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. These early experiences gave him his first taste of ‘showbiz’.
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.
CAREER AND LIFE
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, where he had the opportunity to perform in front of over 100 million people, and emerged third in the contest.
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.
In 2008, Darey spent several months as the host of a music based reality show ‘MTN Project Fame West Africa’ from where he first hit continental fame in the South Africa edition in 2004.
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 (Asa’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.
In 2010, Darey performed at high profile shows in many 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 is currently a judge on Nigerian Idol, replacing Jeffrey Daniel.
As a philanthropist and humanitarian, Darey supports several causes close to his heart including Cancer charities, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and several foundations in Africa. He also set up the Art Foundation, whose main goal is to keep music education alive for kids in primary and secondary schools in Africa.
Apart from his accomplishments as a recording artist, music producer, TV/Radio personality and Master of ceremonies, Darey is also an accomplished businessman and philanthropist with backbone support from Soul Muzik his event and TV production company, Soul band and a state of the art production facility, Soul Muzik Studios, where he does all his production and recording.
AWARDS AND ENDORSEMENTS
Has a lot of big awards to his name, a few below
* 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))