Nneka's Heavy Soul

Interview + Performance

Friday, April 13, 2012

It’s rare that a musician comes along whose songs are both political and globally appealing. Nneka’s music is a mixture of Afrobeat, hip-hop, R&B, and folk. She's just released her second album in the US, Soul is Heavy, and plays acoustic versions of some of the songs in our studio.

My Home” is about “the plight of Africa,” she explains, “because of our selfish behavior, the selfishness of our corrupt political leaders, the selfishness of Western countries that come and exploit Africa.” But she believes “Nigerians are also beginning to take responsibility for themselves.” Nneka feels that the Occupy Nigera movement is a milestone, bringing together ordinary people from different tribes to talk about the country’s problems. “People are frustrated by keeping silent. We do not want to live that way anymore. And you can see that agitation in the eyes and the actions of the people.”

As a teenager, Nneka moved to Germany, her mother's home country, without speaking the language. “I was a foreigner, and I was treated like a foreigner. Despite the fact that I had both passports. Even if on your passport it’s written Deutsche, that does not necessarily mean that you are German in Germany.” At the same time, she tells Kurt Andersen, “I began to appreciate being Nigerian by stepping away from Nigeria.”


Bonus Track: “Do You Love Me” live in Studio 360


Video: "My Home" live in Studio 360

    Music Playlist
  1. V.I.P.
    Artist: Nneka
    Album: Soul Is Heavy
    Label: Deacon Inc
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. My Home
    Artist: Nneka
    Album: Live
  3. Shining Star
    Artist: Nneka
    Album: Live



Produced by:

Leital Molad

Comments [13]

George Work from Manhattan

A gift from God. Not too many leave us with this splendor. Back in the day, maybe Joni Mitchell, Eric clapton, Jimi Hendrix. Nneka is on the same pedastal. What a blessing she is.

Apr. 29 2012 06:29 AM
Erica from St. Louis

PLEASE make this acoustic version of My Home available for purchase or download. The album version is great, but so different. The acoustic version brings me to tears.

Apr. 22 2012 03:31 PM
Brazille Musumba from Nairobi, Kenya.

Nneka, Nneka, my sisto. I love your music to bits. You make so very proud and happy to be an African. Stay true to yourself and I agree with the comments/suggestions that you do an acoustic version of all your compositions. They are so deep and authentic. I love them.

I regret missing your concert when you were in Nairobi on your way from Sauti ya Busara festival in Zanzibar. Please come back again.

Right on!

Apr. 17 2012 03:25 AM
George Work from New York

Wow! Long time since I heard anything like this--if ever. What an absolute angel. More, more, more! I'm nuts about her! The whole show should have been Nneka.

Apr. 16 2012 07:30 PM
Darbari from Seattle

What an angelic voice! Heard her on the drive way back on the radio. Thanks a lot for the program.

Apr. 16 2012 01:48 AM
Melanie Williams-Smotherman from Omaha, Nebraska

I'm very sad! After hearing the interview on Studio 360, I went looking for Nneka's CD. My husband was going to buy it for me, but it sounded completely different from the amazing songs I had just heard. Perhaps if I hadn't heard Nneka's intimate vocal details and nuances during the interview, I wouldn't have been so disappointed. But the version of "My Home" on the CD seems way over-produced and busy instrumentally. Nneka should definitely turn to acoustic versions of her songs - because her inflections and treatments do not get lost in unnecessary instrumentals and frenetic tempos.

Oh PLEASE make these version from Studio 360 available for purchase and consider the acoustic genre for future concerts and CD projects! AMAZING artist. Amazing voice.

Apr. 15 2012 11:19 PM


Please Studio 360 release all these acoustic tracks and Nneka please release an acoustic album!

Very, very different to the heavily orchestrated album. Different audience maybe, but surely a very significant audience for your beautiful haunting voice and lyrics.

I suspect I speak for many, many Studio 360 listeners.

Apr. 15 2012 12:23 PM
Katie B | Dreamlove Photography from Concord, NH

I heard this yesterday while driving, and her voice gave me the chills! What an AMAZING sound... Thanks so much for taking the time to feature this gorgeous woman.

Apr. 15 2012 11:05 AM
Barrie Evans

Beautiful young woman. Love her soul and poetry. I'd love to find out what kind of guitar she's playing. Any ideas?

Apr. 15 2012 08:55 AM
Amy Zeldenrust from Las Vegas

I heard Nneka on Studio 360 driving home this aftnoon..... what a voice! I want to hear more from her, for sure. Such expressive feeling and style!

Apr. 14 2012 10:45 PM
Mary from Massachusetts

what an amazing singer...I was mesemerized by her, her voice, her lyrics. The whole package. Such clarity, and spot on pitch. Thank you studio 360

Apr. 14 2012 07:57 PM
Kevin Paige from Harleysville , Pa.

Loved Nneka's music.Love African music, especially on the guitar. I am a guitar teacher.The music comes from a place that touches my soul. I will purchase "Soul is Heavy".

Apr. 14 2012 08:23 AM
MARILYN KANE from Very South Miami

Just heard Nneka on WDNA in Miami. Loved listening to her. I think she is very, very talented as a singer and songwriter. I could understand all the words she sang and I could feel her passion in her phrasing and delivery. I also enjoyed hearing what she had to say. I hope that her voice and her message can reach the masses. We need a singer like Nneka to teach our young people to appreciate remarkable and great talent.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Apr. 13 2012 12:11 PM

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