Senior Arts Reporter
Zimbabwean singer Aurah Ariko, who has just released her debut album “The Gift”, has said cultural diversity plays a part in promoting music.
She uses the stage name Aurah and is signed under Vialy Studios owned by musician Munya Vialy.
Aurah once warmed the stage for Nigerian musicians Wizkid and Burna Boy during their Canadian Tour in 2019.
In an interview, Aurah, who is based in Canada, said the album was a compilation of her growth and journey of learning about life’s ups and downs.
“Working on this album was so amazing,” she said. “I really used the inspiration of day to day situations that we are all experience in one way of the other. My goal was to create something that is verycan be related to.
“I am a big supporter of cultural diversity. In general, the world has become a global village and so we are all now so connected with just a touch of a button. I keep my mother tongue in 80 percent of my work as I feel we are now living in a world that is open to listening.
“Music is a universal language and I think with the diverse fan base I have, it’s clearly evident that music is all about the vibe.”
Aurah said her music blends with modern rhythm and blues, soul and African vibes which somehow becomes her strength of inspiration.
“As musicians or creatives, we draw inspiration from life. Musically, though I have a lot of jazz and neo soul inspirations. I was a vocal student under the phenomenal Dudu Manhenga and she introduced me to the world of contemporary jazz and soul music.
“As I grew up, I listened to the urban sounds of R&B and hip-hop. Beyoncé was definitely one artiste that impacted my journey. I love everything she creates.”
Aurah said she decided to release an album after years of dropping singles that have been receiving airplay abroad.
“This is my first album. I have been releasing singles for the last few years and decided it was time to complete a whole body of work. I will really say I never chose music, music chose me.
“I have been singing since the age of six and no matter where I went, I always went back to music.”
Aurah is a holder of an accounting and finance degree and is currently working for a non-profit organisation which supports and empowers black women and girls.
“I have a passion for empowering people and have been working in the social services and non-profit space since I graduated from schoo.
“In my spare time, I love gardening and reading. This is typically what my free time looks like when I’m not making music.”
Based in Edmonton, Canada, for past 10 years, Aurah highlighted that the challenges she is facing in her music career were somehow different from the popular ones cited by many local musicians.
Local musicians usually say lack of appreciation, finance and support are their major impediments.
“I can say for now the challenges mainly with my music project are due to the current pandemic that we are in,” said Aurah. “It was difficult to create videos the way we wanted and to travel to certain destinations as well due to the many imposed restrictions.
“I did my best to make it work. I also faced challenges as an African artiste. It’s not always easy to introduce your art to the world in a way that they understand, but I took a chance and it worked out. There will always be challenges in life in everything you do, you just have to try your best to keep on pushing and to keep going.”
Aurah said has collaborated with a Dominican artiste, Oozeela.