A modern day fusion of Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu, and what do you get? Nneka, a Nigerian/German singer and songwriter who has rapidly gained western popularity outside of Africa and Germany, and distinguished comparison to legendary artists. She grew up in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, and later lived in Germany when she was 18. In fact, her Nigerian accent can catch people off guard who assume her to be a simple mix of white and black and know nothing about her humble African beginnings. When she sings, it reminds listeners why the content of her music is very profound; because it is reflective of the places she has been and where she comes from.
Long lines wrapped around one block of downtown’s Varick street as people anxiously waited to enter New York’s famous, SOB’s. The venue was full of diverse fans; Whites, Blacks, Africans, most of which were Nigerians, and West Indians. The setting was intimate enough for all to get a close look at the star of the evening, and get a clear listen of a one of a kind performance.
Nneka’s outstanding performance was part of The Afrisonore Unplugged Series hosted by Afrisonore.
Her first song set the tone for an incredible night, and by the looks of things, it was enjoyed by all. Of all the songs Nneka performed, her song VIP was a total crowd pleaser where everyone participated in a little round of “call-and-shout.” She began by introducing the song with a common reality that countries all over the world face, where she addressed the political injustices at the hands of political leaders and corruption in Nigeria. She explained that the acronym VIP, what many understand to mean Very Important Person rather means, Vagabonds In Power. The crowd cheered and echoed after her call “Vagabonds in Power,” with their shout, “Vagabonds in Power ooo,” repeatedly throughout the song.
Many of her songs were accompanied with her playing of the guitar which added an acoustic pleasantness to pure vocal talent.
Once the performance ended, the night was only getting started. The DJ hosted an after party where just minutes before people stood watching Nneka perform, then immediately turned things into a dance scene. The DJ played music from Nigeria, the Caribbean and the hottest tunes from your favorite singers and rappers. The only time people sat down was to collect enough energy to dance again which they lost from dancing makossa, alanta and everything else.
Beautiful and gorgeous describes her physical appearance but brilliant and gifted describes her talents. She is sure to get the same warm welcome and response from those in Washington, DC as she wraps up her unplugged two day series Saturday May 14th. After witnessing Nneka in concert, the hype about the artist became understood. Expect creative change in music from Nneka.
By: Ashley I. Okonkwo