People always talk about stage presence, I think there should be ‘real life presence’ too because Onos Ariyo has got it! Yes she can light up the stage with her strong electrifying vocals but also, she can steal the show wherever she enters.
Haven been nominated in a number of awards this year including the forth coming NEA Awards in New York, City People Entertainment Awards, Africa Gospel Awards, amongst others, I got curious about Onos peculiarity, (Yes, I stalked her… how else do you think I get to know these things). Like she rightly puts it, you have to be the total package in order to put value on your talent. Her beauty, combines with her strong vocals, her pleasing personality, charisma… and her fashion style, all play a part in the end product that brought you “High,” Keep on Moving” and more.
As Onos preps for the forthcoming NEA Awards in New York , SelahAfrik engaged the songstress in a chat. She spoke about her high chances of scooping this one too, her forthcoming album, fashion and more in this exclusive interview.
SelahAfrik: Hello ONOS, nice to have you on SelahAfrik, please let our readers
get to meet the real you – the part people don’t see.
ONOS: ONOS is a dynamic vocalist ,song writer,multiple award winner. She hails from Delta State, the 3rd child of Mr and Mrs Bikawei with 5 siblings. She is presently married to Kunmi Ariyo.
Her secondary and primary education was in Delta State after which she went to study French at the Delta State University Abraka, where she also sang with different groups and choirs.
She’s also a french translator who has done a couple of French jingles for some notable brands in Nigeria and also movie sound track “Lose My Head” for the movie “Journey to Self.” .She has sang with the likes of Jamaica’s Chevelle Frankyn, Phil Driscoll, Micah Stampley and Sunday’s Best ‘s Jessica Reedy.
SelahAfrik: Studying French could have presented you with some international career path, how come you opt for music?
ONOS: French is a part of me. I still do my French thingy as well as I do music. Like l mentioned earlier on, I’ve done French jingles for some notable brands in Nigeria. And because music is a natural God given talent and I’m passionate about it so it kinda comes first before every other thing if you know what I mean.
SelahAfrik: Did you ever practised with your certificate?
ONOS: Yes I did practise with my certificate, infact I’m a big advocate for people going to school and getting degree in as much as you wanna do music because it comes in handy sometimes.
SelahAfrik: Starting as a chorister at House on the Rock…
ONOS: Point of correction I didn’t start as a chorister in House on the Rock,
SelahAfrik: Oops! Sorry ONOS…
ONOS: I started as a chorister in “Jesus Dominion Mission” in Delta State many years ago long before I joined House on the rock choir in 2004 and I’d started recording and doing events then, but I officially put out my 1st single “Dan
ce “ produced by FLO in 2008/2009.
SelahAfrik: Okay, tell us about how you made the transition to become a celebrated minister of song.
ONOS: I always knew I’ll make that transition. I was just waiting for the right song and the right time to make the move. The journey started after I listened to the song I knew was the right song to push out and here I am today.
SelahAfrik: Your song “Keep on Moving” is really inspirational, is it from a personal experience?
ONOS: Keep On Moving is from my debut album that was released in Feb 2010, I had 10 tracks on the album which featured different artist such as, Mike Aremu, Kefee, Lara George, ID Cabasa. “Keep Moving” was the title of the album and so the song “Keep on Moving” for me was basically driving home the theme of the album which was birthed out of a heart to encourage and uplift the spirits of – as many that get to listen to the song/ album – of course I wrote it to encourage myself as well, that whatever dream God has placed inside of you, you owe it to yourself to live your dreams.
SelahAfrik: Now that we have the video for “Keep on Moving,” what next?
ONOS: Well before keep moving, I had released 3 videos and a fresh single from my forth coming album “High” which I’m still promoting but to answer the question, what is next is promo and more promo for the materials already out.
SelahAfrik: You’ve been nominated in about 3 or more awards so far this year, how does it feel to be enjoying such remarkable recognition?
ONOS: It is a great feeling! So far this year I’ve been nominated for the Crystal Awards Best Female Vocalist 2013 of which I won the category. Others include; Africa Gospel Music Awards: Best Female Artist, Song of the Year and Artist of the Years West Africa.
I was also nominated for the City People Awards: Gospel Act of the Year and the upcoming Nigeria Entertainment Awards: Gospel Act of the Year. It is indeed a beautiful thing. It is just a sign that people appreciate what you do, not just in the Gospel Circle But also in the mainstream.
SelahAfrik: What do you think your chances are scooping the forth coming NEA Awards in NY?
ONOS: Like I always tell people; you never know so keep your fingers crossed.
SelahAfrik: You are very beautiful, as a female gospel artiste, do you think being fashionable enhances or demeans your ministry?
ONOS: For lack of a better way to express myself let me put it this way: “e no get who go see person wen wear fine cloth wen no go like am.” Looking good has lot of part to play in enhancing the gospel you are preaching “abi na sin again to wear fine cloth?” (LoL!!!) Because when you stand in front of the people, they don’t just listen to your voice. There is something called the total package… and it is very vital.
SelahAfrik: What’s your beauty routine getting ready for a ministration, event or red carpet?
ONOS: If I’m getting ready for ministration I dress to suit the place I’m going to sing. For instance, if it is a church that I know they are a bit conservative I wear dresses, if it is a youthful environment, I get my jeans on. For events and red carpets, I keep it simple but very classy and elegant.
SelahAfrik: Do you work with stylists?
ONOS: Yes, I work with stylists. My 2 major stylist for now are Kiki Kamanu and Byge. All the outfits on my “Keep On Moving” video was made by Byge as well as some of the major outfits I wear on stage and Red Carpet. Like the outfit I wore for the just concluded “Africa Praise Experience” at HOTR , it was made by Byge. Most of the outfits I use for my photo sessions are made by Kiki Kamanu
SelahAfrik: What’s your opinion on the #ChildNotBride issue?
ONOS: it is just a No No! I don’t want to over flog the issue because I think it is wrong for people to know the truth and just close their eyes to it. A 13year old girl who is meant to be acquiring education has no busy getting married.
SelahAfrik: Any upcoming show, project that we should know about?
ONOS: I’m working on the next album and many great stuff which will unfold in due season.
SelahAfrik: What’s your opinion on gospel artiste collaborating with secular artiste?
ONOS: Sometimes I always wonder each time I’m asked this question because I try to imagine what the person asking the question really wants to hear (smiles). The truth is when it comes to the art of creating and making music we all as artist feel it differently . If my colleague feels the need to feature a secular act in his or her music lets just say that’s what they are feeling at that moment. So, my take on this is, what is God saying to you? Will it bring him glory? If yes then run with it!
SelahAfrik: What’s your life conviction about Jesus Christ?
ONOS: I’m convinced without a doubt that God is real and He sure does answers prayers
SelahAfrik: There are a lot of people who are seeing what God is doing through you and will love to be like you, can you advice them on the necessary steps to take?
ONOS: First and foremost, you’ll have to make Jesus the centre of your life, have a great relationship with him because when everything is not going well He’s the only one you can really cry to.
Surround yourself with people who believe in your dream.
You’ll have to submit yourself to a ministry where you can serve and be nurtured as a Christian.
Always remember the road to success is never easy there will be seasons you’ll have to sow, seasons you’ll have to Wait and seasons you will just be soaring… it is a Process.
SelahAfrik: Give a shoutout!
ONOS: Big shout out to my hubby, Ark entertainment all the blogs , media personalities that have supported the ONOS brand from when I started, to my followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook not forgetting SelahAfrik, the list is endless .I love you all!
To vote for Onos for the NEA Awards Click Here
Follow on Twitter: @onosbak