Ara, the self-proclaimed queen of drums, has disclosed that she was forced to learn on her own after her male counterparts refused to teach her.
Aralola Olamuyiwa, who is commonly known by her stage name Ara, disclosed this information in an interview about her career on Channels TV.
She said she had to learn how to play the drums on her own, by watching the men perform, adding that they refused to teach her.
“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 also mentioned that in order to improve her craft and broaden her artistic horizons, she had to listen to a variety of sounds performed by seasoned Nigerian musicians.
“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.”
With a career spanning over two decades, Ara is a female singer, entertainer, talking drummer, and the cultural ambassador of the Ooni of Ife. She is the foremost female drummer in Africa.