Irè D Stage Devi: Impacting Society Through Chants
Adeola Irèoluwatomiwa Oliayide Adunni Adebo is not a female artiste anyone can ignore, especially with her electrifying stagecraft and arresting voice. Rarely would anyone watching her perform or sing for the first time without coming to watch her again. Her voice and appeal resonate the appearance of great women in history that have positively impacted their societies. Little wonder an Indian fan of hers having caught the bug called her Devi, meaning goddess in one of Indian languages.
Having being so called, the contemporary folklore singer adopted the name as part of her stage name. In fact, she changed from what she used to be to Irè D Stage Devi, a name that has further exposed the singer to the world, repositioning her to dominate the music scene within and outside Africa.
On how she came to music, Irè D Stage Devi, says: “I grew up in a musical environment and when I discovered my passion for music I proceeded to a musical college to acquire more skills and since then I have not stopped playing music.”
Honing her skill in music, the chanter decides to play the genre she likes most, folklore. And through this means, she has like a goddess for over two decades exposes the ills of the society and as well proffers solutions.
Born in the 80s to an Edo mother and father from Ogun State, Irè D Stage Devi has never seized to project her African background. She tells whosever that cares to listen that she is a folklorist and chanter and nothing can change her stand. According to her, her genre of music is purely folklore and not traditional music. She notes that African languages are very rich in idioms and other wise expressions when put into music and is making use of this to drive home her messages wherever she goes.
Drawing inspirations form some wonderful African enigmas, including Angelique Kidjo, Irè D Stage Devi is fully out to take her chants across the globe, to tell the whole world that Africa is not all about bad news.
“I have a unique voice and when people hear me chant they naturally wander if I am a Nigerian or from any of West African country. So, I chant and dance; it is this performance that have wormed me into the hearts of many,” she says.
Picking interest in music while with her church choir, young Adeola later attended the Peter King College of Music, Badagry, where she learnt how to play the flute and other instruments. Leaving the school, she played with different musical groups until she rediscovered her passion for chants and folklore music.
Since discovering her gift, her story has change for the better, as she composes and arranges her songs aside appearing on different stages and events, projecting the African woman in a good light and winning different categories of award.
Speaking on her numerous awards the stage goddess says: “To be honest awards keeps me on my toes. They remind each time I see them on the wall or table to do more than I had earlier done. They remind me that there are people looking up to me and I must not disappoint them. They remind me of the need of keeping the high standard I have set for myself.”
Disclosing some of the reasons she chose to play chants and folklore music, the stage goddess reveals that her genre of music gives her freedom to express herself. She says: “My music is my freedom, my escape route. It is my divine solitude.”
Calling on Nigerian artistes to be mindful of the kind of songs they produce, especially their lyrics, the chanter notes that meaningful lyrics and connecting rhythms attract people to listening to particular music, adding that vulgar words are like repellants and she does not use them in her songs.
Just shot the video of her new single, Gazebo, the stage goddess is preparing to move around the country before her tour abroad to promote the new single.
How do your parents see your music? “They have being very supportive and are still supporting me. Just like many African parents they initially did not want me to do music, but having seen what I have made of myself, they are impressed.”