Aya Nakamura releases single responding to racist Olympics ceremony criticism

aya nakamura releases single responding to racist olympics ceremony criticism

Aya Danioko, aka Aya Nakamura, performs on the main stage during the 46th edition of the Paleo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

French-Malian popstar Aya Nakamura has released a single responding to the racist abuse she was subjected to when it was suggested she’d perform at the Paris Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

New single ‘Doggy’ hits back at the criticism of the 28-year-old singer that came after reports suggested French President Emmanuel Macron wanted her to perform an Edith Piaf song at the ceremony.

“I have no enemies myself, they’re the ones hating on me; Lots of enemies but I don’t even know them,” the lyrics to the song go before jumping into the chorus: “You want it doggy, doggy, doggy, doggy, doggy, doggy style.”

Nakamura is the most listened-to French artist in the world and the only woman to feature in the country’s top 20 best selling albums of 2023.

But the suggestion of France’s biggest contemporary popstar performing at the capital’s Olympic Games opening ceremony this summer sparked a “shockingly racist” campaign, according to the Paris organising committee.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen called her presence “not a beautiful symbol” and an “additional provocation from Emmanuel Macron”. Le Pen additionally criticised Nakamura’s aesthetic style and her use of French, English and slang in her lyrics: “I’m not even going to tell you about the entourage. I’m going to talk to you about her outfit, her vulgarity, the fact that she doesn’t sing French. She doesn’t sing foreign either. She sings we don’t know what”.

Nakamura’s name was also the subject of boos from a crowd of supporters for the far-right Reconquête party.

A small extremist group calling themselves Les Natifs (the ‘Natives) also held up a banner on the banks of the Seine, denouncing the singer’s Malian origins. “There’s no way Aya, this is Paris, not the Bamako market,” the banner read.

Last year, Nakamura sold out three shows in Paris within 15 minutes. She is one of the most listened-to female French-language artists worldwide. In the Netherlands, for example, she is the first French-speaking female musician to surpass Edith Piaf in popularity.

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