Somali artist Nimco Happy became a viral sensation with her song “I Love You More Than My Life.” The song has attracted celebrities like Cardi B and a host of new fans on TikTok to recreate videos using the joyful single.
Over the last month, millions of fans on TikTok have shared the song, which is typically played at Somali weddings. The recent popularization of the song landed Happy a distribution deal nearly five years after the song was released.
The song is actually called “Isii Nafta,” in her native tongue, which means “give me life.” It is has been recognized and renamed by its catchy lyrics “I love you more than my life.”
According to an interview with BuzzFeed News, Happy discovered her song went viral two and a half weeks ago when she was tracked down by Polydor Records, a subsidiary of Universal.
“Wallahi, I felt happy, elated,” she tells BuzzFeed News. “I can’t describe it in words, but I felt overjoyed. I felt like the world had finally recognized me. That I’m known internationally.”
The viral video of her performance was initially recorded in June 2017, when she performed for a show being broadcast for Eid on Kenya-based Somali channel RTV. Happy has since performed the song on most of the Somali TV channels.
The song was illegally uploaded by fans to platforms like Spotify from the initial YouTube link, garnering over 500k streams that won’t count toward her official streaming numbers. After signing with Polydor Records, Happy officially uploaded the song to all major platforms last week, where she will be compensated for her streams. Her team is now working to remove the unauthorized uploads.
Since then, Bella Hadid reposted the viral video of Happy’s performance, surrounded by dancing police officers.
Artist Cardi B posted a video of her and her sister Hennessy dancing to the song.
Drake even commented on a popular meme page saying, “this song so hard.”
Though her recent viral video led to her major record deal, this isn’t the first time the song has gone viral. It became a hit song in East Africa two years ago, where people shared trendy videos showcasing they can say “I love you” like Happy in four different languages: Somali, English, Arabic and Swahili.
Happy has had a difficult time keeping up with the trend on TikTok, and has a message to all of her new and old fans, “I want to say thank you. I want to thank all of them.”
“Isii Nafta” is a joyful song that has brought people together from all walks of life. From family gatherings, parties to celebrities joining in on the fun, Nimco Happy has made the world a little bit brighter with this record.
Here’s a reminder: Despite this song being five years old, when it is your time, it is your time. Congrats, Nimco Happy! Let’s dance.