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Nigerian singer, Darey Art Alade in an interview with TheSun reflects on his childhood, music, family and other issues.
On his nude album cover:
I was not naked. Was I naked? (Laughs).Those images are metaphors to represent the real essence of the album. It’s about being vulnerable and I needed to show my vulnerability. Taking a picture like that, I would never think I will do that in a thousand years. It’s not something I would do ordinarily. So, to do it meant having to expose myself and if you want to talk about being naked, it’s not in the sense of physical nakedness but we are rather talking about emotional vulnerability. How do you illustrate that? It’s impossible without such an image, of course, and it’s not obscene. It wasn’t about showing my genitalia and it was tastefully done. It’s an artistic expression which comes with a proviso so to speak. It’s not by itself. We have two different pictures and the hash tag is Darey naked to promote the album and we also had a quote, a different picture that had a quote, talking about you know, stripping yourself bare of any pretence or anything, any insecurity and sharing your story. The idea is to post that picture and share something about you that people do not know or you would not want to tell people normally.
On the inspiration and meaning behind his song, Inside of me:
The title is suggestive but we are not talking about anything more than love. It’s just about love, so it’s inside of you and the inspiration I mean is just to make a nice love song that mature adults can enjoy, that anybody can listen to .We wanted a meaningful love song, the type you will feel, an authentic heart-felt lyric not just let’s put some words together or let’s finish the song quickly. It was deliberately written, arranged and made that way.
What it was like working with Asa:
I have been friends with Asa for some time and she is like my sister. Asa and I have been close friends for many years but it was actually the first time we worked together. So, for me it was very special and I know it was special for her too.
His take on being the John Legend of Nigeria:
It’s an honour to be compared to someone like that. I have met him before and he is a really cool guy whose music I like. He has won Grammies, he has made so many hits and we both play the piano. Those are some of our similarities. However, I do not think my voice sounds like his voice.
His most embarrassing moment on stage?
It was a very long time ago before I even dreamt of writing my songs. I was performing at a club, Jazz Ville at Onike, Yaba and I didn’t know all the lyrics of the song. At a point, when I started, I noticed I was singing rubbish, I had to tell the band to stop. I apologised to the audience and told them I wanted to start again. I forgot the lyrics but it was not a concert and it was like a small arrangement then. It was a bit embarrassing but I got over it, it’s one of those things.
Most embarrassing experience with a female fan:
I remember one day, a young lady wanted to take a picture with me and I was walking with my wife. You know when an event just finished,so you can imagine many people walking in different directions and you are trying to make your way out of the venue. Then somebody just called me Darey! Darey!! I want to take a picture with you. The next thing she did was to push my wife out of the way and she no even send anybody at that point. Her own was “I want my picture” and it was a bit embarrassing and my wife understood. She just moved away, you know we deal with all these things every day.
How romantic are you?
I try o. Romance is about the simple things, it is about doing some things at the unexpected time. It is not about how big the surprise is, you do it when she is not expecting it. For instance, you can buy a bouquet of flowers and go to her office. Maybe you do not normally go and meet her in her office, you can send it there and you put a very small note or write a note and put under her pillow, so when she is looking for something and she sees it, it’s that element of surprise. Communication is key, so from time to time, you just do some things that will surprise her, make her feel special. It’s not about how much you spend really, it’s not about anything fancy like going to an exotic place, there is no magic about it. It’s just about the moments and how you spend those moments.