Shanti Niabinghi Pierce, better known as NIABI, is a Canadian-Jamaican DJ, born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. The name NIABI is short for her middle name NIABINGHI. Niyabinghi is the traditional music of the Rastafarian religion that is practiced in Jamaica. It is used to reach states of heightened spirituality and influenced popular genres such as ska, rocksteady and reggae music. Her heritage has a direct influence on her signature sound of Dancehall. However, NIABI incorporates her love for Hip Hop, R&B, Afrobeats, & Electronic music into her sets.
Get to know Niabi︎
When did you first fall in love with music?
I’ve been immersed in music since I was a child. Music has always been a huge part of my upbringing because my parents met through music. My father has a reggae band and my mother used to sing backup for them and that’s how they met! My mom would always tell me that as a baby I would nap during their practices, falling asleep to the melodies of reggae music. Growing up we really didn’t have much money for entertainment/activities so we would all just play music, dance in the mirror and sing. Some of my best childhood memories are surrounded by family & music!
What were some of your inspirations / what did you listen to growing up?
My household consisted of Folk/Indie,R&B ,Soul, Pop, Roots Reggae, Funk, Disco, Motown to name a few. I was definitely exposed to many genres, which contributed to my appreciation for music & art. As a teen and later into adulthood, I expanded my own musical preferences, and started listening to Electronic music, Afrobeats, NeoSoul, Dancehall, & Hip Hop.
I’ve been inspired by Artists/Producers like Missy Elliot, and The Neptunes (to name a few) that have been pioneers in pushing boundaries within the music industry. In my opinion they had a pivotal role in the landscape of urban videos, music & fashion.
Why did you become a DJ?
I love what music does to people. I love what it does to me!
Being able to create an atmosphere, where one can express their freedom, and exert elation simply by curating music is the best feeling & a true privilege. Music is my source to connect within myself, and with others.