Perhaps “Jah” or the universe in general watched over me this year as I perused The LA Troubadour’s website and my eyes landed on German and Nigerian artist, Nneka‘s name. Clicking on her profile, I found Concrete Jungle , a collection of folk, reggae and hip-hop songs that I couldn’t stop playing for at least two weeks straight. I then listened to Soul Is Heavy similarly. Eventually attending her “therapy session” (as she called it) show earlier this year, I left inspired by the young revolutionary spirit of previous pioneers she resurrected.
The powers that be stepped in again, providing me the opportunity to speak with Nneka on her last U.S. tour stop on Saturday. In an eerily quiet and the very intimate Hotel Café, a venue I’ve gone to countless times as a music fan (arriving before the show, which would end up feeling like a meditation session and reggae party, started), it was surreal coming back with a new purpose as a music correspondent. I already knew Nneka would drop pearls of knowledge and be wise beyond her years but now I know she’s kind and funny too. Visit her site,nnekaworld.com, and check her videos plus our soundclips below where we discuss optimism for real change, dancing to tracks about corruption and greed, working with and opening for major acts and the non-glamorous aspects of touring constantly for several years!
You can also see our very first coverage of her from SXSW 2012 here.