Gospel Artiste Of The Week: Lara George
Gospel Artiste of the week Lara George, born into a regular family in Lagos is the fourth of five children to her parents. She attended Queens College, Lagos, and at the time, even though she was a member of the school’s choir who was greatly admired for her beautiful voice, she never knew she would pursue a musical career. She then went on to study architecture in the University of Lagos. However, during her days in the university, she began to see herself as a potential talented singer. She joined a campus fellowship choir, where she sang together with other students.
She was lucky enough to become a member of the musical group Kush, which also included artists like Dapo Torimiro, Emem Ema and Ty Bello; they are all close friends who met on campus. Their music was influenced by western tunes and fetched them a lot of fans and achievements all over Nigeria. Unfortunately, the group was later disbanded, but for Lara George, it was only the beginning of her path to fame and success.
After the band broke up, Lara took a break from music to get her thoughts together and understand which kind of music she would like to produce in order to be successful and not lose her own spark. The start of Lara’s solo career was celebrated with the release of her first album in 2007 called “Forever in My Heart”. This album included a song which became an absolute hit among her fans – “Ijoba Orun”.
Music critics pointed out that Lara might be a rising star and people are lucky to be witnessing her first steps to absolute success in the Nigerian music industry. She quickly gathered all the biggest awards in Nigeria including Best Vocals Female at the Hip Hop World Awards and Best Gospel Act at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2008. Nigeria Music Awards also crowned her Voice of the Year.
Following the huge success of her first album and single, she went on working hard on her next solo album, which was called “Lara George” and included a lot of hits like “Kolebaje” and “Halleluyah”. For this album, Lara collaborated with some of the most famous Nigerian producers like Wole Adesanya and Wole Oni, along with help from American producer Jeff Taylor, who worked with worldwide famous artists like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson etc. Apart from the producers, some well-known Nigerian artists like Lord of Ajasa and Pat Uwaje King were also featured on her album. Lara herself defined her music direction as ethnic contemporary or urban, with some elements of salsa, soul music and hip-hop. This album’s videos received a lot of nominations at the Nigeria Music Video Awards, including Best Gospel Video, Best Use of Special Effects, and Best Use of Animation. With the arrival of the second album, Lara officially became one of the most loved gospel music singers all over Nigeria.
Her next album, “HIGHER – the Dansaki album”, which was released in 2012 has achieved success as well, becoming the classic of Nigerian gospel music. Lara George herself became nominated for Crystal Awards in the Song of the Year and Female Gospel Artiste of the Year categories. Later, in London, at the Africa Gospel Music Awards annual ceremony, she was awarded the Female Artiste of the Year 2012.
Since 2013 she has won different nominations including Nigerian Female Vocalist of the Year; she however did not stop working, She released two albums in 2014, “Love Nwantintin” and “The Medley Album”, and another one in 2017 titled “A Slice of Heaven”. Apart from original music, Lara George also does covers of famous songs. In 2015, she successfully covered Adele’s worldwide hit song “Hello”. Nowadays, she is one of the most influential singers in Nigeria and is part of the reasons for popularizing gospel music and promoting faith in God among Nigerian people. Lara is not overwhelmed with her success and says gospel music direction is not a style but a whole way of life for her.