Nneka
Nneka
Nneka – Walking (29th March on Yo Mama’s Recording)
‘Walking’ is taken from Nneka’s extremely successful second album ‘No Longer At Ease’, released in the UK last August. It was an album described as “the most invigorating, innovative & powerful release of the year” by the Independent, that gave birth to a bonafide hit single with ‘Heartbeat’ reaching Radio 1’s A-List; and saw her awarded a 2009 MOBO Award for Best African Act. Amazon included Nneka in their 2010 Emerging Artists alongside Ellie Goulding, Delphic & The Drums. Having toured almost non-stop she is now making waves in the USA. SPIN have named her one of the 10 artists to watch in 2010, Rolling Stone gave a 4 star review & a David Letterman ‘Breakout Artist’ performance saw her reach her biggest audience yet. ‘Walking’, in Nneka’s own words, “is about the Exodus, the movement of god’s people” & builds around a sample of the Curtis Mayfield composition ‘Um Um Um Um’ by Major Lance. It’s a testament to the strength of Nneka’s talent that her success has grown by word of mouth, on the quality of her albums & the intensity of her live performance.

Biography
‘Walking’ is taken from Nneka’s extremely successful second album ‘No Longer At Ease’, released in the UK last August. It was an album described as “the most invigorating, innovative and powerful release of the year” by the Independent, that gave birth to a bonafide hit single with ‘Heartbeat’ reaching BBC Radio 1’s A-List; and saw her awarded a 2009 MOBO Award for Best African Act. Amazon.co.uk recently included Nneka in their 2010 Emerging Artists alongside Ellie Goulding, Delphic and The Drums.

Having toured almost non-stop she is now making waves in the USA. SPIN have named her one of the 10 artists to watch in 2010, Rolling Stone gave a four star review and a David Letterman ‘Breakout Artist’ performance saw her reach her biggest audience yet.

‘Walking’, in Nneka’s own words, “is about the Exodus, the movement of god’s people” and builds around a sample of the Curtis Mayfield composition ‘Um Um Um Um’ by Major Lance.

It’s a testament to the strength of Nneka’s talent that her success has grown by word of mouth, on the quality of her albums and the intensity of her live performance. She is not a big-label product, forced down people’s throats by marketing dollars. Her audience – and there are hundreds of thousands of them, across two continents – have sought her out, because there will always be a demand for music that does more than just entertain, but touches something universal. As she puts it herself: “I do it in a sweet way - but I sing to speak the truth.”

The title ‘No Longer At Ease’ is lent from a book by famous Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, which in turn references the closing lines of T. S. Eliot's poem ‘The Journey of the Magi’. The book tells the story of Obi Okonkwo, who struggles to adapt to a Western lifestyle – mirroring Nneka’s own 10,000 mile relocation from Nigeria to Germany to pursue a university education.

"The cultural differences between Germany and Nigeria were extreme," she says. "The way they dress, the way they carry themselves, their religion. So many things that were important to me are not important to them. For two years I was overwhelmed." But dramatic changes can produce dramatic results. Where back home a gift for singing and melody were no big deal, in Germany Nneka’s striking looks and vocal talents began to get her noticed. The fact is, there ain’t many Nigerian soul singers in Hamburg. "They saw me as ‘somebody’ in Germany, and I found that very shocking. Back home in Nigeria it's: 'OK, you sing. Anybody can sing. So what?'".

David Letterman performance: snipurl.com/ubuun

nnekaworld.com

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