In Conversation with: Araya Afrika

Image of Araya Afrika- Ghanaian dancer-singer

Araya Afrika is a young Ghanaian girl from a family of 7. A singer, song writer, dancer and model. I completed KNUST and currently a creative arts teacher and a co dance instructor at Decathlon Ghana.

Where did your passion for dancing come from?

I think it is a natural talent, I remember catching up with almost every dance move when I was younger and taught my friends. I never knew how I learnt them, but I always ended up catching up with all the trendy dances.

How long have you been dancing for?

Professionally for one year and some months. Before it become a profession, I was doing it in school, church, and I was part of a dance team.

Which styles of dancing are trained in?

Currently it’s contemporary dance and intermediate ballet. Through that I have carved out a dance style called the AfroBallet

How did you get into music and how would you describe your style of music?

My dad introduced me to singing when I was little. I never explored it until I sent a voice note to a friend one day (I was singing) and he sent it to an artiste called IceBox. After that he started taking me to recording studios. I enjoy soul and afrobeats so much. So, mine is a combination of both; afrosoul.

What do you hope people will get from listening to your music?

Hope, faith, learn more about life, be encouraged, live and love.

Which dancers /singers inspire you?

Can I put Beyoncé in one box? Oh Beyoncé!
Nigerian dance queen Kaffy.
And a recent one who inspires me so much, Misty Copeland. For singers it’s almost every artiste song I encounter.

How much training do you do every week?

Throughout the week because I teach dance from Monday to Saturday.

If you were to choose one to do for the rest of your life between dancing and singing, which would it be and why?

I will choose dancing, it is my 1st love. Plus, I love to keep in shape always and it’s my best workout routine.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Oh, let’s see…my encounter with kids everyday gives me the chance to be part of their amazing little world. Also, a dance routine I did for one of Ghana’s biggest artiste, Sarkodie – song called ‘Rush Hour’.
And the Legend Alicia Keys using one of my images to represent strong, powerful and innovative women on International Women’s Day.

Image of Araya Afrika- Ghanaian dancer-singer

What advice do you have for upcoming dancers and singers?

If there are no seats at the top, bring your own seat and make space for yourself at the high table.

Which one of your songs is your favourite?

A song called Sika (Money) (unreleased though).

Describe a typical day in your life.

One-hour sessions with 3 different schools teaching about 15 children from each school. I would be teaching them a dance routine for their school events.

What is the soundtrack to your life?

This woman’s work by Maxwell. Sums up a part of me.

What are you most proud of about being Ghanaian?

Our food. Yummy! Our hospitality.

How would you like to be remembered?

The girl who brought her own seat to the table and empowered little girls through arts.

Social media

Facebook – Araya AFrika
Twitter – @araya_Afrika
Instagram – @araya_afrika
YouTube – Araya Gh

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