Meet Wiyaala, The Young Lioness of Africa

Make-Me-DanceGuest post originally published on http://blog.plug.dj/2013/12/meet-wiyaala-the-young-lioness-of-africa/

Meet Wiyaala, a talented and passionate Afro-pop artist from Ghana. BA Latanya got a chance to interview her, and learn more about fierce songstress. If you’d like a chance to chat with Wiyaala be sure and drop by the Make Me Dance Listening Party for her new remix EP, exclusively on Plug.dj!

Who is Wiyaala and how would you describe your music?
Wiyaala in my own tribal language means I am “the doer”. I’m a Sissala from the Upper West of Ghana, West Africa. I grew up in a small village called Funsi. I’m also known as “the young lioness of Africa”. That name was given to me by my manager. Why? Well, I think it’s because I roam around roaring a lot!

I do mainly Afro-Pop music, but there are elements of my tribal folk music and western rock music also in what I do. As I was a child, in the village not many people had TVs and we used to look through their windows to watch. I saw Madonna and Michael Jackson and I was fascinated by them. I would go home and put on my own shows for my family and friends imitating them. I think they influenced me a lot in the music, I’m making today.

You are the first artist I have ever listened to that is from Africa, but I am sure there are many other talented musicians. Can you name a few?
Wow! There are so many talented musicians of all kinds in Africa, let me mention some of the notable ladies… Angelique Kidjo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Miriam Makeba and Brenda Fassie. They are all on YouTube.

The biography on your website says that you are known to stand up for women’s right, how do you incorporate that in your music? 
I have this warrior song called Tinambayai which will be on my album. I sing it in Sissali. Basically it says “Hey you! We are just preparing and already you are running for your lives!”. Although this song is not specifically about women’s rights, it does represent my attitude to the exploitation of women in Africa. Even In the next 10-20 years, I think women will redress the balance and become more influential. It’s already happening in the Ghanaian movie industry, but the music industry here is dominated by men. I hope that I will be part of changing that perception.

What do you like to do for fun?
I like being around young kids, going to a park where there are trampolines, see-saws, swings and we all just laugh and play together.

What can we expect from you in the near future?
I have a song called “You Got the Power” coming out soon. It’s Afro-Pop and I sing it in three local languages, Waali, Sissali and Ga as well as English. The song says, no matter the difficulties in our lives, the power rests with each of us to change it. It is a song about personal responsibility. I’m hoping to get my full album finished by March 2014. That album should be really interesting because it fuses western style music with traditional African village life.

 

 

I read that your mother is your inspiration and taught you how to sing, do you ever ask for her advice when making a song?
I talk to my mother everyday. She has always believed in me. And yes, I have definitely been influenced by the stories she used to tell us as children. Some of those stories are now in my songs like Arijanah. But, now I’m grown she says that she will leave the music to me and just enjoy listening.

What is your thought process when making music? How do you go about it? Any routines or just whatever feels right?
I don’t force it. An idea usually comes to me when I am in a good mood and seeing the positive side of life. That is good because I won’t always be complaining!

In the future you said you want to work on an album that mixes your tribal songs and western influences and those songs will contain messages from Upper West of Ghana which reflect the Sissala outlook on life. Can you go into a little more detail about the Sissala outlook on life?

They see life as it is. My song Tuma says there is no food for the lazy man. That’s how it is.

What role does Ghana or Africa as whole play into your music?
All musicians around the world are a reflection of where they come from. But we all come into contact with different people and cultures even through TV and the internet. This influences what we already have. So, whilst I will always be Ghanaian, how could I ever ignore Rihanna, Beyonce or other major international stars? Sometimes I hear that musicians will just stick to what they know. Do they live in a bubble?

Wiyaala

Official website for Wiyaala: wiyaala.com
Like Wiyaala on Facebook: facebook.com/wiyaala
Follow Wiyaala on Twitter: twitter.com/Wiyaala

My Response to “I’m Charlotte Church. And This Is How Women Are Routinely Demoralized by the Music Industry…”

Guest post by Christine Ben-Ameh, Singer-Songwriter-Performer, in response to a blog post published on Digital Music News (http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2013/10/15/church)

 

I recently read this article on Digital Music News and I was not quite sure whether I should feel ‘empowered’ as a female artiste or be embarrassed that as women we are making excuses again.

While a lot of points made by Charlotte Church have some element of truth to them, we must all try not to forget that truth is relative and ultimately guided by choice.

In her speech, the first statement that caught my attention was “It is a male-dominated industry, with a juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality” and I wondered how with the sexual evolution over the years affecting even policies of gay rights and gender equality how this may not be applicable in its total sense as gender roles tend to juxtapose in different scenarios.

But that aside I went on to read and try to understand if there might be more to this speech to clear my doubts as to if the stated problem of women objectification might have a solution.

To begin with, the three main roles that women are allowed to fill in modern pop music may be applicable to men as well except that the only changes that apply are as a result of the different ways that both genders are wired to respond to life’s situations.

This is what art and music is designed for right? To translate these situations from different perspectives to the audiences.

How else can this be done if roles are not defined to some extent?

Men also have taken off their clothes (D’Angelo and LL Cool J are my favorites) and still rip off their shirts in concerts which the ladies love and very much appreciate. Is there something wrong with women doing that too? (oops!)

I cannot comment objectively enough as to the idea of rating videos because I strongly believe that choice allows every individual to enjoy what they will.

Her final statement where she says ‘…putting the power back in sex, for a future world where humans are able to portray their sexuality as it is for them.” debunks her initial argument and drives right back to the subject of “choice” and individual preference.

Sex does not need to be further powered. Sex sells!

We all know this and we all like it.

As a woman I choose that art and music be portrayed the way you feel it with or without your clothes on.

I choose to not allow people’s reactions to my choices push me to start to shift the blame to an industry I am a part of and cannot do without on the basis of my career’s survival.

And if in the instance these choices become too heavy to shoulder, do something else with my life.

Christine Ben-Ameh Releases New Single Titled ‘My Daddy’

My-DaddyChristine Ben-Ameh offers her brand new single titled ‘My Daddy’ which talks about the guaranty of a father’s unconditional love.

Produced by Bill Delia (Los Angeles, USA) and recorded at Blank Studios (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) for JTV Digital Productions and Distribution, this new effort promises to be an immense pleasure to every single listener.

‘My Daddy’ is also available as a video clip on Christine’s YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/155PgR7) and already online on most digital music stores.

Adjoa Skinner Releases New Single Titled “The Sun” With JTV Digital Distribution

The SunAdjoa Skinner is an award winning Nashville and LA Based artist.

Having recently come off of a world wide tour after being a finalist in the Grammy Museum’s Be Heard Contest, as well as nabbing a Semi finalist title in the International Songwriting Contest with her song “God Made Me Tall” from the album “Songs For Tall Women & The Short Men Who Love Them”.

JTV Digital is proud to be releasing Adjoa’s new single off of her upcoming release “The Sun”.

This is a collaboration between Adjoa and Grammy Award Winning Composer Mateo Messina, best known for his work on the movie “Juno”. Mateo and Adjoa wrote “The Sun” together one afternoon in his Hollywood Hills studio.

“The Sun” is now available on iTunes (http://glnk.it/2c6) and all digital music stores worldwide.

And for iPhone users, “The Sun” can also be downloaded as a Ringtone on the iTunes store.

The Music Video for “The Sun” features Los Angeles based dance Company SoleVita Dance, lead by choreographer Joelle Martinec.

See Adjoa’s online EPK here:
https://presskit.to/adjoaskinner

For More information visit:

http://www.adjoaskinner.com

http://www.mateomessina.com

http://www.joellemartinec.com

For any digital distribution inquiries:
contact[at]jtvdigital[dot]com

“The Young Lioness Of Africa” Releases First Single

282_09202013084840Originally produced by Genius Selection in Ghana, and now remixed in Los Angeles by Bill Delia for the international market, “Make Me Dance” (along with an acoustic version) will be distributed on the Djimba World Records label under exclusive license to JTV Digital.

“Make Me Dance” was officially released worldwide on October 7th and is now available on iTunes http://glnk.it/2bi and other digital stores.

Noella Wiyaala, or simply Wiyaala, is a personification of modern Africa: creative, brave, strong, beautiful.

The singer/songwriter from the Upper West infuses the giant pop sounds of David Foster with the modern funk and flair of Janelle Monae.

Wiyaala now brings her own powerful voice and bold image to the world with the release of “Make Me Dance”.

“Make Me Dance” is a dance anthem of a new club season, perfectly working on radio, designed for a sing-along, and ready to hit dancefloors with an upcoming remix EP.

The acoustic version of “Make Me Dance” makes the song sound even deeper and more touching. Wiyaala’s music isn’t the only thing she works hard at though.

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.

She is an artist, designer, actress, model, natural athlete, and an ambassador of African culture.

Wiyaala is also known for standing up for women’s rights, having a very distinctive androgynous image herself. She would often get called “man-woman” by the boys in grade school but would also be the first to lead the boys and girls into the bushes for wild hunts.

Wiyaala is Tina Turner of Ghana, just less feminine.
http://wiyaala.com
http://www.facebook.com/wiyaala
http://www.youtube.com/noellawiyaala
http://twitter.com/wiyaala
https://soundcloud.com/wiyaala

For further information contact Dotted Music Marketing & PR: Justin Ellenson – j.ellenson@dottedmusic.com