A Breath Of Fresh Air: Nneka Sings To The Soul

Source: kenyanvibe.com

There are times when I am going through my iPod and there is something missing. I scroll through my albums and see the revolving circle of Beyonce, Rihanna, and Nicki. I have Beyonce when I am in a lovey-dovey mood, Rihanna when I am getting ready to go out with my girls, and Nicki for the inescapable rachet moments that we all experience. This is nice and partly gets me through the soundtrack of my life. But I am still feel like something is missing.
There is a void. An empty space that is longing for the social and political criticisms found in music such as Nina Simone or Lauryn Hill. I am craving for someone to “tell me like it is”. Sing to me about political corruption, institutional racism, and the struggle of being a person of color in this world. And as I was wishing for this person to magically appear, long behold Nigerian soul singer Nneka.

Born and raised in oil rich Niger Delta region, Nneka knows first hand the meaning of struggle and breathes every bit of it into her music. A true Warri girl in every sense of the way, Nneka has been in the music game 2005 gaining worldwide recognition. If you haven’t heard or seen Nneka hit single “Heartbeat” from the album No Longer At Ease, then you are truly missing out. Here is a little taste:

You sold your soul to the evil
and the lust and the passion and the money and you
See innocent ones die, people hunger for decades
suffer under civilized armedrobbers, modern slaveholders

Can you feel my heart is beating
Can you see the pain you’re causing
Can you feel my heart is beating
Can you see the pain you’re causing

Her style is unique, voice is soulful, but it is the lyrics that capture you and make it impossible to deny her talent. Nneka continues to grow working with artists such as Nas, Damian Marley, and Black Thought. The thing that is powerful about Nneka is that she is singing about life. Not just love, heartbreak, and partying but the social conditions and experience of black folk. And that is something that we need to hear. It gives her the “it” factor.

It is time that we show some love to other female artists who are trying to make their mark in the world. Check out her latest CD Soul Is Heavy.


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