Dhat Gyal is a name anyone who didn’t live under a rock a few years ago has heard, but not much is known about the origins of the internet sensation.
Dhat Gyal broke into the entertainment scene with her mash-ups of other people’s songs which she sang with so much passion, earning her the side moniker “Mashup Queen”.
Growing up, it was Dhat Gyal’s aspiration to be a fashion designer but due to lack of support, she had to settle for music which came to her naturally. Even though merely a Junior High School graduate, she has dreams of furthering her education and boosting her portfolio.
Born Ernestina Afari, Dhat Gyal hails from very humble beginnings. She is the last of five siblings, all girls. Her mother passed away in an accident at Tesano when she was only 15 years old, leaving her with no one to fend for her. Her father even though he keeps in touch with her was unable to support her as he himself is financially handicapped.
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Her education was curtailed from that point and determined to make something of her lot, young Ernestina hit the streets where she had her first stint with Unicorn Records at Dome and developed a passion for singing. Her original plan was to break out as a dancehall artist. She eventually met her manager Jeremiah Adjei who was very instrumental in her rise.
Unlike other acts who have to garner a large fan base by resorting to gimmicks, Dhat Gyal’s following was generated organically, getting thousands of views just a day after uploading her first mashup on social media. For someone who was relatively unknown prior to that, it was a spectacular breakthrough.
She released her first single “Mayweather” in November 2017, about three years after she broke into the industry and many could only imagine how far the then 16-year old was set to go.
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In 2018 Dhat Gyal was nominated in the Unsung Category of the VGMAs, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kelvyn Boy, Dope Nation, Christian, OBK, and Real MC.
But alas, a looming scandal forced her into a hiatus for a few years, almost killing her dreams. At the age of 20, Dhat Gyal is still finding her feet due to falling back for a few years due to depression.
Coming from a background where all her friends got pregnant as teenagers due to lack of guidance and hardships, she says it is her dream to motivate young ones like her to persevere and thrive no matter the lemonades life hurls at them.
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She is back on the scene with a new lease on life and hopefully, she will pick up smoothly from where she left off.
Watch the video of her single “Mayweather” below: