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Music is not an art form. It’s isn’t a form of expression either; at least not to Rafiya. The relationship between her and music goes deeper than any metaphor you’ve heard before. Music is an inescapable force that has shadowed her for as long as she can remember. Saying that music is an integral part of who she is as a person would be a serious understatement. Music is her language.

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 2002 to attent Temple University where she double majored in Sociology and Spanis, and graduated in 2006 with honors.

While attending school full-time in the aforementioned nations, Rafiya found time to work with local artists, absorbing their techniques and wisdom all the while enriching her sound. 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.


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