Nneka enthralled her audience last Thursday in Kesselhaus when she presented her new album My Fairy Tales, released in February this year. The concert had started at 8.30 p.m. at exactly the right time – at the height of expectation and excitement – and unwound through almost one and half hours of deeply soulful music.
Her first song got the event off to a good start. In her words of welcome she excused herself for being dressed a little too casually, but it seemed that no one cared, we were all there because of her and her music, curious about what she has to tell and eager to know what she wants to share after three years of silence.
She mentioned this break with an explanation that now she is back with new stories to tell. It is nice to be home again she said, it feels homelike. And it did, it felt like this.
Her amazing voice filled up the hall as she was stringing up her new songs. She remained laconic throughout with the comments that interspersed her singing her stories. The message of the lyrics is what matters, love and connection don’t need words. She was singing with her soul, with her whole body, sadness and love that created a special atmosphere.
Words weren’t needed. Between the new songs she linked also some of her old hits such as Heartbeat and Africans, which brought the audience even higher. We could feel her, she couldn’t be more natural. That she is authentic and sings with a pure love you noticed from how her own band followed her with rapt attention while she was presenting some of her songs with a single instrument accompaniment.
As to an outline of the music from the new album, what she said to the online magazine Young Voices fits best: “Musically it’s different because I wanted to create a sound that would appeal to Africans in the diaspora and also back home. So there are reggae influences as well as Afrobeats and hi-life. Lyrically, it’s conscious, it’s empowering and it’s motivating; discussing political issues, as well as issues that affect us on a day-to-day basis.”
She finished the concert with two last songs after returning to the stage in response to the fans’ wishes, and left us with our own feelings and thoughts. Everyone had the chance to experience her performance in his/her own way and it was interesting to listen to some comments while slowly approaching the exit. The only comment I would like to share is that some guests didn’t like her mentioning Boko Haram in her songs. Those who thinks that that is inappropriate unfortunately have to be informed or reminded that she released this album under her own label for the very reason to stay true to herself and her mission of spreading awareness about the cruelties happening in Africa, particularity in Nigeria, and to empower people through music. Although the album is not commercial we wish her a lot of success presenting it the world on the tour that continues.
Review by Petra Gorisek
„My Fairy Tales“-Tour:
23.03.2014 Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
24.03.2014 Erlangen, E-Werk
25.03.2014 Düsseldorf, Zakk
26.03.2014 Berlin, Kesselhaus
28.03.2014 CH-Zürich, M4Music Festival
30.03.2014 A-Dornbirn, Conrad Sohm
31.03.2014 München, Muffathalle
01.04.2014 CH-Lausanne, Les Docks
02.04.2014 Heidelberg, Karlstorbahnhof
04.04.2014 F-Paris, Bataclan
07.04.2014 UK-London, Village Underground
08.04.2014 NL-Amsterdam, Melkweg
09.04.2014 Köln, Stollwerck
10.04.2014 Hamburg, Fabrik
12.04.2014 BEL-Leuven, Het Depot
14.04.2014 Leipzig, Werk 2
15.04.2014 SL-Bratislava, Atelier
16.04.2014 HU-Budapest, Akvarium
18.04.2014 LIT-Vilnius, Teatro Arena
19.04.2014 PL-Gdansk, B90
20.04.2014 PL-Warschau, Proxima
22.04.2014 RU-St. Petersburg, Komonavt Club
23.04.2014 RU-Moskau, Artist Club