For enigmatic African artiste, Ara, there is no place like home. After a sojourn in far away Iceland where she had gone to reunite with her hubby, Prince Ola Nurudeen Saliu, and later crossing over to Miami in United States where she gave birth to her son, Abdumalik Bisola, the goddess of talking drum few weeks ago returned to the country, smoking hot and eager to hit the music circuit.
A soulful singer, dancer and choreographer, Ara, which in English means “wonder or mystery”, is indeed a wonder to behold on stage. Emerging as the first female talking drummer in Africa, the Ondo State indigene began singing and drumming at a tender age of 5 and ever since has taken her art to the nooks and crannies of the world, performing alongside music icons like Stevie Wonder, Wyclef Jean and All For One among others.
However, during the musician’s brief absence from home, her numerous fans had continuously inundated her office with personal visits and phone calls wanting to know when she would be back to the country.
Not only this, Ara’s mail box and blogs were jam packed with letters, messages and enquiries from fans, friends, relatives and well wishers who have really missed her unique musical performance.
Now the diva is back to continue from where she had stopped.
”It’s good to be home after a safe delivery of my son,” Ara told us, adding, “I am finally home to continue from where I had stopped. I am really ready to give my best to my fans scattered across the country.”
Right now, Ara is in the studio with award winning producers from Nigeria and America working on her long awaited debut album. But then in a few weeks time, the UNESCO ambassador will hit the scene with a hot single entitled, “Lakiti” featuring OJB Jezreel as a singer and producer.
Meanwhile, Ara has appointed a new management company, Raindrop Inc to run her affairs in Nigeria . The company is run by versatile Tompson Ola Tabi of the Black Image fame who over the years has been involved with the multi talented act.
My kind of music
My kind of music is known as “Music Africa with a K” It focuses on presenting Africa and African culture in a cosmopolitan manner, which is designed to enhance its acceptability throughout the world. My music replicates the consistent movement and motions of people of African descent and characterized by its spontaneity. Also, my music reminds Africans of their past and is intertwined with the folkloric nature of the African people handed down from generation to generation.
I have performed on both local and international stages. In 2004, I featured alongside Stevie Wonder in a show that took place in Accra , Ghana . Also the same year, I performed alongside Wyclef Jean and All For One in Lagos . In 2005, I was invited to perform at the 60th anniversary of UNESCO held in Paris . Based on my unique performance at the show, UNESCO invited me to play at its concert held last year in Paris . I was one of the artistes that thrilled Her Majesty, the Queen of England including some Commonwealth Heads of State during the CHOGOM in Abuja .
Awards and honours
I have in my kitty many awards including AMEN Awards 2007, Nigerian Music Awards (Most Innovative Female Performer), African Heritage Awards (Best Female Act), Nigerian Union of Journalists Award 2007, and Ayangalu Foundation (Recognition Award among others. I hold the Freedom Key to the City of Miami Dade County, Miami , Florida , USA . I am also the First Ambassador of The Down Syndrome Association.
I have a pet programme which I started about two years ago. It is called Ara’s Passion Project which I intend to use to provide shelter, medical support, social welfare and conducive atmosphere for proper learning to alleviate the poverty of mind and life of 100, 000 indigent children in 2020.