ONOS ARIYO is a French graduate turned Gospel Artist who uses her gift as a yardstick through her voice to create a change and impact. She is one of the few respectable artists in the Nigerian industry and also an ELOY award winner. Her next album launch is set to hold this weekend. The secret on how she comes up with her songs is revealed as EM’S DAMILOLA SHOTE shares in the exclusive interview.
1) PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOU.
ONOS is a singer, song writer, wife, mother who really loves to sing about the God she serves. I am from Delta State and l started my singing journey from there as well as my primary and secondary school education after which I went to Delta State University for my Bsc in French.
I did my transition into Lagos 2004 when I came to do my Youth Service shortly after, I worked a bit then started recording professionally my first single in 2009 released my 1st album 2010, the 2nd 2014, and the 2nd one dropping July 30th 2017 by God’s grace waxing stronger and stronger each day.
2) YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FOR RELATIVELY HOW LONG?
I’ve been in the industry since 2009 but I’ve been singing since I was 6years old.
3) WHAT PROMPTED YOUR DECISION TO GO INTO MUSIC AND WHY GOSPEL?
While growing up, l always knew I was going to go into music when I was about graduating from the university I knew I had to make a big decision soon after graduating and thank God I made the decision at the right time. I also always knew it was going to be gospel I’m very passionate about the things of God and I truly love to sing about Jesus. I find fulfillment doing it and for me it is not just a career it is ministry. You know as an artist the best of you comes out when you are very passionate about what you are doing that’s where I’m at in terms of my music.
4) UNDERSTANDING THE FACT THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE INTO SECULAR MUSIC, WAS IT DIFFICULT BUILDING AN AUDIENCE AND SUSTAINING THEM?
You know music in Nigeria has really evolved. In 2009 when I started recording we didn’t have as much blogs/social media presence etc like we had now so building an audience wasn’t as easy as it is now; but a lot has changed with so much you can do online via Instagram /Facebook/twitter it is a lot easier to build an audience and sustaining them now than it was few years ago so be it secular or gospel if your song is great people will jump on it.
5) WHAT SHOULD FANS EXPECT FROM YOUR NEW ALBUM RELEASE/LAUNCH?
With the new album “Songs From The Place Of Prayer “, my desire and earnest prayer is that from Track 1 to the last track the glory of God will be revealed upon the listeners. So people should expect to be drawn closer to God playing the album and having a deeper worship experience in their cars /homes where ever they get to listen to the album, same thing goes for the concert as well. For me, it is an encounter with destiny can’t wait to see God glorified.
6) AS A STRONG VOCALIST/ARTIST/SINGER LOVED BY MANY; WHAT’S THE SECRET TO BUILDING YOUR VOICE?
You can only build your voice by constant rehearsal, if you have a gift you have to work the gift to make it better. It is the extra you put into the gift that makes you outstanding, like I said earlier on I started singing when I was 6years old and the way I sound now I wasn’t sounding that way then ,so over the years l have learnt different things from listening, watching and learning from others .
7) WHAT INSPIRES YOUR SONG CHOICES?
Different things inspire my song choices, for example the songs in the new album were all songs I got at different times when I was praying. I was used to praying with my phone on record, many times when I’m done praying I play back what I recorded and could hear different songs in it. With wisdom from God, I was able to identify them and give the songs life by creating verses for them and those that need a bridge I add to them.
8) ASIDES MUSIC, WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
I mentor a lot of young up and coming artists. Presently, I have close to 20 of them I’m mentoring one on one, it is also a way for me to give back; what better way can that be than impacting people with knowledge and information
9) HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR CAREER AS A GOSPEL ARTIST AND THE HOME FRONT AS A WIFE AND MOTHER?
There is really no manual or magic to it, like I always say I take each day as it comes and secondly God has blessed me with a great husband who understands what I do and is also willing to support in every way he can, days when I can’t be around he watches over the kids for me and when we both can’t be around we have family members who stand in for us to ensure the home front is fine. But trust me it is not easy at all to balance both sides you really know a lot of wisdom.
10) WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST JOY SO FAR IN YOUR MINISTRY?
The greatest Joy for me is the testimonies I hear about my songs, how they have been a source of comfort in really difficult times in the lives of people. I remember a testimony someone shared on how she was in the labour room and there were complications during delivery. She told her husband to play the song Jehovah Ebenezer during the whole process and the song gave her strength to push the baby, the child was born very healthy. There are so many testimonies.
11) DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO RETIRE AFTER SOMETIME?
Retire from singing? I’m not sure about that but I’ll definitely venture into other businesses as well at some point, can’t give details of that yet.
STYLE Q AND A
Even as a gospel artist, there is a stylish side of the coin to ONOS ARIYO. Please enjoy the STYLE Q AND A below:-
1. My style is … simple, classy, elegant
2. I cannot live without… my lip gloss
4. Fav designer ….I have a couple of them Kiki Kamanu, Ayo Van Elmar, KStitches,
7. Last purchase … my wigs
8. My fav boutique shop…. if the price is good, then it is my favourite.LOL
9. My best shopping city….. Canada
10. I feel most sexy when I am wearing… Dresses/heels
12. Fashion rule I live by… Less is more
13 I am currently carrying … My Natural Hair
14. Name your favourite piece in your wardrobe… hmmm they are plenty ooo… I’ll go with a jump suit by Kiki kamanu
15. Signature accessories…. dropping earrings
16. What are you buying this season to update your look…. new pairs of shoes
17. Stylish women you have ever seen…. I have a couple of them such as Michelle Obama , Janelle Monae
18: Early style influencer… Alicia Keys
19. How often do you repeat outfits?.. Lol! it depends.
20. Fav holiday destination and why…… Dubai because there is so much you can do with the kids.
21: Describe your ultimate party dress….. I should have some glitters, hot and should fit nicely
22: How do you like your jewellery: statement or simple? …….. Simple