RISING STAR: Darey
PEOPLE & PLACES caught up with Nigerian singing sensation Darey while he was recently visiting the UK getting ready for the release of his debut single The Way You Are featuring US rapper Chamillionaire.
Having already notched up awards across Africa including Best Male Vocal at the 2010 MTV MAMAs and Record of The Year and Listeners Choice Award at the Channel O Awards in South Africa. Here he explains his passion for music and reveals who he’d most like to kiss.
When did you realise you wanted to be a star?
From when I was a kid I always wanted to be star and I worked my way upwards. I joined a choir and I learned to play music and studied very hard. I would also say that my music interest also comes from a lineage in the family. My father and my mum all dabbled in music albeit my father more professionally. Music was all around me and I walked straight into it!
You got your break on reality TV show Project Fame. How has your life changed since taking part?
It’s been very interesting! It’s been a great platform and a great stepping stone. Millions of viewers were able to see me perform, which has helped build my fan base right across Africa. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to see if all this ‘good life’ is real! I applied for Project Fame because I was working on radio at the time as a DJ and making commercials, so I thought let me just try and see how that goes. And as you say, the rest is history.
What is the most elaborate gift you have bought yourself since your success?
Diamond rings and nice clothes. But I think the most elaborate purchase is my dream car. I always wanted a Range Rover with my own private number plate. Now all I need is an Aston Martin and a Ferrari.
You have performed on the same stage as Beyonce and Jay-Z and toured with 50 Cent and Ciara. Who else would you like to share the stage with?
I would love to sing alongside people like Christina Aguilera, Jessie J and Mariah Carey.
What’s your life’s motto?
It’s something that my dad always says. “Keep on trying. Always keep going and never give up on your dreams.”
If you could give any celebrity, sportsman/woman or political leader a tour of your homeland who would you chose and why?
I would choose both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Clinton because I met him once and thought he was really nice plus he is a great saxophonist. I would also choose Obama because he is such an iconic figure and interesting in so many ways. I think Obama and Clinton are such great guys and I would love to show them around Nigeria. I would take them to Amala Shitta - which a local term for food and I would give them the best Nigerian finger-licking meal of their life and I would love to take them to one of our local festivals like the Eyo just to show them the other side of Nigerian culture experiencing the colours, fabrics and see the beautiful dancers and masquerades.
Do you have any fears?
Probably dying but I’m always reassured by the fact that the things you do will always come back to you so I guess it’s not really a fear.
How does it feel to be tipped as Africa’s answer to Ne-Yo?
Honoured! My fans have been amazing!
How would you describe your style and where does your musical inspiration come from?
I think it’s just from within. I love soulful music and I try to sing what I feel and talk about topics and subjects I have a great passion for.
Who are your musical inspirations?
So many, I love the Black Eyed Peas, in terms of their performance. I love Beyonce, John Legend and of course Fela Kuti.
If you could kiss one lucky lady goodnight, who would it be and why?
It would be the lady who I am with at the moment because I absolutely adore her.