Entertainment of Thursday, 5 March 2015
Just like Angelique Kidjo from Benin, Ghanaian musician Noella Wiyaala has kept African tradition at the core of her music, making her one of the continent’s most promising contemporary artistes.
With her distinct looks, style and voice, Wiyaala, who has scored multiple nods in the 2015 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards nominations and rose to prominence within a short musical career, is now eying the European and American market.
“My next thing is to get into the European market and see what I can do and to show them somebody is coming from Ghana …I’m sure I can easily rub shoulders with all international acts in America doing pure pop music,” Wiyaala said when she took her turn at Infobox TV’s programme Moment
Described as the ‘young lioness of Africa’, Noella’s breakthrough came in 2012 during the talent show, Vodafone Icons Mixed Edition, which her group, Black N Peach emerged winners. Noella went solo in 2013 and has since been making waves on the continent and beyond with hits songs like Rock My Body, Make Me Dance, Africa, and Tinambayi.
She told Infoboxx her unique identity and style had made her one of the favourites of European songwriters, saying “I do have people writing English songs from Europe for me recently because they believe I have the voice and the looks to smash those songs”.
To her, although she does modern African music, she’s not limited to a particular genre of music as “I can do any kind or style of music I want – Reggae, Ragga, Ballad, African, Afro pop, even Pure pop”.
She, however, added: “As an African, I still have my African thing and I don’t want to loose that because I just believe from day one that would make me stand out quick and I can never let that go”.
Touching on why she relocated to Accra from her hometown Wa in the Upper West Region, Wiyaala indicated that the cultural background there was not favourable for female artistes as compared to Accra which has more to offer.
“It’s not even easy to do music as a female. People think you’re going into prostitution and you have a lot of problems with people, even your own family will start criticising until they see something good come out of it. You have to really fight not only in music but in a lot of things,” she said.
She added: “I moved to Accra because I wanted to go out there and showcase my talent. I realised staying in Wa was just too small… I think I became a bit bigger than Wa… Accra is the place; it’s like the New York in Ghana. This is where all the business deals, the connections and everything would work for you so I took that opportunity and as soon as I could leave Wa, I run quickly to get here”.
Meanwhile, Wiyaala who, last December, won two All Africa Music Awards, noted the award had given her new impetus in her music career on the continent, saying, “getting an award for All Africa Music has also given me another exposure in the whole African contentment”.
Watch the interview below: