Nigerian Singer And Drummer, Ara has revealed how she was able to improve her craft as a female drummer in a space dominated by men.
The 47-year-old talking drummer in an interview on the Sunrise Show with Channels TV spoke about her career, how she learned how to use the talking drum, and also the challenges she faced while learning.
In the interview, Aralola Olamuyiwa popularly known by her stage name, Ara revealed that she had to learn how to use the talking drum by herself because the men would not teach her. According to her, she learned to play by watching men play and also listening to veteran singers.
“I learned how to play the talking drum by watching the guys play because they refused to teach me. So, I watched them play. I bought the music of people that I look up to in the industry.
“My father had a huge collection from Fela to Ayinla Omo Wura to Yusuf Olatunji to King Sunny Ade and everybody. So I learned to play with them. I listened to even Lagbaja when I was learning how to play because I love Lagbaja a lot. So I listened to all of their music and I trained my ear to listen differently and play differently.”
Aralola Olamuyiwa is a female singer, performer, talking drummer, and cultural ambassador for the Ooni of Ife, with a career spanning over two decades. She is Africa’s most prominent female drummer and has also shared the stage with international act, Stevie Wonder.