We need to celebrate ourselves and stop focusing on Grammy’s and international recognition – Wiyaala

Ghanaian musician Noella Wiyaala Nwadei better known by her stage name Wiyaala has said that we need to celebrate ourselves as Ghanaians and stop focusing on Grammys and international recognition.

The singer and song-writer who describes her genre of music as folk, traditional and African believes that winning a Grammy as a Ghanaian artiste is an icing on the cake and should not be seen as the pinnacle of achievement.

In a recent interview with Raza Swaggy on “Rush Hour” on Asaase Radio Cape Coast, the “Rock My Body” crooner revealed that she believes the recent craze for international recognition especially the Grammy Awards subtly hints of an inferiority complex. She is of the view that instead of comparing and trying to compete, Ghanaian artistes and the industry as a whole needs to learn from the international market and learn ways to make our industry better and more appealing while maintaining our authenticity. “We were Ghanaians before Grammy, we will be Ghanaians after Grammy. We need to stick to what we know, build it up, put a lot of value on it and celebrate ourselves without anyone having to verify us,” she said.

Wiyaala who revealed that she is a member of the Recording Academy further stated that music is a tool that has many positive benefits and therefore shouldn’t be reduced to competition. She further asserted that the motivation to win a Grammy should be for the purpose of networking, spreading one’s wings and getting to know and learn about other cultures from other countries. This can therefore be used to improve an artiste’s craft for the benefit of the artiste themselves, the nation and the continent as a whole.

On the topic of filling international venues such as the O2 Arena, she is of the view that charity begins at home. She believes artistes need to satisfy and conquer their home audience and communities before moving on to the international market. She added that she indeed understands the thrill of performing in some of these venues, however, she still believes that should not be the source of sleepless nights.

She also touched on the importance of support among artistes in the industry and also advised them to allow themselves go through the process. “When somebody is filling the O2 Arena, appreciate them, support them. Your time will come. Give yourself 5-10years. Just keep building your craft. It will come easy for you,” she said.

By: Maame Adwoa A. Mensah

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