Ranti: Where Opera meets Folk Music
About Ranti Ihimoyan
Ranti is an opera and crossover singer who is versatile in various genres of music – folk, jazz, pop etc. Her passion for music started in secondary school where she was awarded the first place in the soloist segment of the Shell Schools’ Competition as a result of which she was featured as a soloist in the 2001 MUSON Festival Youth Art Concert. In 2002, she returned to Chicago (the city of her birth) and obtained a Chemical Engineering degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). While in IIT, she took music lessons at the VanderCook College of Music. Upon graduation, she worked as a refinery engineer, directed her church choir and joined the Apollo Chorus of Chicago (est. 1872). She was among 20 members selected to sing on ABC Chicago’s Morning TV Show in 2010.
Ranti returned to Nigeria in 2011 and while working as an Environmental and Regulatory Specialist, she obtained distinction certificates in both the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) & MUSON Grade 8 Vocal Performance Exams. She performed lead roles in operas such as Laz Ekwueme’s ‘A Night in Bethlehem’, Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’ and her dramatic coloratura role as ‘Queen of the Night’ in Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’ during the 2012 MUSON Festival and repeated twice in 2013. She also played another coloratura soprano role – “Madame Herz” in Mozart’s ‘Der Schauspieldirektor’ in a summer 2015 opera program in Mozart’s birth city – Salzburg, Austria. She has shared the stage with seasoned Nigerian artistes who have become her artistry mentors such as Yinka Davies – in “For the Love of Country” play, “Full Circle” musical and “Love Is” musical – Bongos Ikwue and Prof. (Sir) Victor Uwaifo.
Ranti is also mentored by Seth Riggs – a legendary vocal coach based in Los Angeles, California.
Seth Riggs has coached over 120 Grammy Award winners including singers, actors and entertainers such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker, Diana Ross, Madonna, Josh Groban etc.
While in Chicago, Ranti was exposed to jazz, blues & soul music. She explored the fusion of neo-soul & classical music in a style she refers to as Neo-Classical music. She and the Neo-Classical Band/Orchestra have performed original songs and standards at events hosted by MUSON, Shell, Nissan, Lebanese Ladies’ Society (singing the Lebanese National Anthem with and training Pacelli’s School for the Blind students), Lifehouse (International Women’s Day & Neo-Classical Concerts), Felabration (Neo-Classical arrangement of Fela’s 60’s music), Society for the Performing Arts of Nigeria (SPAN Festival), Music Meets Runway Fashion Show with Mai Atafo, “Love Is” The Musical, Lagos Jazz Series etc.
Ranti left her thriving core engineering career at the end of 2014 to focus fully on her musical and theatrical career. She hopes to continue to share beautiful music and theatrical performances that will bring hope to the world starting from Africa (where she believes she can make an impact). She produced and performed in the musical/operetta titled “After the Dream” which debuted in February 2015 at the MUSON Centre, Lagos (www.facebook.com/neoclassicmove). Her debut music recording (single) is scheduled for release in the last quarter of 2015 under the Rantique Productions platform. Photos and videos of her performances can be found on twitter and instagram by following @rantimusic and on www.youtube.com/rantineo.