Who is Rafiya?
Rafiya was born in Los Angeles to Congolese parents: a diplomat father and a sociologist mother. As a result of her father's career, she traveled extensively when growing up: living in Congo (Democratic Republic), the Cape Verde Islands, Benin, Senegal, Guinea, Barbados and Ivory Coast. She moved to Philadelphia in 2001 to attend Temple University where she double majored in Sociology and Spanish, and graduated in 2006 with honors. In 2001, she also won the Afro Star Contest which provided her with the opportunity to record a demo in the state of the art studio of renowned Senegalese artist Yousou N'Dour.
While attending school full-time in the aforementioned nations, Rafiya found time to perform at various festivals, in New York and Philadelphia, and to work with local and international artists such as Malien rapper, Mokobe with whom she toured in France and performed at the Bataclan in Paris, and Mozambican artist Marllen, with whom she collaborated in July 2009.
Every passing collaboration, studio session and performance strengthened her ever-present belief that she would be spending her life making music; spending her life making people smile, dance and think.
Rafiya writes and sings about the human experience in French and English but regardless of your native tongue, her passion translates itself in the melody. Parlez-vous Rafiya?