From the shores of Tripoli

Singer Nadia Ali, born in Libya to Pakistani parents on this date in 1980, grew up in, um, Queens, New York. She wrote the 2001 dance hit “Rapture” in half an hour: she and producer Markus Moser released it under the name “Vaiio,” which was subsequently deemed too close to a Sony trademark. So “iiO” they would be.

She and Moser split in 2005, though Moser continued to release iiO material on which she had sung.

Nadia Ali and the art of the side slit

Nadia Ali in an informal pose

Nadia Ali on an invisible chair

After a couple of duets, she resurfaced with the single “Crash and Burn.” Over the next decade, dance music was very good to Nadia, but eventually she set off in another direction, under the name HYLLS: more pop, less dance. The first HYLLS release, “All Over the Place,” appeared in January 2018.

She followed it up with a cover of the Cranberries’ “Linger”, and a dozen new songs over the next year. Where she goes next is anyone’s guess.

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