WALIYAH SET TO TAKE OVER THE NIGERIAN MUSIC SCENE
She’s been hailed as Britain’s answer to Beyonce, she released a tribute track for the London Olympics and she’s been amassing a fanatical fan base across the UK, America, Dubai and Africa. Now Waliyah has gone back to her roots with her new hit Afro pop single ‘EJEKAJO’. This follows the success of her first EP (2010)- which spawned the internet sensation ‘Hidden Audible EmotionAgenda’ the acclaimed digital single; and her second (2011) that gave up the EP Supernova increasingly popular single ‘6AM’.
We caught Waliyah at the airport on route to Nigeria for her single launch and listening party to enlighten us about ‘EJEKAJO’ and she said ‘this was my favourite track to record because I was able to let loose and sing a good part of the song in Yoruba, my native language’. Waliyah who has been song writing for 9 years expressed she has never felt more alive. ‘Ayo a kari o’, part of the lyrics of this soon to be massive hit, is a popular greeting at joyous gatherings back home in Lagos and she is at a point in her life where she wants to rejoice. She tells us that ‘to rejoice back home, we dance’ which she reveals is what ‘EJEKAJO’ represents.
Waliyah means ‘princess’ in Arabic, is the London-born daughter of one of Africa’s most famous business, political and philanthropic figures. Although her dad tragically passed away, remarkably Waliyah has remained undeterred by adversity and funds her music career with her very successful career in investment banking. An Imperial college graduate, this sultry African beauty knows her marbles and is well clued into what is going on in the Nigerian music scene having shared the stage earlier this year with the best: Tiwa Savage, Omawunmi, Nneka at LoudNProud Live Series.
David Brant, the hit producer for girl band Misteeq, described her by saying: “Take Beyonce’s glamour, Alicia key’s soulfulness, lady Gaga’s dramatic flair, Rihanna’s distinctively popstatic vocal delivery, Aaliyah’s mysterious star quality, and the looks of a young Tina Turner - and you get Waliyah.”
Funmi Iyanda, the award-winning BBC producer, added: “This girl’s going to be a huge star - she has that special X-factor”. Waliyah said: “2011 has been a year of ascension but 2012 is a year of Afro pop reconnection’.
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