Winner of Britain’s Got Reggae Competition 2017. It’s been said that her dream is to be the “female answer to Beres Hammond”. Vocally, she has a soft, but commanding voice that although raspy, as she refers to it, it pulses and touches you with every note. Rafeelya’s latest work, Life & Times EP produced by Stingray Record Label, released on March 23rd, 2018. In 2018 she has accomplished acquiring her own band, The New Life Band.
Her music has been well received on vinyl from the Roots Mellow Vibes record label as well as Digitally from Stingray Label. Through working with both labels over the last 9 years she has steadily built a catalogue of singles from cover tune, ‘Have You Ever’, a big hit originally sang by R&B Songstress, Brandy, ‘Coming of the Father’ (original tune), to Mariah Carey’s ‘Always Be My Baby’ on the 123 Riddim. All along while penning tunes like ‘Give Thanks for Life’ and ‘Jah By My Side’ most recently on the Mellow Vibes Label.
As we’ve witnessed in the reggae business, throwbacks are a great way to get out there. That’s how it began for Boston, USA bred Raphaelia aka Rafeelya. Determination landed her first job in 1994-95 when she began hanging out in Jr. Rodigan’s ‘Vibes Records’ shop (Dorchester, MA). There she met DJ Wade, a well known Hip Hop deejay, and soon after recorded specials for him. Jr. Rodigan’s ‘Mastermind’ record label soon welcomed her with the release of cover tune ‘’Broken Hearted’’, another Brandy hit, in 1996. After that opportunity, age 15, she took part in Talent Shows, Stage Shows and recorded in many studios in the Greater Boston Area. Musicians from Boston always worked together so she drew a lot of her confidence from the Local Talent, Lady Lee, Lavonya Bailey and Waynie Ranks to name a few.
Doing background vocals became a favourite pastime and gave the singer the opportunity to travel and experience the music in a different way working for Ska/Rocksteady artist, Alpheus. In her younger years, she has done combinations and background vocals with Singing Sweet, Screechy Dan; more recently, Bunny Lye Lye, and Tenna Star.
Some may call her ‘seasoned’ as in the earlier part of her career, she’s opened shows for Lady Saw, Wayne Wonder & Mr. Easy, Mr. Vegas, Frisco Kid, Merciless, and shared the same stage with Determine in Boston. Now a resident of the UK, Rafeelya is recording with the Stingray Records label in London as well as Mellow Vibes production in Birmingham. In her catalogue of tunes ranging from R&B, Roots, Lover’s Rock and Dance, whatever you fancy, there’s something for your listening pleasure.
For Bookings: Contact Sue Bloomfield at Rafeelyamusic@gmail.com