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ARAMIDE: Why I admire Alicia Keys

Nigerian female singer and songwriter, Aramide Sarumoh, simply known as Aramide, is currently working on her first official single, after her ‘Suitcase’ album, released in 2016. In this interview with DUPE AYINLA-OLASUNKANMI, she speaks on her musical experience, among other issues.

WHY did you choose music?

I fell in love with music at a very young age due to the fact that I grew up around music. My father loved and embraced good sounds, and it gave me the inspiration I needed to kick off my singing career.

Which musical instruments do you play?

I play the guitar and saxophone.

Are you working on any song at the moment?

Yes I’m working on my next single set to be released soon. This is going to be my first official single after the release of my 2016 album ‘Suitcase’. I’m also working on a new album.

What was the first tune you learnt?

The first song I learnt to play on the guitar is a song by Sheryl Crow called ‘First Cut is the Deepest’. The chords on the guitar are very easy and beginner-friendly.

Does your family have a musical background?

My family doesn’t, but my dad is a music lover and every good sound I heard growing up was played by my dad; from Cool and the Gang to Ray Charles to Fela to Bob Marley and lots more.

Which famous musician do you admire and why?

I love Alicia Keys. First of all, she has an amazing voice and she is also a female instrumentalist. That is very inspiring. She has toured the world and won awards and she stays grounded and true to herself.

Did you have the opportunity to learn from any famous musician?

Yes I did. I learnt a lot during my time at the Star Quest show. Also I learnt a lot from my former record label, Trybe Records. I learnt work ethics from Eldee. One thing he always said was keep recording, it’s never too much, because we don’t know when things will change and we might not have time to do the little things again.

Which was your first instrument played as an artiste?

The first musical instrument I learnt how to play is the saxophone. I love jazz music and so I wanted to learn an instrument that was jazz inclined.

What are your fondest musical memories?

I have a lot of fun music memories. From secondary school, when my friends and I put together a group and we taught ourselves how to sing harmonies and blend our voices and we eventually did an album. It was a remarkable moment in my life. Also, the preparation and release of my album, ‘Suitcase’, was a moment for me too. A lot of energy went into producing the album, I am very pleased with the level of acceptance and recognitions it got after all that hard work.

What influenced your type of music?

The music my father listened to growing up influenced my style of music somehow. He listened to different genres of music like jazz, Afrobeat, soul and funk music and other great sounds. I give him that credit all the time and he loves it.

Have you been in competition with your favourite artiste?

Not at all. I respect everyone’s artistry. Make compliments if it’s necessary.

How does it feel when you mount the stage?

Performing in public is always a very wonderful experience for me. Having people sing along, dance and enjoying my sound always brings joy to my heart because to me that is what good music does to people.

Describe the difference in your style of music.

My music is called Afro Soul. It’s soul music that is fused in with African sounds, language and instrumentals. Also, my music moves with time and I make sure of that.

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

If I make a mistake during a performance, you most likely wouldn’t know. Because, I’ve learnt how to move on fast and arrange my face quickly. Also, I can always improvise to make everything look great. The most important thing is for my audience to have a good time and not how I feel at that time or moment.

Do you get nervous before a performance?

I get nervous all the time. I think it’s because I really care and I’m very focused on giving a great performance all the time. Although, I have been singing and performing for a while now, therefore I am comfortable on stage. I also rehearse a lot and that has really helped me.

What advice would you give to beginners?

Stay true to yourself.

Do you attend sessions, and what makes a good session?

Yes, I do. For me, what makes a good session is having my band jam with me. And once my music director is satisfied with our session and I feel great about it from within then that’s good enough for me.

How often and for how long do you practice?

I practice as often as I can.

How do you balance your music with other obligations?

My husband is very understanding and caring. He is supportive of my career, which makes balancing my musical career and marriage very easy.

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