Birth name Noella Wiyaala. Also known as Wiyaala Born 22 December 1986 (age 30 Wa, Upper West Ghana, Ghana
Origin Tema, Ghana
Genres Dance, pop, Afro pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, designer, actress, model, athlete
Instruments vocals, guitar
Years active 2011–present
Labels Djimba World Records, JTV Digital
Associated acts Jupitar, Black N Peach, The Djimba World Band
Noella Wiyaala (known under the stage name Wiyaala) is Ghanaian Afro pop singer-songwriter who sings in her native Sissala and Waale dialects and English, often combining all three languages within her songs. She has attained public renown with her single “Make Me Dance” and her androgynous image. After making her name in reality shows in Accra, she established a solo career in 2013 with the hit single “Rock My Body”, which won her two awards at the 2014 first edition of the All Africa Music Awards, the Most Promising Artiste in Africa and Revelation of The African Continent. Wiyaala is also associated with UNICEF Ghana and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection of Ghana in campaigns against child marriage, child poverty, health and sanitation.
Life and career Edit
Early life Edit
Noella Wiyaala was born in Wa, Upper West Ghana as one of four sisters and grew up in Funsi and Tumu. She got first singing lessons from her mother, a choir singer in the local church, and she has performed ever since she was 5 years old. Her surname, which she picked for a stage name, means “the doer” in her native Sisaala language. During her late teenage years, she played football as a midfielder. She attended Kansec Secondary School and later Kanton Secondary High in Tumu, where she acquired a reputation for being a tom-boy, playing football and was in demand as a dancer and entertainer in school productions. She also attended Takoradi Polytechnic on an art and design course.
Musical career Edit
From early childhood in the Upper West Region of Ghana, Wiyaala was active as an entertainer, earning her first income as a performer in a local bar in Tamale. After attending Kansec Secondary High School, Wiyaala’s musical career began in earnest when she joined the local music scene in Wa which centered around Echo Soundz Recording Studios. She performed at local events and recorded as a usually unpaid session singer for artists in the Upper West Region.
In 2009 she recorded her first album “Tuma” (“Work”) in the Sissala language at Echo Soundz Studios in Wa, Upper West Ghana. Songs like “Dannu” and “Dirik…” soon became local hits.
Looking to establish a national career, she made the journey to Accra to audition for Ghana’s own “Stars of the Future”. At the third attempt in 2011 she earned her way into the finals, winning two Golden Moments awards. Won the 2012 Vodafone ICONS Mixed Edition contest hosted by fellow Ghanaian DJ “Benny Blanco”, as part of the Ghanaian band Black N Peach, while singing Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best”.
She left the Black N Peach band during April 2013, after having released one single (“Wonkoa”), to pursue a solo career with Djimba World Records. Her first release was “Make Me Dance” which featured Ghana’s first ever underwater scenes in a music video, and soon afterwards the single “Rock My Body”, which quickly became a hit and won her two awards at the 2014 edition of the All Africa Music Awards.
In November 2014 Wiyaala released her “official” debut album, the eponymously titled “Wiyaala” which was nominated for album of the year at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards 2015 and the All Africa Music Awards 2015.
Wiyaala is a brand ambassador for PepsiCo in West Africa, alongside Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage, promoting Pepsi throughout Ghana as the brand looks to grab a larger share of the soft drinks market. She is also the Converse All Stars ambassador for Ghana since 2014.
Wiyaala is outspoken on the male-dominated culture and practice