Dakare always knew she was made for music. The emerging Ghana-based Nigerian songstress recalls spending her high school time representing musical competitions and in the church choir. It didn’t take long before she grew weary of diving into the world of creativity.
After dropping packs of singles for a year, her debut EP, Thick Love was a well-defined sound that makes you fall in love with music all over again.
The Afropop and alternative singer whose real name is Keren Ose Robert Dakare despite facing a degree of obstacles such as sexual harassment and body shaming is now on the verge of securing her place in a male-dominated industry. In this interview, she spoke about challenges, her Thick Love EP, and new projects.
You are of Nigerian origin, tell us about your background?
My full name is Keren Ose Robert Dakare. I was born and brought up in Lagos, Nigeria but I’m an Edo girl, that’s where my dad originally is from. I’m an Afro-pop, Afro-soul, and an Alternative Music Artist doing her thing here in Accra, Ghana.
How did you get into music?
I’ve always been around music from my high school days writing for school competitions to singing in the church choir. Sometimes my former high school classmates are texting me on Instagram DMs and they’re like “they’re not surprised” this is my career choice.
How long have you been doing music before you are officially unveiled?
For 7 years when I wrote my first song, I never stopped doing music until 2020 December when I released my first single officially.
Does your Nigerian root have an influence on your music?
Omo that’s the spice and favor to my sound. If you’ve listened to my EP (THICK LOVE), most of the songs have that Yoruba side of me. Recently, I have been learning to be versatile with my upcoming songs, adding a bit of Twi since I do my music here in Ghana.
Who are the A-list artists you have worked with and share your experiences with them?
Most songs I’ve made are not out yet. Recently, I made a song with Keda and Cina soul during the NxGen music camp. The energy was hard, the flow is something I truly can not describe. I’m so looking forward to working with more top artists both local and international.
Tell us about the challenges you face as a female artist in a male-dominated industry?
It has not been easy but I know women’s time would come and we’ll take over. For example Tems, Ayra Starr, Gyakie and so many more to come. We are now stepping on it and putting in the work like the men are.
Being a female singer, have you encountered some sort of sexual harassment. How are dealing with them?
The most common issue I struggle with is sexual harassment and body shaming. I do not believe I have to sell my body for something I really know I’m really good at. My pride and my integrity is not for sale bruh. Sometimes, I had to let go of songs and even got turned down because of this harassment.
The body-shaming part is what gets me the most, how are you going to tell a female “she doesn’t look like what she sounds like“. It’s the fact that people don’t put other people’s mental health in check.
There’s a synergy between Nigerian and Ghanaian artists, who are those Nigerian artists you’re planning to work with?
Victony is one person I would really really love to have a song with, Ms.Banks is another baddie. There are some Ghanaian artists as well, like Sarkodie, Kelvin Boy, Stone Boy, and Amarae.
What project do you want to embark on now?
I’m working on my first single for the year. It’s a project that’s really personal to me. I can’t wait to share it with the world.
Are you signed to a record label?
No, I’m not signed to a label. I’m self-managed meaning na me dey manage myself and I’m investing in myself currently.
Who influences you in the music industry, both Nigeria and Ghana musicians?
For me, musicians like Asa, Simi, Burna Boy, and Stone Boy.
What do you think the future holds for the Afrobeats in the Western world?
I sincerely can’t say much about the future but as we all can see clearly Afrobeat music is already taken over the world.
If you’re not doing music, what will you be doing?
Aside from music, my side hustle is makeup. Not just any makeup, I do special effects. I’ve always been creative.
What are you most excited about? What’s next for you?
Aside from my next single Which I’m working on, I’m trusting God for direction. Even if I don’t get famous off the music I’m truly happy that this is my passion and I’m doing it because I love it.