Influence of Moliy’s roots in Ghana are obvious in her music, which she describes as “Afro- fusion pop,” but it doesn’t begin to fully describe her sound. Splitting time between Accra, the capital of Ghana on western Africa’s Atlantic coast, and Orlando, Florida, she was exposed to a wide range of music.
“Growing up with my mom and siblings you’ll always find the greats like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Celine Dion on rotation,” she says. “Local TV also played us the biggest hits in Highlife [a Ghanaian genre that fuses African rhythms with western jazz influences and instrumentation] like Daddy Lumba.”
With that wide range of influence, Moliy was drawn to the then-developing sounds of Afrobeat as she began to make her own music. But finding support for where she wanted to take her sound wasn’t easy.
I don’t think anyone really took me seriously. Because I’m half-American they probably don’t think I can make the Afrobeats sound as well as they do,” Moliy says of her early attempts seeking guidance from more established artists and producers in Ghana. “Or I was being told I have to do it in the specific way that is already being done, but I don’t think that makes sense. Why can’t I make my own twist and come out with my own sound?”
The six-song 2020 debut EP Wondergirl showcases that distinct intimate style. “I guess I make soulful music that isn’t a soulful sound,” she says. “It’s very versatile, very pop, very afro. You know I just do what feels right. I hear something I like and jump on it.”
Since then, Moliy has been attracting attention worldwide – on her own and on music charts in more than 15 countries as a featured artist on Amaarae’s “Sad Girlz Luv Money,” which cracked Billboard’s Hot 100 and Global 200 charts in 2021. In 2002, she has released the singles “Love Doc” and the Mahogany St EP with the songs “9 to 5,” “Taken,” and “… Shake It,” and is featured along with Melissa on the BOJ single “In a Loop.”
She is also among SoundExchange’s Breakthrough Beats – Volume 1 artists, a program that identifies rising creators through a combination of streaming data and career insights. Moliy performed at a June 2022 Breakthrough Beats NYC showcase for music industry insiders on a bill with Spencer Crandall and Mehro. “Being the only female (African) on the lineup was pretty special for me,” she says.
The whole room was buzzing with good energy and vibes, I got to sing both old and new records for new and old fans who came to support me. It was a super sweet welcome and thanks to the SoundExchange team for an amazing experience.”
Following the showcase, Moliy visited Manhattan’s Times Square to see a towering billboard promoting her music.
Next up is Honeydoom, expected out later in 2022. “I’m hoping this one resonates more with women,” Moliy says. “I write a lot about certain realities that I don’t want women to face anymore. I also write songs I hope would empower and uplift us.”