Don’t follow me because of awards – Wiyaala tells fans
Ghanaian afro-pop songstress, Wiyaala, says her focus is to produce good music and not to win awards.
“I would like to tell my family that if you are following Wiyaala, don’t follow me because you want me to win awards. Follow me because, maybe, my music gives you peace; my music gives you joy that calms you down or entertains you,” she said.
According to her, awards are artificial, but talent is God-given, and that award schemes are created for business purposes.
“Awards are more centred on business. So, if you are so much business-minded and you want to go into that, go,” she added.
She said awards compelled her to go overboard when she started her music career.
“But, for me, when I started, I realized that awards were pushing me too hard to the edge. And it wasn’t me. And every time I take my time off awards and sing, something beautiful comes out.”
Wiyaala said she sees awards differently. For her, an award is when her music can make people fall in love.
“So, I told myself: ‘Okay, let me just do music.’ What is an award to me when my music makes people fall in love? That is my award,” she told MX24.
The Sisaala-born songstress is currently out with a new single, ‘Yagayaga’, a song that comes off her forthcoming album, ‘Yagayaga’.
Wiyaala, which means “the doer” in her local Sissala dialect, is an independent musician entertainer from Funsi in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Fiercely self-reliant and proud, Wiyaala is also known as the “Young Lioness of Africa”.
Wiyaala’s music references West African Folk traditions with contemporary Afro-Pop, sometimes evoking comparisons with African divas Mariam Makeeba, Brenda Fassie, Angelique Kidjo and elements of Grace Jones in her sense of style and attitude.
The second of four sisters and thanks to her musical mother, Wiyaala was spared the horrors of FGM and child marriage whilst attracting attention as a child entertainer, dancer, artist and footballer despite growing up in a patriarchal society often hostile to artistic growth.
In 2012, she travelled to the capital city Accra and won the Vodafone Icons Reality Show. Since being discovered by Rita Ray of BBC’s Global Beats in 2014, Wiyaala has emerged as one of Ghana’s leading personalities and international touring artists representing Ghana Africa at prestigious events, media and festivals all over the world, including the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Australia, The African Union in Addis Ababa, WOMAD UK, Green Man, Kendal Calling, Shambala and the Timitar Festival in Morocco.
In 2014 Wiyaala was the first Ghanaian artist to chart on Billboard since Osibisa in the 1970s with her 2014 FIFA World Cup Song “Go Go Black Stars”.
She has released two albums “Wiyaala” (2014) and “Sissala Goddess” (2108) with a third “Yaga Yaga” due in 2021. Wiyaala is also a member of the international female group GRRRL.
Wiyaala, who designs and sews her unique stage costumes, is well known for promoting her African village roots, where she frequently holds festivals and events encouraging the local children to develop their creativity and sense of self-worth.
GACA – Ghana Against Child Abuse
Water Aid Ghana
AWARDS & CITATIONS
Woman of the Decade – Womens Choice Awards Africa 2020
Artiste of the Year – Ghana Arts & Culture Awards 2019
International Touring Artiste of the Year – Ghana Music Awards UK 2019
BBC’s Celebrated African Women 2018 – BBC News
Young and Gifted – Ghana Women of the Year 2017
Discovery of the Year – Golden Movie Awards 2016
Music Video of the Year – All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) 2015
Songwriter of the Year – Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) 2015
Best Female Vocal Performance – Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) 2015
Best Individulal Style – Glitz Fashion Awards 2015
Most Promising Artiste in Africa – All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) 2014
Revelation of the African Continent – All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) 2014