Ghanaian Afro-pop singer and songwriter Noella Wiyaala on Saturday (12 March) said that her love for quality sound and taste in music elevated her to international levels.
“Because my name is the Lioness of Africa, I decided to expand my horizon by going out of Ghana to roar. When I started singing in my local dialect [Sissala and Waala dialects], the sound carried me out there. My sound was deliberate to attract not only Ghanaians but the world,” Wiyaala said on Asaase Radio’s Accra-Lagos-Joburg show.
The winner of the 2012 Vodafone Icons Mixed Edition contest said she is happy with her career because her sound of music cuts across and it is accepted globally.
“I realised that we can also produce music equally good. 50% of what I was recording in studios was targeted for outside Ghana and 50% for Ghanaians. But the 50% targeting outsiders took off more quickly and it looked like I was only targeting outside Ghana market,” Wiyaala told her host Solomon Ter.
The Lioness of Africa said when she started getting international attention things got better for her financially, so she went back to her community to help them as well as connect to her roots.
“I never forgot my community, nobody from my community was doing music on TV by then, and singing all these English big songs.”
Life in Funsi
“Going back to live in my community has been amazing, it’s peaceful for me. I didn’t go back to my community trying to set an example, but rather to live with my parents and all my sisters. I know the community so well that even if I get up in the middle of the night, I can walk around the whole community with just a cloth around my neck and I will feel safe,” the 35-year-old said.
“My manager made me realised that even though it was unintentional I was becoming a role model to these young girls in my community. I promised everyone when I won the Vodafone Icons that I would be back to Funsi, and I fulfilled that promise. I realised the hunger for entertainment and that motivated me to build an arts center for my people, the community came out and supported me,” she added.