FROM LAGOS TO SWEDEN: Meet Dare Sweet, Sweden’s AfroPop Prince
Dare Sweet (IG:@iamdaresweet) is an independent singer and songwriter, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, He moved to Stockholm, Sweden, before relocating to Växjö to enroll in Linnea University. Since starting his career in music, he has earned opportunities to perform alongside the likes of Davido, Busy Signal, and Gyptian, as well as being chosen to perform in London by Kida Kudz, sharing the stage with Krept & Konan and Kojo Funds. Seizing his position as ‘Sweden’s afro-pop prince’. Going on to create his yearly themed concert “Dare Sweet and Friends” which features himself and other Afrofusion musicians in Sweden
He recently released a six-track EP “Friends With Benefits” which was produced by “Smartbeat” except for “Focus” which was produced by “Lush Beats” Who produced hit songs like “Madu” by Kizz Daniel.
Q: Were you always into performing Afro Pop?
A: No I was a dancer. I usually danced for money, when I was growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. I had a Dj friend who played at children’s birthday parties every other weekend. So, funny enough, she would usually dress me up as Mickey Mouse or a clown sometimes. This turned out to be my major source of income at a very young age. Then one day at one of the parties I met someone who introduced me to songwriting, these guys were already making rap music.
I joined their group, and with time, I started to understand the rap game and at some point I found my own sound which is AfroPop and i decided to stick to that as it comes to me more easily than trying to rap.
Q: How would you describe Afro Pop and your music?
A: I would describe it in two ways:
- The term Afro Pop is the perfect description for my music. Most people tend to generalize the sound by calling it Afrobeat, but mine is afropop and the reason is I am a product of many artists, I listened to a bunch of artists when i was growing up as a child i listened to anything that sounds good does not have to be a particular genre.
- There was a time I was listening to a lot of Chinese music i found online. So, this behavior has helped me shape my sound. My sound could not easily be described because sometimes when I am creating and experimenting, I get surprised by the end product. However, I like to call it AfroPop. Because, it will always have the Nigerian Afrobeat flavor with a blend of all other types of world genres i choose to blend in when i am creating this sound.
Q: How did you feel when you noticed you started to compile a fanbase?
A: Best feeling in the world. I mean we are all humans and it always feels good when we do something or invest time into creating a product and people actually appreciate it.
Honestly, in most cases people do not see the hard work behind the scenes. They only see the finished product, so I am usually happy when I get both positive and negative comments. At least someone is paying attention. It’s a good thing.
Q: What are three things you would like your fans to know?
A:You mean about me or just to know in general?
Well, about me: I am very weird, annoying and I love video games.
Q: What was your first red carpet experience like?
A: It was in 2013 on a boat, I was nominated for an award and they had the award party on a boat. The red carpet was like somewhere in front of this huge boat, so there was like a view of the sea all over the place and I am one of those who are afraid of water. So i looked terrified during the entire program.
Apart from that. It was a great experience, it was my first ever award nomination and my first time on a red carpet.
Q: How has your experience in Sweden been? Have you gone anywhere else out of the country since?
A: Well, Sweden is a nice place. I believe Sweden is one of the most beautiful and accommodating places I have ever been. However it is not easy to be an AfroBeat/AfroPop artist in Sweden. Because I think they have got like about 50% American music and 50% local swedish content on their major radio stations. It is a bit difficult and almost impossible to get an Afrobeat artist on those radio stations.
I once spoke to someone from SONY MUSIC in Sweden and he was telling me this Afrobeat sound still needs about 3 to 5 years to grow in Sweden. I’m like wow, that is like 2024 and we laughed together. But the truth is I had a few executives telling me to use some Swedish words in my music, they thought it would be easier to crossover to the core Swedish fan. But i did not do that, because i believe afrobeat is African culture.
The Afro is the language which makes it Afrobeat and original and I can not change that. So I told them my people are everywhere in the world. My music will find them and they will play my songs. The dream is to be a mega global musician. My plan is to be known worldwide. The market is in world not just Sweden, i do not want to limit myself to just Sweden alone.
Which is why I was traveling to London, France to perform and promote myself. Now I have people all over the world streaming my music. Luckily for me at first I started getting attractions from France, Norway and every other parts of the world and I am just getting started because I have only released one song this year “Body On Fleek” which went viral and I still have about two albums ready and a few singles before the album drops.
Q: Have you experienced racism in your time in Europe?
A: Now, I see racism differently. I dnt think about it too much. But, has someone called me a Nigga or treated me differently because of my skin color? Yes. But most of the time those ones are just foolish and ignorant.
But I understand that people are not the same. There are people who find it difficult to tolerate others.
But if I must speak about racism, I have experienced it, I know it exists and I don’t support it. But Africans should go back home, because we need to fix Africa
Q: What was your first magazine features like?
A: I do not want to mention any names, but It was a magazine outside Sweden, we had a skype question and answer session. So, they recorded it and interpreted my words into text for physical copy. Since it was outside Sweden i could not get a copy and I was still in the University at that time. I had no time, but it was a nice experience.
Q: How will you know “You made it?”
A: Well, depends on what it means to you. I mean do you think this can be measured by how much money we made? Is it measured by wealth or material things. Are we always satisfied and could stop hustling. I do ot have the right answer to this question but I think from my point of view if i would say i can only say i had made it when I have accomplished my purpose. Until then, I am still on a journey to making the world a better place.
Q: What do you believe in?
A: Well, this depends on what believe means to you or what type of believe it is you ask me about. It can vary from one individual to the other based on either knowledge, cultural, religious or ethical backgrounds.
If I would answer this from a religious point of view: I would say I believe in prayers. I do not go to church or a mosque, but I like to pray. I believe prayers and dedication are a great tool if you want to succeed in anything.
If you don’t go to a church or mosque, who do you then pray to?
A: Well, I just don’t support the idea of church and mosque.
A: I pray. But my idea of praying is more like making a wish, a way of speaking positivity into my experience and existence.
Why is because religion was the idea of the slave masters. How did Africans pray before they were colonized? The Yorubas, the Igbos and all others. Did they actually pray? Technology and civilization apart, has religion helped Africa as a continent or as a people?
Well, maybe look at it this way, if you have read the art of war, maybe then you would agree that divide and conquer is in play here. Maybe religion is just a way to separate people from each other.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to up-and-coming artists that are just starting out?
A: This is the most interesting question of all. I do not think one piece is enough because this might save someone’s career. As i always see myself from about four years ago. Everytime I am asked this question i see me from way back. Maybe to start with the one piece of advice i would have given myself, would have been to stop listening to all these people asking you to believe in yourself. As i think it is impossible to believe in yourself if you don’t even know who you are. So, my advice would be:
First, seek to find yourself. How do you do that? You will have to stop listening and following the crowd. Digg down and make your own choices/decisions, it is okay to get it wrong, it is okay to fail. Infact fail as much as possible, the most important thing is to make sure that all these choices you made are all yours.
This will help you learn more about your instincts. You will start to trust your instincts and through this shall you believe in yourself.
Second thing is to not waste your time with people who do not understand your vision and to delete every mindset of thinking there is someone out there who will give you a record deal or help you become better. Push yourself as much as you can, if other people are working a hundred percent, if you are blessed to handle two hundred percent do it and do it well.
This will help you to be very independent and you will know exactly what you want for your career. It will prevent you from being desperate. Because if you do not know what you want you will accept anything.
Last thing would be: To be real, if you are a humble person be yourself and if you are not that person, do not force it, do not try to pretend. Most people can tell when you are faking it. Be good to people on your way up, you might need them at some point.
And the most important thing is to always have the mindset that ambition has no limit and you can do anything you put your mind into.
That would be all, thanks for having me. Please do find time to check out my new song “Body On Fleek” the concept of the song is to appreciate our unique shape, skin, and body. Everyone is unique and deserves to be loved the way they are and yes believe me you are beautiful the way you are. You are “On Fleek”! Thank you and God bless you!
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