Hadiya-Ayodele is a singer-songwriter whose love for music is as unique and intentional as her name, which translates to “a gift of joy that comes home.” Hadiya-Ayodele’s musical training has been both formal and experiential. As a student at the distinguished Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute, Hadiya-Ayodele attended beginners guitar courses while in elementary school. As a 3rd grade student, she was crowned 3rd Grade Idol Winner of the Roland Park Elementary/Middle School. As a middle school student, she was privately trained in guitar at the Music Workshop.
During the summer of 2017, Hadiya-Ayodele (a rising Junior at St. Timothy’s School and member of its a cappella choral group The Moongates) was accepted into the lauded Baltimore Lyric Opera House emersion program and Opera Camp where she received intense training in every facet of opera — from costuming and dance to vocal performance — under the direction of James Harp. She also participated in master classes and received one-on-one vocal and performance training from some of the nation’s most notable opera singers, which helped her land two major opera showcases during 2017’s Artscape.
With a love of soul, rhythm & blues, opera, hip-hop, gospel and world music, Hadiya-Ayodele infused all of these styles with spoken-word on her original EP entitled NAFIA, which debuted February 28, 2017, when she was just 15 years old and is available on Soundcloud. NAFIA features original songs written and co-produced by Hadiya-Ayodele, and a special collaboration with rapper/producer “The Dorian Gray.”
A multi-instrumentalist, Hadiya-Ayodele is both trained and self-taught on ukulele, guitar, and piano. She and her band the Blacknotes have a neo-soul, r&b, and trip-hop vibe reminiscent of and inspired by The Roots, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and India Arie. They have opened up for Grammy and Oscar-award winning songstress Regina Belle, as well as Stellar Award and BET’s Sunday’s Best winner Y’anna Crawley and Ruff Endz. Hadiya-Ayodele & the Blaknotes have also performed at AFRAM 2017 and Artscape 2017 and 2018. Hadiya has also performed at Karma Fest 2017 and Funny, Fierce, Fabulous: The Cabaret at the Creative Alliance 2014-2017, as well as numerous colleges and universities and conferences.