Over the course ofthe past one and a half years, award-winning songwriter Nneka took her third album “Soul Is Heavy” successfully around the globe. The effortlessly balanced combination of hip-hop beats, reggae grooves, brass riffs, and African pop features exhilarating collaborations with The Roots’ Black Thought and Ms. Dynamite, affirming her credentials as a fast-rising star of black-consciousness music.
From a delighted host on the LettermanShow to Rolling Stone magazine(“Our girl Nneka is the greatest … this afro-soul rump-shaker is pure hotness”), and The Sunday Times (“One of the best soul singers on the planet”)critics are impressed by her natural energy and musical skill, as well as her relentless addressing of tough realities and uncomfortable truths.However, amidst the motifs of love, pain, politics and God, she performs feats of emotional alchemy,projecting positive energy into the universe: “If you approach me with hatred, I will approach you with love. I have to be strong enough to transform that hate into love. And the more you hate me, the more I will love you, and the more I will make you love me.”
And that’s exactly what’s going on. “Soul Is Heavy” made strong chart appearances in Germany (#65), Austria (#46), France (#39), and Switzerland (#30) immediately after its release, and her second single “Shining Star” has entered the top 10 in the South African airplay charts this spring. The remix by Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard went top 10 in Belgium and top 20 in the country’s sales charts, and made it to thehighly contested top 60 in the UK.
Recently Nneka released her latest single on 106th n Park “Restless”. “Restless” is another deep emotional ballad from the ‘Soul Is Heavy’ album.
Restless was shot on location in Los Angeles and the video was directed by Nick Huff Barili. The Dancers in the video are Chris Smith & Tatiana Zamir and the video was choreographed by Tatiana Zamir.
Since 2008 and her celebrated top 20 UK chart single “Heartbeat”, Nneka has played over 200 concerts in Europe and 80 shows in the US and Canada in front of more than 750,000 people. Shesupported the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Nas & Damian Marley (Distant Relatives), The Roots, and Gnarls Barkley. In spring 2012, she followed an invitation by the Goethe Institute taking her to Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. Festival highlights includeperformances at Lollapalooza (US), Glastonbury and V Festival(UK), Hurricane and SouthsideFestival (Germany), Rock En Seine (France), and Werchter Festival (Belgium). The year’s tour climax was Nneka’s sold-out show at the O’Lympia in Paris in December.
In Other News
Last month Nneka played in front of 1,200 people in New York’s legendary Apollo Theatre, and the latest news foreshadow even more excitement to come: “Nothing Matters”, the lead single of Tricky’s upcoming new album, was co-composed and co-sung by “our girl” Nneka.