Wiyaala, aka ”the young lioness of Africa”, is a personification of modern Africa: creative, brave, strong, beautiful. Her name, Wiyaala, literally translates to “the doer” in Sissala, her tribal language in which she sings alongside English, and perfectly describes her approach to life. Frequently compared to Angelique Kidjo and Grace Jones, Wiyaala’s music is truly Afro-Pop fusing her African roots with contemporary world Pop music.
Wiyaala started performing in public at the age of 5 when she so impressed the patrons of a local bar in Tamale that they were moved to give her money, upon which the bold small girl confidently declared to her mother that she would grow up and “get money from singing”.
She is also an artist, designer and natural athlete with a very distinctive androgynous image. At school, Wiyaala would often get called “man-woman” and be the first to lead the boys and girls into the bush for “bushmeat” hunts.
At school, Wiyaala continued to perform and was frequently in demand as a session singer at Echo Soundz recording studio in Wa. After leaving school, Wiyaala gathered her small savings together and made her first and locally very popular album “Tuma” which was self-released in 2009 in the Upper West of Ghana.
Despite having few resources and the challenging environment that is Africa, Wiyaala made the long journey from the extreme north of Ghana to Accra in 2010 and auditioned for Ghana’s “Stars of the Future”. Although unsuccessful, she was not deterred and returned in 2011 to earn her way into the finals, winning two Golden Moments awards. Her success fired her determination to perform even harder, which prompted her to enter the Vodafone Icons Mixed Edition 2012 music reality show where her energy and strong voice lead her group Black n Peach to an overwhelming victory.
In 2013, Wiyaala emerged as a solo artist and released two video hit singles on the Djimba World label, “Make Me Dance” and “Rock My Body”, which were both nominated for awards in the “Best Discovery” and the “Best Reggae/Dancehall” catagories in Ghana’s 4Syte TV Music Video Awards for 2013.
In October 2013, Wiyaala secured an international distribution and publishing deal with JTV Digital in Paris. December 2013 brought the release of the EDM “club remixes” EP of “Make Me Dance” featuring five tracks in nu-disco, disco house, breakbeat, drum & bass and trance genres.
In April 2014, Wiyaala released her World Cup anthem “Go Go, Black Stars” for the Ghana National Football team which was featured on Billboard and adopted by Ghanaians as the unofficial “Official” World Cup Song for the Black Stars. The song also featured as a soundtrack to a BBC Afrique World Cup programme and in nationwide advertising campaigns in Ghana for Chinese Telecoms giant Huawei and Global Aviation.
In May 2014, Wiyaala was confirmed as the face of Pepsi Ghana and June 2014 has seen Wiyaala nominated for Female Fashion Personality of The Year at the Fashion Icons Awards and receive three nominations for her single Rock My Body at Ghana’s Bass awards 2014 in addition to being featured on BBC’s Global Beats performing “Tinambayi”, a “war song” for women from her soon to be released album.
In October 2014 Wiyaala became the most nominated Ghanaian at The All Africa Music Awards (Afrima) after receiving nominations in four categories including Revelation of The African Continent, Best West African Female Artiste, Best African Reggae, Ragga, Dancehall Song for Rock My Body and Most Promising Artiste on the African Continent.
Live performances this year have included the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Launch, Vlisco Dream Awards, the Ghana Stanbic Jazz Festival, GTP Nu-Style Fashion launch, Night of 1018 Laughs, Legends & Legacy Ball and Wiyaala in Concert at Alliance Francaise, Accra.