I must say that I am rather surprised to be writing the second Artiste in focus for this month already. I thought January was always like 100 days. I can’t believe it was last week I wrote to you. How time flies. So, this January won’t be slow? Or is it too soon to conclude? Well, hold that thought.
Again, this week’s Artistes in Focus features two amazing talents. If they weren’t talented, you know we won’t be talking about them. They are Tay Iwar and Dija. I hope you are seated on a comfortable couch with your cup of your favorite drink as you read this.
Most of you got to know Tay Iwar after Wizkid featured him on True love. Tay Iwar’s real name is Austin ‘Tay’ Iornongu Iwar. He is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, recording artiste, a record producer and a sound engineer. He is from Benue state. Tay Iwarfound his talent and passion for music early. He was about fourteen when he started creating music.
Tay is not a new artiste as most of you believed. He has been creating Afrosoul music since 2014. He has released a debut compilation called; Passport in 2014. After 2014, he came back stronger with more albums. There was Renascentia in 2016, Gemini in 2019, and Gold also in 2019. His latest piece is a single called 1985, which he released in 2020.
He has a beautiful way of naming his music. You could call it mysterious but that’s the fun in it. Song titles like; Optimum Esse, Elysium, Equestrian and many other will keep you drawn to him. I may be wrong but Tay sounds like that sweet, soulful kind of danger that ladies love. Even Tay himself has admitted to be pulled by strong emotions.
No wonder his genre of music is R&B, Neo Afro-pop, Afro-fusion and Afrosoul. I perceive Tay Iwar as an African Labrinth. He has a smooth sound that you want to listen to when the day is dark or when you are in that mood.
I used to think her name was Hadija, that she had it shortened to Di’ja. Of course I was wrong. Her name is Hadiza Blell. Dija is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. Her music career started in 2008 but she entered Nigeria’s Music industry in 2012. That year, she released a lot of singles like; “How can we be friends”, “Dan’iska” and others. These singles which she released when she was in Canada soon got the attention of Don Jazzy and in 2014; she was signed into Marvins Records.
Under the label, “Yaro” was the first official single she released. It was the perfect afropop fusion as the song was a mix of Hausa and Krio dialects. However, her single; “Awww” cannot go unmentioned. It was the song of the year. Her sound is aAfrobeat but R&B and Afro-pop are her forte. Her latest sound is an EP called; “Aphropop, Vol.1” that she released in 2020.
However, Di’ja is married and blessed with a son and a daughter. She got married to her longtime boyfriend; Rotimi in 2015. Di’ja has managed to keep her private life away from the limelight. I mean, girl has been married since 2015! How many of you knew that?
She was nominated in 2014 for the Most Promising Act to Watch at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards. Even at the beginning of her career, she won Beat Music Awards in the category of Best New Artist. This event was actually a singing competition in Canada.
Thank you for reading and remember to wear a mask, stay safe and stay Jiggy.