Nigel “NiyoRah” Olivacce was born on October 9, 1980 in the coastline village of Pointe Michel, Dominica. At age 4, he moved to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, with his family, and cultivated an interest in music through listening to artists in his father’s and uncle’s roots reggae collections, including Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear and Lucky Dube. By age 16, NiyoRah began chanting on the streets about the life experiences of the Savan ghetto in downtown Charlotte Amalie.
At age 18, NiyoRah decided to pursue a career in reggae music. “Reggae had one of the greatest influences on my life. It’s the type of music I cling to for some mystical reason,” he says. “The most high guided me more than me myself.” NiyoRahHe took on the name NiyoRah - a combination of his nickname growing up and out of respect for the omnipotent power of the sun. Music was a natural career choice because of his musically gifted family. His grandfather is an award-winning vocalist who sings Negro spirituals and gospel, while his aunt, Ophelia Olivacce Marie, is an international French-speaking artist heralded as “Dominica’s Songbird” for her style of cadence and calypso. In 1998, he was introduced by local reggae radio personality Ras Manny to Black Juice Records, a Virgin Islands-based recording company. He joined with six other reggae artists under the company to co-found Star Lion Family. His voice can be heard on Star Lion Family’s EP “Brighter Days” released in November 2003.