Sa-Fiya maintains Jamaican roots while living and recording in Haiti

Singer Sa-Fiya never lost sight of her musical root.

Though she lived in a French-speaking country for 15 years, singer Sa-Fiya never lost sight of her musical roots. This can be heard on her latest song Smillie, Smillie.

The single carries a classic reggae sound thanks to an all-star band that backed her. Bass guitarist Glen Browne, guitarist Dalton Browne, keyboardist Robbie Lyn and drummer Kirk Bennett played on Smillie, Smillie.

“I was going for an old-school vibe,” says Sa-Fiya of the song produced by Bobby Treasure for his Treasure Production.

Sa-Fiya was raised in Cockburn Gardens, a musical hotspot in Kingston. As a youngster, her parents moved to Haiti and settled in the capital, Port-Au-Prince, where she became immersed in a potpourri of cultures. In Haiti, Sa-fiya was part of 4×4, a group whose sound blended the local Zouk and Kompa music with rap, dancehall and reggae. The quartet achieved national prominence in 1999 with the song Voom Voom Voom, a big hit during Carnival that year.

“Being in another country I made sure not to forget where I came from. The radio stations and DJs in Haiti are usually updated with the latest songs that come out of Jamaica,” says Sa-Fiya, whose influences include legends like Bob Marley and Dennis Brown, dancehall star Wayne Wonder and R&B icon Whitney Houston.

Sa-Fiya is recording songs for her first album, scheduled for release next year.