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MP3 Nuwamba - Above The Water

Above The Water
Sweet Chocolate Soul from Nuwamba -- a long-awaited album from the Texas scene, and a set that''s extremely well put together. Nuwamba''s got a vibe that''s laidback, but also incredibly tight -- a perfect balance of mellow and soul

16 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: Soul, JAZZ: World Fusion


Nuwamba, whose name means "November" in the Nigerian language Hausa, is an extraordinarily innovative singer and songwriter of great depth and passion. His heart-crafted songs touch on a multiplicity of issues often overlooked by the modern music world and offers listeners an acoustic picture of life, love and the prospects of liberation from life''s challenges.

An irresistible, soul-filled artist bringing a serious culture and feel-good vibe, Nuwamba composes music to enrich the souls of mankind. His parlayed and southern style is inviting and enigmatic. His music is an eclectic combination of soul, funk, reggae and a host of other underground sounds. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Nuwamba exhibited an affinity with a wide range of music from an early age, which is palpable on his debut disc Above the Water. "The album is a reflection of my life. It''s about my struggles, my mistakes, my drama, trying to make my dreams happen and keeping it real. As a young brother in today''s society, I''ve had to go through a lot of adversity to maintain and stay afloat. In order to survive, you''ve got to keep your head above the water."

Throughout this sweeping soul symphony, aspects of gospel, blues, jazz, and soul vocalizing are evident and interspersed, which reflect his reverence for singing greats such as Smokey Robinson "I like his smooth vocal tones," Curtis Mayfield "He was a real profound, vivid storyteller that really just broke it down about what was happening in the streets," Bobby "Blue" Bland, "A real bluesy cat," Frankie Beverly "I like the whole live instrumentation aspect and the masterful way he delivers the songs," Marvin Gaye "He empathetically wrote and sensually vocalized what was in his heart" and Sade "Her voice floats so smoothly over her production". Much like his diverse palate of influences, Nuwamba has developed the uncanny ability to relate to people by synthesizing elements from the past and spinning them into progressive soul chronicles that have cross-cultural appeal.

"A lot of the songs on this album are influenced by the blues, which I feel is one aspect of soul music that people don''t fully appreciate. The blues are the inner core of soul music." The first single "Heaven," is a poignant ballad about providing a woman with all the emotional and spiritual compassion she can withstand, while the instrument-driven melody "Savior," is an equally stirring arrangement that exploits the sounds of the flugal horn. "This song is universal because it can''t be put into a color box. We tend to categorize artists by skin tone when it comes to music but music transcends color." In addition to lacing several tracks with his production skills, Nuwamba also displays his prolific song writing skills on this prolific debut project.

An avid reader, Nuwamba is especially fond of sacred and spiritual literature. His readings shade and paint his songwriting and social vision, making him one of few soul artists who simultaneously sing praises of God, love and the crises of contemporary society. By giving something spiritual and something social, as well as something bluesy and something soulful, Nuwamba''s clever and distinctive blend of vocal talent and tenacity have made him one of the most critically-acclaimed and sought after artists across the globe. The Fort Worth Weekly recently hailed the virtuoso as "the best Hip Hop and R&B artist of the year in 2003." Additionally, Nuwamba''s incendiary tracks have been featured on several compilations and can be heard in heavy rotation on XM radio''s, "The Flow", as well as various local and national radio stations throughout the country. His music is also played internationally in countries such as England and Japan.

A revolutionary singer, introspective songwriter and producer, Nuwamba founded an urban alternative music entity dubbed, Bornsoulful Entertainment, a platform for other likeminded musicians who want to feed their music and messages to the masses. Carrying the torch for fallen heroes like Marvin and Curtis, Nuwamba''s music is a poetic interpretation of his harmonious and kindred spirit. "In this business, you''ve got to have a strong heart, determination and drive. You''ve got to keep pushing to be your authentic self. While I don''t mind comparisons, I just want to be who I am, which is a true music artist and leave my own legacy."

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