isn’t as visible as expected of you. What’s your take on this?
I do what I have to do to be out there. I’m not really a clout chaser. And most times I’m in and out of the country; either playing at international festivals, shows or dedicating my time to adding value to my career or being better at my craft. My work speaks for itself, when it’s time. And honestly, I don’t think it’s by the noise you make but by the quality of work you deliver. I have sat with a lot of international superstars to understand this.
Some say you make music for the elite; how true is this allegation?
I hear that a lot too but it’s not true. I make music for everyone. I make music that’s very relatable too but I think people have their preference. It’s safe to say we have a lot to choose from in our industry today, which is a symbol of growth to me.
Would you say your music is getting the attention it deserves?
Yes it is. People love the genre and it’s fast becoming popular and growing steadily. Of course, there are challenges, but with the right promotions and timing, everything falls in place. But so far, it’s gaining a lot of relevance and we can only continue to be consistent.
Why does it seem like you’ve been absent from the music scene?
I don’t think I’ve been absent. I dropped a couple of singles and videos last year and embarked on a tour in the United States as well. Also, I’ve been working on new projects home and abroad. The whole essence is to spread not just to do the same things and expect the same results.
How has marriage and family life impacted on your music?
Nothing has changed.
What lessons has marriage and family life taught you.
I have the right to my privacy.
Have you ever felt like you should have pushed your music career a bit further before getting married?
With the kind of music in vogue now, have you been tempted to switch from making Afro-soul/jazz music?
My style of music or genre is what I love to do and I try to be as relatable as possible and I move with time. I’m not fazed by what is happening around me.
In celebration of the International Women’s Day, you recently had the 2nd edition of ‘Songversation with Aramide’. What birthed the idea of celebrating this iconic day with a personal concert?
I started ‘Songversation with Aramide’ to support and celebrate women. There was a time, women were unappreciated, our voices were silenced and our actions were ignored even when we tried but today the narrative is gradually changing. Women can successfully occupy strategic positions without questioning; attain positions in politics and other spheres of life.
We are finally getting the appreciation we deserve. And we can only do this by holding each other’s hands and genuinely support each other. ‘Songversation with Aramide’ is my own quota in supporting and celebrating women. That’s why it holds in March, the month that celebrates women all around the world. ‘Songversation’ is having conversations through songs. Sharing experiences written about especially since I’m a story teller. Also, discussing topics that help push women forward as well.
How do you intend to sustain this annual concert aimed at celebrating women around the world?
It’s a platform that celebrates women annually. Everyone is valued, everyone is regarded and every woman is celebrated and honoured. By getting the right brands and affiliations, I think it would go a long way in empowering and achieving what we intend to through this platform. Also, we intend to go to other places outside of Lagos to do same. It’s for women so we’re going all out.
What meaningful impact has the two editions you’ve had made on the Nigerian woman?
We honored women who have impacted their fields and being a light to other women. Younger women and women with ambition look up to them for inspiration and also, the platform has helped showcase and promote new music talents. And we’ve seen brands come together to support one cause, which is the most amazing.
After the release of your debut album ‘Suitcase’ in 2016, you embarked on ‘Aramide Suitcase Live’ tour (Ghana, Nigeria, USA, Canada, Brazil, etc). What did you learn while on this tour that has benefitted your music immensely?
Absolutely, the tour has been one of the best things to happen to my career. It exposed my sound further and gave me new reach. It’s what is expected of us as artistes and that’s how we sustain and spread our music. It’s opened more doors both at home and at the international stage. Experiencing different cultures and performing on various platforms is always something I look forward to.
Music is a universal language and once it’s good, it’s easy to have people in your corner. A few weeks ago, I was at the South by Southwest Sxsw in Austin and last year, I was at the upstream music festival in Seattle. And will be in Kenya later in the year for another music festival. There’s so much in the pipeline. And of course more music and a new project I can’t wait to share.
How would you describe the quality of music in vogue on the Nigerian music scene?
I think everyone is doing what they need to do to stay relevant. To each his own; do what you’re comfortable with, create a vibe and make people happy. And I’m all for that. I celebrate everyone and wish them the best just as I wish myself.