Raffia is a New York-born, Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter. Raised a short distance from New York City in the suburbs of Long Island, Raffia was constantly surrounded by a rich culture of soulful music, dance, and meaningful art, which later served as a foundation for her own musical talents. At the tender age of five, young Raffia discovered her passion for singing and further recognized her God-given gift to perform. As a child, she was a standout vocalist as a member of the Children’s Church Choir, during which time she made her solo debut. At an early age, she focused on developing her vocal skills, utilizing her involvement with the choir to display her singing ability. Years later, Raffia began writing compositions with musical inspiration from such artists as Whitney Houston, Rachelle Ferrell, and Anita Baker, to name a few. Her voice could be best described as soulful, sultry, and passionate. From her ballads to the up-tempo dance tracks, Raffia possesses the musical rhythm and style that has been compared to the likes of Phyllis Hyman, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, and Toni Braxton. She graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, with a Bachelors Degree in Music Education/Voice Principal.
Shortly after graduating, Raffia received the opportunity to travel to Manila, Philippines performing as the lead vocalist of the funk/jazz fusion band entitled Satya. She later sang with recording artist Jennifer Holiday, who played the original "Effie" from Dreamgirls at Martha’s Vineyard. It was evident early on that Raffia was destined for stardom and that she was merely scratching the surface of what was yet to come. She later performed and provided background vocals for numerous artists, including Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton, UK band Bastille, Chante Moore, Anita Baker, Ledisi, Gloria Estefan, Patrice Rushen, Melissa Etheridge, and Donnie McClurkin, to name a few.
Raffia’s dreams turned into reality, and her hard work certainly did not go unnoticed. In 2009, Raffia competed to be part of P Diddy’s Making His Band Reality Television Show. Her voice and persona awed the judges as she was chosen as one of five finalists out of thousands of musicians who had auditioned from across the state of New York. Her vocal ability carried her throughout the entire competition and into the televised final round of eliminations. The success continued with more television exposure, performing background vocals on various nationwide televised shows such as “The Jacksons - A Family Dynasty.” The success continued with more television exposure, performing background vocals on various nationally televised shows, such as Grammy Award Winning Rhythm and Blues artist Toni Braxton’s T.V. reality show “Braxton Family Values” on the WE network. Raffia has also appeared on the Ellen Show and the Jimmy Kimmel Show, performing background vocals for star Vocal Coaches of “The Voice,” Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, and the UK band Bastille. On December 17th, 2014, Raffia was featured on the Oxygen T.V. network's "Fix My Choir" as the Choir Director for the Hermosa Beach Gospel Choir. Raffia’s career as a solo R&B /Soul Artist is blossoming. Raffia has performed for associations such as the Jack and Jill Association, The NCNW (National Council Of Negro Women), and the Gardenia Jazz Festival as the opening act for Jazz Horn Artists Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, and Mindi Abair.
In 2015, Raffia performed at the 46th NAACP Image Awards After Party as the opening act for Rhythm and Blues Artist Chaka Chan. It was evident early on that Raffia was destined for stardom and that she was merely scratching the surface of what was yet to come. Raffia has released her debut EP entitled "Let it Go.” Stay tuned for more to come from this elegant songstress.