• Self-proclaimed Queen of Drums, Ara speaks about her start as a talking drummer
  • She stresses she self-learnt her skill as none of her male peers was willing to teach her

Popular self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Drums’ Aralola Olamuyiwa popularly known as Ara recounts her humble beginning in a new interview on Channels TV. According to her, she was forced to learn to play drums on her own when her male peer refused to show her the way. “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,” she said.

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She further revealed that she had to listen to various sounds performed by seasoned Nigerian musicians so as to improve her craft and widen her artistic horizons. She said, “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.”

Ara is a female singer, performer, talking drummer, and cultural representative of the Ooni of Ife with a career spanning more than two decades now. She is one of the top African female percussionists.



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