Gospel music sensation, Onos Ariyo is Pastor Paul Adefarasin led- House on The Rock’s lead vocalist.
With an album, Keep Moving to her credit, the graduate of French and professional translator has been singing for about a decade.
ENCOMIUM Weekly asked the songstress, songwriter and happily married mother of one where she is headed, career- wise. Onos also reviewed her latest singles, Everything Has Changed, High and forth- coming album, among others…
I will say being real and true to myself has kept the brand growing big, It’s all about putting in everything into that thing you are so passionate about just to make sure you succeed in it.
What differentiates you from the other artistes?
I won’t want to use the word difference because if it is the gospel then your message is definitely the same and there are different genres in music. But I believe my style and sound is unique and that makes me different.
So, how did music start for you?
Music for me started at a very tender age in my primary school days and as I grew much older, I sang in different choirs and groups and that helped to form my basic sound. As time went on, I started listening to artistes like Whitney Houston, Lauren Hill and many others.
When did you start professionally?
I’ve always known that I really wanted to take my music from just your usual choir girl to a more universal market but I was waiting for the right opportunity to kick off. So, after I graduated from the university in 2004, I decided to kick off the dream. And here I am today.
What has taken you this far?
I will say the strong passion for God and the love I have for God prepared me for the kind of music I’m doing today. I love to sing about the God I pray to. And I think there should be no shame in doing that.
What do fans think about your music?
I get a lot of testimonies on a daily / weekly basis of how my song has been a blessing a lot of people like the new single and video I just dropped called Everything has Changed. That song has brought healing to a lot of broken hearts and I’ve given a lot of people reason to keep dreaming and believing in themselves. The Onos sound has been impactful by God’s grace to the gospel music scene and music in general in Nigeria.
I also won the Best Female Vocalist at the Nigeria Gospel Music Awards in 2012, as well as Best Female Vocalist, Crystal Awards, 2013, alongside several other nominations.
Who is Onos?
Onos Ariyo is a wife, mother, passionate and dynamic vocalist and song writer.
Can you say women are competing favourably with their male counterparts in the industry?
Let’s just say the music industry at large is male- dominated and there are not much ladies in the scene compared to the guys. I really don’t see that as a challenge because if you are good at what you do, people will look for you. Success is not gender specific.
Can you please share your childhood years with us?
I was brought up just like the girl next door. I grew up in Delta state, had my primary , secondary and university education there. l was a sucker for God at a very tender age which generally shaped me into whom I am today.
What is next for you?
My next level of action? It sounds like a war film. Never mind, I’m just kidding. What is next for me or rather what I’ve been working on right now is basically getting out the new album because I released my first album in 2010 and it is four years already. I’m dropping the second album this year and it promises to be an incredible one. I’ve dropped two singles from the album and shot the videos for both songs, Everything has Changed and High. I just dropped the video for Everything has Changed and the review has been massive. It trended on Twitter across the country and the UK on the day of the release. And it is a sign that great and bigger things are going to happen. The album will be released with a worship concert in three locations in Lagos. The venue and details of the concert will be communicated as time goes on.
Music is spiritual and intense. It is meant to be felt like you can literally touch it and you can only achieve that intensity with a live band. If your music is not live then you are yet to start playing music. Most of the international acts we watch perform their music live. Even when they have a lot of dance routines in their performance, they still use a live band.
So, my most preferred mode of performance will always be a live band. And if you have a choir background singing with a live band will not be a problem.
Are you an instrumentalist?
I play the keyboard but not like Steve Wonder.
What inspires your music?
Different situations and things happening around me give me the inspiration to write my songs.
Who has been most supportive of your music career?
First, I will say my husband, Mr. Kunmi Ariyo has played a major role in my career for his support and all that he does just to make me succeed. And I’m grateful to God for that. I cannot forget my parents, my pastor, my siblings and then the people I have worked with over the years.
What has been your biggest break?
I wouldn’t want to use the word biggest break. I’ll just say I’ve had moments in my career that have helped to make the Onos brand and sound more visible in Nigeria and Africa at large. Like my performance at the Experience Lagos Concert 2010 alongside Chevelle Franklyn, Micah Stampley, Phil Driscoll did a lot for my career. I’m not there yet though I’m still striving for greater heights.
Any plan to dump music someday?
I don’t see myself leaving music but I know I will do a couple of other things along side with music. For now, I do music full time.
Who are your role models?
My role models are Pastors Paul and Ifeanyi Adefarasin.
You are married with a daughter, what has kept your marriage?
It’s not easy you know. And most times when I’m asked this question all I say is I take each day as it comes and I’m thankful to God for a very supportive husband because you can’t really say that there is a formula to how it works because no two marriages are the same. It’s just simply what works for each one that matters. so like I said, I take each day as it comes.
Any regret so far?
No regret. I’m just living my dreams.
What is the future like?
Bright enough to dazzle you. So, I can say it holds quite a lot of goodies for me and I’m grateful to God for the opened doors.