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Aya Nakamura Asserts Musical Vision, Refuses to be Categorized

Aya Nakamura Asserts Musical Vision, Refuses to be Categorized

Friday, 27 November, 2020 - 07:00
Aya Nakamura is 23 years old, she grew up in Seine-Saint-Denis. Photo Valery Hache / AFP - AFP

Aya Nakamura, the most listened to French artist around the world, said refuses to be categorized after she gained popularity thanks to her Afropop sound and street slang.

"I asserted my musical vision and that's what I'm most proud of," she told AFP.

Known as the arrogant star, Aya said: "I may be the most listened to (French) artist in the world, but I remain someone's mother, and someone's sister and the most important thing to me is to spend time with my family."

Her album "AYA" has been downloaded more than 12 million times on the Spotify platform, becoming the third most listened to album in the world -- ahead of the latest release by AC/DC.

When talking about these figures, the singer seems stunned.

"I didn't know that. It's an amazing thing, really," she noted.

"I was a little stressed, because I had wondered if I should do something similar to my second album Nakamura, while I wanted to do something else," she added.

However, Nakamura said she will continue "making the music she loves" while adding that she refuses to be categorized.

In her new album, she explores "love in all its aspects," in her own way, of course.

Her second album Nakamura (2018) is the one that changed her life. Driven by the two great hits Djadja (700 million views on YouTube) and Pookie, it has sold over a million copies.

In Djadja, she recounts her romantic setbacks with an ex-partner. The song was a hit and ranked number one in the Netherlands, a first for a French singer since Edith Piaf.

Then it was remixed by Colombian singer Maluma, a huge star in Latin America and the United States, who worked with Madonna and Shakira.

Born in Mali as Aya Danioko, she grew up on the outskirts of Paris surrounded by the music of her family of traditional singer-poets or "griots".

She caught her break after posting songs on social media, choosing the name Nakamura in homage to a character from the American television series "Heroes".

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