Montreal rapper Naya Ali is ready for liftoff

Ali's 2-part debut comes with a fully formed sound. Watch her on the latest episode of The Intro.

Ali's 2-part debut comes with a fully formed sound. Watch her on the latest episode of The Intro

Naya Ali Live Performance + Interview | The Intro

2 years ago
Duration 12:00
Naya Ali is taking flight and the results are undeniable. Naya Ali is a rapper from Ethiopia, who grew up in Montreal. She released part one of her debut album last year - Godspeed: Baptism (Prelude) and the second half of Godspeed is coming this spring.

The sound of a plane taking off can be heard in the opening moments of Naya Ali's most recent single, "Air Ali." In many ways, the Montreal-based Ethiopian rapper is manifesting, projecting where she sees her musical career going in 2021: a vision of, as she describes it, "myself lifting off into the next level."

After years of working on other people's projects, Ali now focuses all her energy on herself, and the results are undeniable. Last year, she released part 1 of her debut album, Godspeed: Baptism (Prelude), with the second half of Godspeed coming this spring.

Even though this is her first foray into full-length releases, Ali's sound comes fully formed: a confident mix of rapping and rap-singing over bombastic beats in tracks ranging from hard-hitting anthems to more pop-oriented gems. Ali is the CEO of her own brand, and her vision is crystal clear.

In this episode of CBC Music's The Intro, watch Ali take flight with a live performance of "Air Ali," as well as "Shea Butter" off Godspeed: Baptism (Prelude). Plus, Ali chats with CBC Music Mornings host Saroja Coelho about her music. Watch it above.

CBC Music's The Intro brings essential emerging Canadian talent to the world. Episodes are released weekly on CBC GemCBC Music's YouTube channel and here on Listen to performances from The Intro Wednesday on CBC Music Mornings, Thursday on Shift and Friday on Drive.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?