Nya Azania


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Nya Azania - Biography

As quiet as it's kept, 'Its True', the 1980 Lover's Rock classic, was sung by Nya Azania and Angela Clarke. To this day, it has never been explained why the record, also written by Nya, was released under the aliases of 'Susan & Faye'.

Nya Azania, of course, rocketed to stardom in the mid-1980s when her AA-side 12 inch of 'It's True', and the flip side, 'Good Morning' - a duet with Nya Azania and Vivian Jones - stayed at number one on the charts for several weeks.

Nya Azania, christened Naomi Thomas, was born in the UK to Jamaican parents. She began singing at school where she soon caught the attention of teachers and staff and eventually began singing lead vocal for the school band.

At one of these school performances, Nya met Stephen Lumsden, a guitarist with 'Mighty Vhybes', who asked her and a friend, Angela, to audition as back-up vocalists. 'Mighty Vhybes' - led by Reggae great, Vivian Jones - immediately signed the two. And the rest, as they say, is history...

As Nya Azania has ventured further with her solo career, the quantity and quality of top name artists and producers she has worked with is dizzying: UB40 teamed with Nya and Barbara Naps (aka ‘Natty’) to produce a track entitled 'Sufferin' by UB40, Nya Azania, and Natty - written by Nya Azania and Natty, and backed and produced by UB40 for the 'DEP International' label.

ASWAD collaborated with Nya Azania to produce covers of 'Beat You To The Punch' and 'Sad Movies', as well as a version of Nya's original, 'It's True' - all released on 'Starlight Records', and backed by 'ASWAD'.

Desmond Mahoney, drummer for Black slate, collaborated with Nya and Bertie Grant of 'SG Records' to produce the smash hit, 'One Love Stylee' featuring Nya Azania and Barbara Naps - released under the name 'Nianatty'.

Nya Azania is used to performing in large, international venues and has opened for, collaborated with, or supported many top names in Reggae including Misty In Roots, Errol Dunkley, Horace Andy, Louisa Marks, the Twinkle Brothers, Sugar Minnot, Freddie McGregor, Barrington Levy, Maka B, the eccentric Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, the loveable Dr. Alimantardo, Studio One keyboard legend, Jackie Mittoo...and the list goes on…

In a career spanning a decade or two, and still going strong, Nya Azania has produced a string of hits as a soloist and also as a duo with stars such as Bunny Melody, Dave Barker, Ras Ibuna and, among others, a series of number one hits with Vivian Jones which include, 'Sugar Love' on the ‘Administrators’ label, 'The Hurt', and backup vocals on the Vivian Jones, ‘Jamaica Love' LP.

These are songs which have helped shape UK Reggae (from Lover's Rock to Roots), bearing labels such as Trojan, Third World, Roots Youth, DEP International, Finestyle - and have now been catalogued in the historical archives of dusty record boxes.

Nya's early days of working with Reggae's top artists and producers has continued throughout her musical career and, along with her extensive touring of such places as Africa, Jamaica, Europe, and America, has afforded her the opportunity to gain an immense amount of knowledge and experience in songwriting and performing.

Nya’s talent and vocal maturity were evident as a young performer and were displayed in her disciplined, energetic, and dynamic stage presence. Today, while Nya still presents a dynamic performance, a distinctly different side of her personality can be seen; the hardness and militancy previously portrayed have grown into grace and elegance, and her confidence and charm are just a small part of her humble demeanor.

As a singer and performer, Nya Azania has the strength and confidence to step out of her comfort zone, and shows her versatility by comfortably performing to a Reggae rhythm as she does a Soul, Grunge, or R&B track. Nya’s voice can only be described as rich, seasoned, powerful, and sultry...and, all at the same time.

As Nya's discography clearly shows, her songwriting abilities are prolific. Nya Azania has over 50 original songs published; while the number of Nya's unreleased songs, to date, is in the triple digits. Her original, self-penned songs are stylish and sophisticated, with vibrant emotion resonating through the written word and heard on every track.

Nya Azania has managed to juggle a consummate song-writing and performing career - both as a solo artist and as a back-up vocalist, raise a family, take part in charity shows, fund raising appeals, and community events, AND is currently enrolled in school. She has been working with Ambelique on some duets (keep an ear out for the upcoming track, 'Best Believe'), and an album with Earl ‘Wiah’ Lindo (original keyboard player for Bob Marley and the Wailers).

Nya Azania is available for tours, concerts, and voicing.


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