African Music has taken over, and African artists are celebrating their culture, while pushing Afro centric message and aesthetic in an innovative and fresh take, and one such artist is Shay Lia, who’s smoothly packing multiple music genres. French-Djiboutian singer Shay Lia is definitely an artist worth giving a listening ear.
Born Shanice Dileita Mohamed in France, and raised in the East African country of Djibouti, the two cultures merge in her music to bring a fresh take on R&B. Right off the gates, her debut single, Leave Me Alone featuring KAYTRANADA incorporates African beats, with refreshing electronic elements, all blended by Shay Lia’s soulful vocals. The singer is not afraid to wear her heart on the sleeve, evident in her EP Dangerous, which was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize in 2019.
Why Shay Lia Should Feature in Your Playlist
If you want to feel mellow, but uplifted, Shay Lia should be your go to artists.
Her latest single SOLO is a perfect song for a windup track of the day, with Reggae beats, and the soulful vocals and melodies of the singer. According to the singer, SOLO, which preaches self-love, it was a way for her to share her newfound love.
Speaking about the song she said, “I needed to write about failed situationships where I felt inconsistency and a lack of effort. From my love interest ……”
Shay spoke about working on herself and healing, “I ended up feeling like this newfound self-love and self-awareness were too precious to be wasted on something inconsistent.”
Shay revealed she decided to move forward and channel her feelings in music. “I felt much lighter after making this decision and that’s why the song feels like a warm classic – it’s meant to relay the softness of my confidence.”
The singer who’s not afraid to swim through genres is best described on Spotify as an uncontained energy. “Shay Lia’s work relays the artist’s uncontained energy with an approach that is stylish, timeless and can be likened to the boundless energy of the sun. She’s an out-of-the-box thinker that refuses to be confined by a singular construct of an artist.”
Shay’s recent single TAKUTA, is definitely a black girl’s song of the season, with an upbeat catchy feel, keeping up with Singers of African descent paying homage to the essence of an African woman. The confidence in TAKUTA’s music video oozes through the screen, as the singer brings her melanin, Afro and Dance to the center stage.
Shay, now based in Montreal, Quebec in Canada where she moved in 2012 to study Communication at the University of Quebec in Montreal is indeed a woman of the world. As described by streaming platform Spotify, “The independent singer-songwriter’s intentional, soulful offerings smoothly pack multiple Genres and effervescent movement into a concise, sonic plus visual narrative of the artist’s self-discovery.”
Shay, who received nominations in the SOCAN songwriting prize in 2019 for her singles Leave Me Alone and Chances is now back and making waves with her Reggae-R & B fusion track SOLO and black girl anthem TAKUTA.