Meet N1YAH, the Middle East's answer to Nicki Minaj
Dubbed the Middle East’s answer to Nicki Minaj, the region has a new superstar in the making.
So in a week where some of the planet’s leading stars jet in for Creamfields Abu Dhabi, we bring you the first track of someone hoping to make her own impact on the world of music.
Meet N1yah, born and raised for her 19 years in Dubai but bursting with pride at her Lebanese heritage. The teenager credits self-discipline from years of involvement with martial arts as a key factor in her rise to prominence, and claims it was her love for sport which instilled a drive to win within her. It was, too, the inspiration behind replacing the ‘i’ in her name with a No 1.
The journey from the field to the booth came about at university, where a rap performance at an ‘international night’ caught the attention of DJ Bliss, who was quick to offer his experienced hand to help, as well as a cameo in one of his tracks. Now unleashed on her own, N1yah’s first track, ‘My name is N1YAH’, is racking up the hits on YouTube and her sound is reverberating around the UAE.
Check her out for yourself….
N1yah, who will be releasing a mixtape in the coming months, has also given What’s On her own special compilation for you to seek out and enjoy.
“I can never choose a definitive top 10 songs,” she told us. “There are too many good songs out there and I can’t make up my mind but here is a couple of different songs I would like to share.”
My All – Mariah Carey
It’s one of my favourite love songs. Mariah Carey’s voice is just something else in this song. I think it’s powerful because she uses simple words to describe her love yet the song still creates a great impact because of her beautiful vocals.
Survivor! – Destiny’s Child
It’s the anthem! You already know I live by this every day. I’m a survivor and this song empowers whoever listens to it to get up on their feet and work harder. To me, it’s not just about a man who was in my life, left and now I’m surviving by moving on. To me, the chorus in this song speaks for any difficult situation that I’ve been in and got much stronger out of.
Gossip Folks – Missy Elliott
It’s very tough to pick one of Missy Elliott’s songs but here is one of my favourites for sure. It’s just very live and well put together. It’s hard to find such collaborations in today’s music .
Hate it or Love it – 50 Cent ft. The Game
This was a pretty hard pick since 50 cent is one of my top rappers, but since it’s with another one of my faves, The Game, I thought I’d put this collaboration on the list.
Senorita – Justin Timberlake ft. Pharrel
Justin Timberlake always comes up with the greatest hits. I just picked this one to add some good groove to the list .
Try again – Aaliyah
RIP to the beautiful Aaliyah. This also was a tough pick as I love many of her songs. They are all beautiful and can’t be duplicated. I particularly like the vibe of this one with Timbaland doing the production .
Rise and Fall – Craig David ft. Sting
I love this song. It’s meaningful and it paints the right picture of how some artists become after they take the road of fame. Plus, it has two of my favourite artists Craig David and Sting.
Me and my girlfriend – 2Pac
This is definitely one his biggest tracks. RIP 2Pac.
Lose Yourself – Eminem
One of my favourite Eminem tracks because I can relate to it, listening to it just makes me feel powerful and I know that I got one great shot right now and I’m going to capture that great shot.
A Woman’s Worth – Alicia Keys
Of course I love how Alicia Keys sings beautifully on this track. It’s never about the money when it comes to love, it’s about appreciating each other, treating each other right and knowing each other’s worth.