NiyoRah is an up-and-coming Dominican-born, St. Thomas-raised artist who you may have heard as part of the Star Lion Family (heard on the compilation Talkin’ Roots Volume 1, amongst other albums). I stumbled on to his video over the weekend and it instantly caught my eye. It has a great message about peace, love and self improvement. Doesn’t most reggae convey those ideas?
Niyorah stands out from the mass of sing-jays out there with not only his expressive vocals, but also his ability to sing, chat, and even rap a bit (Purists should know that the rapping is kept to a minimum, though.). His lyrics are likewise unique and insightful. This video of “No Guts No Glory” is beautifully produced and the song is soulful and catchy.
No Guts No Glory Music Video by Niyorah
What do you think?
Nigel “NiyoRah” Olivacce was born on October 9, 1980 in the coastline village of Pointe Michel, Dominica. At age 4, he moved to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, with his family, and cultivated an interest in music through listening to artists in his father’s and uncle’s roots reggae collections, including Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear and Lucky Dube. By age 16, NiyoRah began chanting on the streets about the life experiences of the Savan ghetto in downtown Charlotte Amalie.
At age 18, NiyoRah decided to pursue a career in reggae music. “Reggae had one of the greatest influences on my life. It’s the type of music I cling to for some mystical reason,” he says. “The most high guided me more than me myself.” He took on the name NiyoRah – a combination of his nickname growing up and out of respect for the omnipotent power of the sun. Music was a natural career choice because of his musically gifted family. His grandfather is an award-winning vocalist who sings Negro spirituals and gospel, while his aunt, Ophelia Olivacce Marie, is an international French-speaking artist heralded as “Dominica’s Songbird” for her style of cadence and calypso. In 1998, he was introduced by local reggae radio personality Ras Manny to Black Juice Records, a Virgin Islands-based recording company. He joined with six other reggae artists under the company to co-found Star Lion Family. His voice can be heard on Star Lion Family’s EP “Brighter Days” released in November 2003.
NiyoRah’s songs delve into a wide range of issues, including cultural living, love for nature, strengthening of all peoples, especially Africans, and spiritual growth. In concert, NiyoRah has performed in front of thousands, sharing the same stage with world renowned artists such as Sizzla, Capleton, Junior Reid, Buju Banton, Bunny Wailer, Glen Washington, Midnite Band, Junior Kelly, Marcia Griffiths, Eve, Erika Badu, and many others.
NiyoRah’s albums, “A Different Age” (May 2005), “Purification Session” (June 2006) and “Stolen scrolls” (June 2008), were all released under one of the Virgin Island’s top reggae labels, I Grade Records. His newly awaited and anticipated album, ” Feel Your Presence” is scheduled for release in June 2010 under his new record label Denkenesh Records, which was produced in the island of Jamaica during 2009. The album will feature the dynamic Jah Mason on the track entitled “Bruk Down Barrier” and the legendary Sugar Minott on the track entitled “World Jungle”.
Since the release of his first album, Niyorah has toured/performed on the east and west coast of the U.S., Hawaii, Venezuela, Guam and various Caribbean Islands. He has performed in front of thousands at festivals/events such as the World Social Forum, Reggae Rising, Baltimore African American Heritage Music festival and the Sierra Nevada World Music festival to name a few. With his experience and relentless approach to the stage, he is definitely a a spectacle to watch live with his band, the Jah Current band.