He was in the news in recent times for his exceptional ‘Love Like A Movie’ concert that held in Lagos, Nigeria in February. No, I wasn’t privileged to attend, but the reviews have been unparalleled. I have seen pictures too of amazing graphic displays, cirque du soleil performers and acrobats; heard of the amazing organization and technical control, and of course, there was terrific music from the master himself.
And before you start getting starry eyed, you must know, ‘it didn’t all happen in one day.’
Oluwadamilare Art Alade who hails from Lagos State, was born to the family of ace Nigerian entertainer Art Alade; it is safe to say singing was in his genes, but he still worked hard to make it work for him. The loss of his Father at the age of 12 made him independent and focused from an early age; Dare worked jobs as a DJ at Cool Fm, performed at live gigs singing alongside the famous Olaitan ‘The Heavywind’ Adeniji, sang with the National Troupe of Nigeria Choir and then the Cathedral Choir at the Marina and started performing simultaneously in clubs while he was an undergraduate student in the Creative Arts Department of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Long before we put a face to the resonating voice on radio, Dare was burning the midnight oil.
He shot into limelight when he starred on the reality show ‘Project Fame’, and emerged as third in the singing competition. From that point on, the young musician seems to raise the bar with every song, every performance and every album. A trail of awards accompanies his every move and bears testament to the well of talent that lies within. The ever-perfect host, Dare has anchored events attended by World leaders and top dignitaries, such as past U.S Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria.
His discography includes From Me 2 U, unDAREYted which was released in 2009, DoubleDare; 2011 and Darey. His hit singles include Escalade (2006), Fuji (2006), With This Woman (2008), Carry Dey Go (featuring 2Face Idibia) (2008), Not The Girl (2008), More (2009), No Stars (2009, Let You Know (2009), Style Na Style Remix ft. 9ice, Password & Jesse Jagz (2009), Stroke Me (2009),The Way You Are (2010), Don’t Let Me Know (2010), and Asiko (2013).
The awards garnered include Best Male Video and Best R&B Video for “Not The Girl” at the 2009 Channel O Music Video Awards, Best R&B for “Not The Girl” at the 2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards, Best Use Of Costume for “More” 2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards, Video Of The Year for “More” at the 2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards, Best Music Video Of The Year for “Not The Girl” at the 2009 Nigeria Entertainment Awards, Best R&B Video for “Escalade” at the 2006 Channel O Music Video Awards, and Best Picture / Musical Video for “Escalade” at the Awards for Musical Excellence in Nigeria (A.M.E.N).
Dare says of his remarkable abilities “I learned by listening, just using my ear and taking everything in. I learned the roots of music and also I kept up with the ties, so I can do classic and contemporary. I can vibe in the studio or perform opera on stage. Being versatile is my forte.” His resourcefulness is evident in his music videos and the afore-mentioned ‘LLAM.’ He has opened, introduced and performed alongside some of the world’s music greats like Beyonce, Jay Z, D’banj, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, Tuface idibia, John Legend, Kelly Rowland, Asa, Rihanna, Shakira, Usher Raymond, Joe, Sean Paul, King Sunny Ade, Boys II Men…there’s always a new name to add.
On life, Dare opines “I’ve had many setbacks in my life but every knock makes you a little stronger and I’m a sucker for turning things around. I realized early in life that if you don’t do it for yourself, it won’t be done for you. So don’t believe the hype!” About the music industry, he advices “Ultimately you have to learn how to take rejection in this business and realize you ‘re just one person in the grand scheme of things.”
Dare’s music which has permeated the consciousness of Nigerians and Africans is a blend of contemporary jazz, classic soul, R&B, dancehall, and hip hop.
Married to his soulmate, Dare is a proud Father of two children.
So the next time you get all caught up with wishing you are a world-famous superstar, remember; it doesn’t just happen in one day! Can you take the heat?