Darey definitely has stepped out of the long shadow that his father cast. Some might not even link the name of father with son. Over the past 10 years, one has witnessed the transformation of a young restless boy who followed his jazz-playing father to concerts, into an all-round entertainer who loves to be in the spotlight. Dare Art-Alade spoke with Hazeez Balogun, recently.
Darey is always up to something, but in recent times you seem to have been silent?
I have been performing at special functions and concerts. From the presidential invitation to perform at the ‘Nigeria at 50’ State Dinner with African Heads of States to the wonderful Calabar Festival where I performed for over 15,000 people at U.J Esuene Stadium. It’s been a busy time. Also, most importantly for my third studio album. I’m about to release “Double Dare” into the Nigerian market and also release internationally, so I’ve been quite busy.
You were at the MAMA awards but you were not nominated despite having exceptional videos. How does that make you feel?
I’ve had a quiet year in terms of new material so I probably didn’t qualify for the year under review. I had nominations in 2009 and I’m looking forward to 2011 also.
Some say you have a style of music Nigerians are not ready for. Do you agree?
I would say that it is a big fat lie! My music has done surprisingly well especially for the genre and style and we can all see that the Nigerian audience has become more supportive of good, quality songwriting, production and packaging, so our market is growing and the fan support is quite overwhelming really…
You had a television show going on, but was cut-off air. Was that a deliberate move?
It was only to air for a short period and also to test the market. We are currently re-designing the show and it will surely be back in a bigger way. With your support and everyone’s backing; God sparing our lives, it will be back on the air.
Tell us more about the new album
It is titled “Double Dare” and will be a double album with two extremely contrasting styles of music. It will be released under Soul Muzik and promoted and marketed all over Africa .
You are known to shoot high quality videos. With all the piracy going on, does album sales cover for the production costs?
Album sales has never covered anyone’s production costs. It’s a long term investment in what we believe in and gradually, we will make profit over time. I am in this for the long haul. Some artistes are running a marathon with the mindset of a sprint.
You have collaborated with a lot of Nigerian acts. Who else would you like to do a song with?
I would have loved to work with the late Da Grin, God rest his soul. Some other interesting talents are Asa, TY Bello, Omawumi and Waje.
What about foreign acts?
People like Ludacris, John Legend, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera. Keri Hilson is also a fabulous talent.
Who is your favourite Nigerian artiste, asides from yourself?
I would say 2face Idibia. We have worked together on songs from my precious album and I am humbled by his talent and humility. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s my brother from another mother.
You have settled quite well to married life. Do you sometimes feel you are missing out when you see all the fun, especially female attention, your single colleagues are having?
No such thing. I still get more attention than some of them. Seriously, you should try and notice it. I have no complaints really. Life is good.
Some ladies knowing that you are married will still try to get close. What do you do in such situation?
I have no problems handling that. It’s easy to draw a line.
Can you tell us one of such experiences?
There is none that is so memorable…
Seeing how the industry is like, will you allow your children to do the kind of job you do?
If my kids are prepared to work hard and have the flair to do it, then I will be totally supportive. They must also go to school and study hard. They must have something to lean on when the times become tough.
Musicians these days depend solely on shows and endorsements. What do you think can be done to boost sales?
Simple, a foolproof and sophisticated distribution mechanism. That will enrich all stakeholders and reward their investments.
There is a body that is advocating for all radio stations to pay for all music they play. Is that the way to go?
It’s a good start. There’s more to do after that. Creativity can not be priced but should be appreciated by being paid for. It’s hard work!
Can we say Darey is a rich artiste?
Amen. I claim it oh! Darey is musically rich. The music hasn’t started yielding the desired results yet. But I am hoping and praying that soon that will change.
What are the things you want to do in life?
I am living my life’s dreams right now. I would love to share my talent and music with the rest of the world and showcase my African heritage by performing all over the globe.
Young Nigerian musicians are yet to have a body, one voice. Do you think such a body is necessary?
Until we have steady electricity, potable water, good roads and infrastructure, better education and a better life for us all, a government that will address our basic needs etc. We must get our priorities straight before other things will fall in place.
You used to be a radio personality. Is it possible for us to still hear Darey present on radio?
I surely hope so. I would love to own my own station soon. I really love radio and television. I have so many show ideas and blueprints that will make for great content for radio and TV. You will definitely hear Darey again and again.
Thank you for the opportunity you have given me. God bless your works and have a wonderful 2011.
Thank you, my brother.