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Belliyah Goes ‘Different’ with Reggae

With Afrobeats the rage thanks to stars like Burna Boy and Wizkid, Nigeria has become one of the music industry’s hottest spots. While she has recorded several singles in that genre, Belliyah starts 2023 with two reggae songs.

‘Different’ and ‘Smile’ are those singles, both produced by Tuffgig Music Empire, a company with offices in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, and New York City.  “One of the most beautiful things I like about reggae music is how most stories are told which is our reality. It is more realistic, relatable, informative and it is also soul,” said Belliyah.

‘Smile’ has a lovers rock flavor reminiscent of the early 1980s when that genre was taking off in the United Kingdom. ‘Different’, which takes a jab at racism, hails South African freedom fighter Winnie Mandela for her relentless fight against Apartheid.

Belliyah believes it is important to salute strong black women, especially those who fought to make a difference for her generation.

“Mama Winnie represents a lot to us as African women and myself personally. It’s her strength, her pursuit for justice and equal rights and her untiring desire to see things become right by closing the gap, that has been in existence amongst the black, colonised countries,” she said.

Born and raised in Lagos, Belliyah is influenced by her homeland’s indigenous sounds and Afrobeats artists. Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, Shaggy and Koffee are her favorite reggae artists.


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