Along the cracked lines of a broken industry where music content is undervalued and mediocrity is celebrated in its stead, are artistes whose strife to break genre and industry rules when making their music hasn’t dwindled.
Aramide Sarumoh is our woman crush today, a vivid example of an industry rebel whose afro jazz and soul genre choice is not a sound common to the modern Nigerian music industry despite its historical antecedents.
Before’ jazz ‘became a dignified world music genre, long before the sound itself was refined through years of socio-political changes that include the American Civil war of the 1860s and the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950s, jazz as a sound reportedly evolved from the music of emigrated West African slave folk of the 19th to 20th century.
Though the sound has evolved from its primitive composition to adopt external influences ranging from the French quadrilles to the Blues revolution of the 1950s, it has still maintained the same distinct features which mostly comprise of a rhythmic counter-metric structure with an atelier of single-line melodies that reflect the African speech pattern.
Without a doubt this is is a sound that has evolved over the years to mean the same thing despite having travelled many miles from its African origins.
Lucky for us, we have Aramide to keep us connected to the timeless sound our forefathers created.
Born Aramide Sarumoh, the Jos-based singer gained exposure to jazz from listening to her father’s record collection. Her father was a big James Brown fan and this formed the basis for what her sound is today. Thanks to a working school system in Jos where music was just as important as any other subject, Aramide enjoyed the same exposure artistes like Jesse Jagz, Praiz, 2face etc benefited from.
As a teenager, she mastered how to play the Saxophone and subsequently picked up other instruments as she went along. Maturity as an artiste came naturally after that.
While studying at the University of Jos, she contested on Star Quest 2006, gaining first hand experience with sound layering and arrangements. She further broadened her skill set by tilting her style to a fusion of Angelique Kidjo, Mariam Makeba, Erykah Badu and Sade Adu.
Jazz as a genre has evolved over the past 200 years from its West African origins. Safe to say Aramide is bringing it back where it belongs.