Aya Dianoko, who is famous as Aya Nakamura, is a Malian musician based in France. She was born on the 10th of May 1995 in Mali’s capital city, Bamako and raised in Aulnay-sous-Bois. She is the firstborn in a family of five children. Nakamura comes from a family of griots, who are West Africans who are famous for being storytellers, praise singers and poets of oral traditions. Her stage name Aya Nakamura, came from the character Hiro Nakamura of Heroes science fiction drama series aired in the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
Aya comes from a musical family since her mother and sisters are all singers. Growing up, she would see her mother sing during weddings and funerals. Nakamura would not imagine herself in that position since she was this shy girl. However, as she grew older, her interest in music developed. She dropped out of high school one year prior to graduating. She revealed that this was due to the fact that she was struggling to get a job. Since she made singing a habit, her sisters had noticed it and encouraged her to go to the studio and start recording her own songs.
At that time, she had no idea on how to record songs but some friends assisted her to find a studio and a producer. With that, she recorded her first song dubbed ‘J’ai mal’ (French words meaning I’m hurting). With the assistance of some friends, Aya shot the video and uploaded it on YouTube where it did pretty well. A friend of hers called Dembo Camara left his job to become her producer and manager. She has since released two albums; Journal Intime and Nakamura.
Her hit songs include ‘Djadja’, ‘Brise’, ‘Super Heroes’, ‘Comportement’, ‘Oumou Sangare’, ‘Copines’, ‘Oublier’, ‘Fuego’, ‘Problemes’, ‘Jalousie’, ‘Karma’, ‘Orphelin’, ‘La Dot’, ‘Sucette’, ‘Oula’, ‘Pompom’, ‘Pookie’, ‘Ca Fait Mal’, ‘Whine Up’, ‘Gangster’, ‘Faya’, ‘Gang’ and ‘Dans ma bulle’. Her song ‘Djadja’, is currently her most successful project with over 370 million views on Youtube. This has topped music charts in France and other European countries. Besides that, some of her other songs have featured in various music charts across Europe. She has worked with several artists including Fally Ipupa, Davido, Fababy, Gradur, Abou Debeing, Naza, Dadju, DJ Erise, Tour 2 Garde, MHD, Lartiste, KeBlack and Niska.
Aya’s style of music is mainly RnB, Afropop and Afrobeats. She has worked under record labels Rec. 118 and Warner Music France. The songstress mentioned that she mostly listens to dancehall artists such as Popcaan and Gyptian as well as zouk love singers such as K-Reen, Karima, Princess Lover and Tikat.
Awards and Achievements
In 2017, she became the most streamed French female artist and the world. Her album, Nakamura which was released in 2018, scored seven top tens on the French singles chart. She became the first female artist to have such an accomplishment. This made her feature on the Forbes list of the 30 under 30 – Europe – Entertainment. She has scooped an award at Music Moves Europe Talent Awards and has been nominated for the 2019 edition of BET Awards.