Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Now that's what I call Heavy Soul

Nigerian-German soul singer and rapper Nneka made a splash last year with Heartbeats, a stuttering soul stomp with a chart-friendly Chase & Status remix . It got to number 20 in the UK, justifying MOBO's decision to award Nneka their "Best African Artist" prize 12 months earlier.

The single fared well over in the US, too, thanks to a reggaeton remix with Nas. Consequently, the 31-year-old is getting a major stateside push for her new album, Soul Is Heavy.

Most artists looking to break North America would play it safe - calling up or Dr Luke for an easy hit to ease them into the public conciousness. Not this lady.

Her new single, and the title track of her album, is a rallying cry for Nigeria. Nneka protests against Shell's exploitation of Nigeria's oil reserves, while namechecking civil war hero Issac Adaka Boro and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. The lyrics castigate "filth America", while the video depicts demonic drilling rigs against a barbed wire blood-stained skyline...

If that all sounds a bit too worthy then (a) shame on you and (b) you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Nneka knows how to make her message palatable - blending hip-hop beats with plaintive soul vocals and bouncy Afro-pop. Why bother waiting another 13 years for a new Lauryn Hill album, when Nneka is every bit her equal?

Nneka - Soul Is Heavy

Soul Is Heavy (the album) is out on 23rd September, with guest appearances from ?uestlove and Ms Dynamite. I can't wait...

Labels: , ,

<< Home

Newer Posts ::: Older Posts

© 2014 Discopop Directory | Contact | Go to the homepage