Dare Art Alade – popularly known as Darey – is a Nigerian musician, singer-songwriter, and Idol series judge. He is the son of the Nigerian entertainer, Art Alade and the Chief Creative Director of a creative company.

Early life

Dare (pronounced Da-Ray) Art Alade was born in Lagos to legendary Nigerian Jazz pioneer Art Alade and Olapeju Alade. Dare, as a child, used to rummage through his father’s extensive jazz collection and tag along with him to his concerts.

Dare honed his skills at an early age, singing with several choirs, including the National Troupe of Nigeria Choir and then the Cathedral Choir. From the age 15, he began performing extensively in clubs around Lagos, Ibadan and other cities in Nigeria. It was during one of those late night sessions he met an executive at Cool FM, a major Radio station, who appreciated his voice, and his ability to interact with his audience. The determined teenager began shuttling between Cool FM and the University of Lagos where he was studying for a degree in Music, and sang with the a cappella group The Chordwebs. During his time at Cool FM, he had the opportunity to acquire the basic knowledge of radio production and marketing.

Career

Darey performing at the Carnivore in Nairobi, Kenya

Darey has over almost the past decade been a disc jockey, TV presenter, entertainment consultant, voice over artist and performing/recording artist. He has also hosted a lot of notable events and awards.

2004–06: Project Fame

Darey’s big break finally came during the 2004 edition of Project Fame Academy, a well renowned Reality TV show and continent-wide talent hunt and emerged third in the contest.

2006–07: From Me 2 U

After an unfruitful record deal with Sony BMG Africa, his debut album ‘From Me 2 U’ hit the Nigerian market two years later on Storm Records. The album was laced with several hit singles, including ‘Fuji’ and ‘Escalade’ which enjoyed massive airplay in the Nigerian and international media. The top selling album also included the song, ‘Original Naija’ which was used as the theme song for the first ever edition of Big Brother Nigeria. Darey’s album, ‘From Me 2 U’ won several awards including the Awards for Musical excellence in Nigeria (A.M.E.N) and the 2006 Channel O Music Video Awards for best R&B Video in Africa.

2008: Project Fame West Africa

In 2008, Darey spent several months as the host of a music based reality show ‘Project Fame West Africa’ from where he first hit continental fame in the South Africa edition in 2004.

2009: unDAREYted

Two years after the release of his successful debut album, Darey released his highly anticipated follow up entitled ‘unDAREYted’, on the new start up label, Soul Muzik. The album sold over 150,000 copies across Nigeria in just two months. The album features appearances by Darey’s contemporaries and friends: Cobhams Asuquo (Aṣa’s producer), 2face Idibia, Naeto C, 9ice, Tee-Y Mix and the up-and-coming R&B crooner, Pheel, to mention a few. The critically acclaimed work features the smash hit ballad “Not The Girl,” which has been nominated for several awards and won video of the year at the 2009 Nigerian Entertainment Awards held in Washington DC.

unDAREYted caught the attention of the African American Music business legend Dick Griffey, who is credited with discovering and influencing the music careers of artists such as Shalamar, The Whispers, Babyface, L.A. Reid and Dr. Dre. Dick Griffey offered to executive-produce Darey’s third album which was to break Darey further into the U.S and international markets but unfortunately he died before the project could be completed.

2010–2015: Double Dare

Darey with U.S. President George W. Bush while hosting the ThisDay Awards in Abuja, Nigeria

In 2010, Darey performed at high-profile shows in many cities across the World including Nairobi, Johannesburg, Abuja, Lagos and other major African cities, including a special concert with R&B legend R. Kelly in South Africa and the This Day Peace Concert Tour in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which had 50 Cent and Ciara as headliners. On request of the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, he was invited to perform at the presidential villa in an exclusive dinner to commemorate the Country’s 50th independence Anniversary. At the event, which was broadcast live to over 200 million viewers across the world, he performed a medley of 50 songs with his 15-piece band, “Soul band” to a room filled with several African presidents and past world leaders.

Darey was the main host of both the Gulder Ultimate Search and Glo Naija Sings reality shows in 2011 and in February 2013, put together alongside his Soul Muzik team one of the biggest shows Nigeria has ever seen, Darey Presents: Love Like A Movie in February 2013 which had the red carpet hosted by Kim Kardashian as well as the highly successful release of the music video, “Asiko” featuring Jozi and Ice Prince.

In May 2013 Darey released a new single, Special Fever, produced by internationally acclaimed producer Harmony. In June 2013, hosted the launch of media mogul Mo Abudu’s multi-broadcast network Ebony Life TV alongside Dolapo Oni and most recently signed on as an ambassador to Unilever’s popular beverage drink – Lipton.

Darey also became a judge on Nigerian Idol, replacing Jeffrey Daniel.

2015–present: “Naked”

October 2015, Darey released his fifth studio album titled Naked. The 13-track album made up of afrobeat, soul and R&B features collaborations with Asa, YBNL Nation rapper Olamide and multiple Grammy award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir. Ten of the thirteen songs on the album were produced by Oscar Heman-Ackah. There are also production contributions from Cobhams Asuquo and Vtek and Dare himself.

Darey Presents: Love Like A Movie

Love Like A Movie is a theatrical concert for valentine, produced with style as an exhibition of performance varieties.

The first edition of the show was held in 2013. The show was tagged “The Flight of Love” and featured a special appearance from American reality TV star; Kim Kardashian.

The second edition of Love Like A Movie was held in 2014.

The third edition of Love Like A Movie was held in 2016.

Discography

Albums

  • From Me 2 U (2006)
  • unDAREYted (2009)
  • DoubleDare (2011)
  • Naked (2015)

Singles

  • 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)
  • Ba Ni Ki Di (2010)
  • Sisi Eko (2010)
  • The Way You Are (Remix) ft Chamillionaire (2011)
  • Special Fever (2013)
  • Asiko Laiye (Remix) ft Olamide (2015)
  • Pray For Me ft Soweto Gospel Choir (2015)

Awards

Won

  • Best Male Video “Not The Girl” (2009 Channel O Music Video Awards)
  • Best R&B Video “Not The Girl” (2009 Channel O Music Video Awards)
  • Best R&B “Not The Girl” (2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards)
  • Best Use of Costume “More” (2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards)
  • Video of the Year “More” (2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards)
  • Best Music Video of the Year “Not The Girl” (2009 Nigeria Entertainment Awards)
  • Best R&B Video “Escalade” (2006 Channel O Music Video Awards)
  • Best Picture / Musical Video “Escalade” (Awards for Musical excellence in Nigeria (A.M.E.N))
  • Recording of the Year “The Way You Are” (The Headies 2011)
  • Best R&B Single of the Year “The Way You Are” (The Headies 2011)
  • Best Male Artiste: Inspirational “Pray For Me” (All Africa Music Award 2015)

Nominated

  • Best R&B (2009 MTV Music Video Awards)
  • Best R&B Song “Escalade” (2007 Awards for Musical excellence in Nigeria (A.M.E.N)) 
  • Best R&B Album “From Me 2 U” (Awards for Musical excellence in Nigeria (A.M.E.N)) 
  • Best Single Recording “Not The Girl” (2009 Hip Hop World Awards) 
  • Best Vocal Performance – Male “Not The Girl” (2009 Hip Hop World Awards)
  • Best Afro Pop Video “Ba Ni Ki Di” (2011 Nigerian Music Video Awards)
  • Best RnB Video “The Way You Are” (2011 Nigerian Music Video Awards)
  • Video of the year “The Way You Are” (2011 Nigerian Music Video Awards)
  • Best Use of Costumes “Ba Ni Ki Di” (2011 Nigerian Music Video Awards)
  • Artist of the Year (The Headies 2011)
  • Best R&B Pop Album – Double Dare (2011 The Headies)
  • Best Vocal Performance (2011 The Headies)
  • MostStylish Artist – Male (FAB Awards 2012)
  • Best Use of Costumes “Sisi Eko” (2012 Nigerian Music Video Awards)
  • Best Highlife “Sisi Eko” (2012 Nigerian Music Video Awards)
  • Music Video of the Year “Sisi Eko” (2013 Nigerian Entertainment Awards)
  • Best Male Artiste: Inspirational “Pray For Me” (2015 Africa Music Awards)

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