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A.Y. is a popular Bongo Flava musician born Ambwene Allen Yessayah on the 5th July 1981in Tanzania. A.Y started his musical career at the age of ten while he was still in primary school, participating in talent searches and often entertaining at weddings and other functions. When A.Y. attended high school he formed a group with his friends which he called S.O.G. consisting of three members including A.Y. The group recorded and released an album in 2000. In the year 2001 A.Y. decided to go solo and most interesting of all is that A.Y. is perhaps the first Bongo Flava artiste to commercialise Hip-Hop. Although he was also a member of a group called East Coast Army he is no longer part of the group as he now flies solo whilst continuously releasing songs and albums collaborating with many big names including the well-known MwanaFA. History of A.Y’s musical career:
  • AY decided to go solo and record his first album called “Raha Kamili”; the first single off this album – “Rahu Tu” which means Pure Joy, was such a resounding success that it topped the charts on both radio and television.
  • Due to the success of this first album, A.Y.’s musical career took off, soon making him a household name.
  • His second single is called”Machoni Kama Watu” – in Swahili this means “their faces are human but their hearts are inhuman” – and was also very successful.
  • In 2005 A.Y. went on to release his second album “Hisaia Zangu” – my feelings, and the first single, “Yule”, soon topped the charts.
  • Hisia Zangu included collaborations with some of the big East African names such as Prezzo, Tattuu as well as Deux Vultures from Kenya and Marice Kirya from Uganda.
  • Suffice to say these collaborations gave more credibility to A.Y’s music.
  • The second single from his album “Binadamu”, “Human Beings”, was a massive hit throughout East African plus it was nominated for a Kora Award.
A.Y. is the first Tanzanian Male Artiste to be nominated for this award.
  • As his popularity grew, A.Y. was offered an endorsement with Konyagi which is a top selling liquor in Tanzania, in 2006. This gave him huge exposure through this platform.
  • From here onwards the rest is history as this opened many doors for A.Y. to do more commercials for numerous well-known brands such a Coca-Cola, Celtel, Kilimanjaro Lager and Vodacom.
With A.Y’s Hip-Hop style embracing issues that affect the ordinary man in the street in Africa where messages are conveyed in a witty and entertaining manner, it is unsurprising that A.Y. has walked off with numerous awards. Needless to say. A.Y is indeed an inspiration to many.

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