Demetress ‘Nuwamba’ Cook isn’t your average neo-soul artist. Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, the singer/songwriter is fully aware of what the industry’s expectations are- he’s just totally unaffected by them. Nuwamba has been following his own rules since the second grade when he started singing in his grade school’s glee club. In his younger days, Nuwamba took note of his parents’ love for music. At home, music had always been a major part of life, but it wasn’t until he decided to join the chorus at school, when he saw and felt a true personal connection to it. By his senior year of high school he was writing songs. However, it wouldn’t be until his meeting with Atlanta-based entrepreneur William Griggs when Nuwamba began realizing the necessary development in becoming the best artist he could be.
Growing up in one of the largest cities in Texas, his personality is a mix of pragmatism, sensibility, and down home comfort. The latter especially, is reflected in his music. His vocal presence is weighty over instrumentals, weaving itself throughout soft lyrics about love and relationships. For Nuwamba to never have been classically trained, he succeeds in holding listeners captive with a single note. The recording artist had begun traveling back and forth between Atlanta, Dallas and abroad, taking his career to the next level. It was at the top of the millennium that he’d started working closely with Griggs, who had been building his own connections within the industry as a special project manager for Warner Brothers Records.
Griggs had been promoting an event series called Chocolate Soul that was immediately beloved by the bohemian set in Atlanta. Nuwamba took advantage of the opportunity to perform every chance he could. Once the buzz for Chocolate Soul grew, Griggs started producing compilation albums by the same name, showcasing the artists who were crowd favorites (Raheem Devaghn, Eric Roberson, Cee Lo, Kindred the Family Soul) at the weekly festival. Nuwamba was featured on the Chocolate Soul’s Deluxe CD compilation. His “Take Me Away” is an ethereal ode to taking a moment away from the hustle and bustle of this fast-paced world and finding peace. His song “Forever” was a part of the This Is Soul 2006 compilation released by SoulBrother Records in London. Nuwamba’s music was also on the Soul Lounge compilation released by Lightyear/Warner. His work appeared alongside talented major artists such as Common, Mint Condition, Omar, and Conya Doss on the Luire Presents RELAxY Pocket compilation (Japanese release).
By then, Nuwamba had become Griggs’ primary artist on his fledging Chocolate Soul imprint, and while he worked on the label compilations, he was constructing his own debut album Above the Water (2006). Above the Water was a joint venture release between Griggs’ Chocolate Soul as well as Nuwamba’s imprint, BornSoulful Entertainment. Nuwamba’s talents were well-received by the public after the album’s official release. His singles enjoyed radio play on Dallas’s 89.3 FM (WSBJ), 94.5 FM (KSOC), 105.7 FM (WMJI). His music has also been played on the Terry Bello-hosted Soul Lounge- a syndicated show, available in nearly 20 U.S. cities. He’s also been on XM Radio, Delta Airlines radio and various Internet radio websites.
As a testament to his devotion to his fans, Nuwamba appeared as a special guest on 91.9 FM (WCLK) in Atlanta. He was featured in numerous notable publications including Vibe, Upscale, The Dallas Observer, The Urban Network, Billboard, Rolling Out, and he also covered his hometown’s Fort Worth Weekly. At home in Texas, he hit the ground running performing in every major city from Dallas and Fort Worth to Austin, Waco and Houston. He had a set at ClubOne-15 in downtown Austin as part of the SXSW Music Festival as well. Nuwamba’s passion and drive to move beyond what’s expected has taken him far beyond the Texas border. He’s been onstage in LA and New York. He’s blessed the microphone from Baltimore and D.C. to Atlanta and has even gone overseas with his talents to Kaiserslautern, Germany.
The venues that he’s performed in include Houston’s Kaveh Kanes Coffee House and the Temple Bar in Los Angeles. He exceeded listeners’ expectations in Dallas at Reciprocity, Sankofas, Phat Kats, Daiquiri Dump, Art Bar, Moon Bar, Hard Rock Café, and the Bali Club. He’d been performing at the Apache Café (formerly known as Ying Yang Café) in Atlanta since the start of his career with Griggs. Never one to limit himself, Nuwamba moved beyond club performances. He worked the TCU Football Tailgate Party with his soul-filled vocals and he’s opened shows for George Clinton, Sleepy Brown and Bobby Blue Bland. Nuwamba also participated in a mass choir performance that featured Kelly Price at Dallas’s Morton H. Meyerson Martin Luther King Show. After his album debut, Nuwamba took some time to re-evaluate his team and his career plan- the draining effects of the music industry warranted a change.
During this hiatus, Nuwamba experimented. He fiddled in house music, even collaborating with some highly regarded house DJs in creating song remixes. He came back to his music with a clear mind and a fresh perspective on the follow-up project, Unusual Takeover. The project will exude a mix of soul and R&B- appealing to an even broader audience, without completely abandoning the genre that’s brought him thus far. With his honeyed-voice and true-to-life lyrics, Nuwamba is planning on picking up just where he left off...ready and able to write-compose music that will move listeners to the core whether they’re listening over the airwaves or from a seat in front of the stage.
Nuwamba / Lead Vocals
Various Instrumentation catered to venue and budget.
(c) Born Soulful Entertainment 2011
(c) Citydeep Music 2008
Above The Water (c) 2005/2006
This Is Soul - Soul Brother Records compilation 2006
LUIRE presents RELAxY POCKET
(c) P-Vine Records 2006 Japan
Soul Lounge, Vol. 1: The Vibe Compilation
(c) Lightyear Entertainment 2004
Chocolate Soul Compilation Deluxe
" Forever ", " Savior " and " Heaven "
Being worked to National Urban AC, Pop/CHR, Smooth Jazz and Secondary radio (Mix-show, College and Community).
Dance Remixes: Pressed to Vinyl > Available Soon...
Digital Downloads : iTunes > Available Soon...
Currently Licensed In Japan to Pvine Records...
More licenses being negotiated on a global basis in London, Australia, France, GAS and Benelux etc.....
R&B Artist. Model. Actor.
Label: BornSoulful Entertainment
Management, Artist Direction & Booking
The Medium Entertainment Management Group
" Uncle Odis " Johnson
Media Consultant/Press Writer
kreative Young millionaire, INC.
Above The Crowd
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The hottest new star on the neo-soul scene is a proud son of the Fort. Feature: Wednesday, Decemb...The hottest new star on the neo-soul scene is a proud son of the Fort.
Feature: Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The national reviews for the album in magazines like Right On!, Upscale, and Urban Network have been raves. Critics have gushed about Nuwamba’s “heartfelt, Southern-spiced tenor” and called the c.d. “thematically and musically awesome” and “among the finest of the year.” Best of all, Nuwamba is seeing his name appear in those glossy pages alongside established artists in the urban/R&B/hip-hop firmament. The juxtaposition seems to say: “Isn’t this guy a big star already?”
And so for the last two years, Nuwamba has been speeding toward a future that family and associates hope includes big money, international acclaim, and other karmic rewards. The income from radio play, club dates, c.d. sales, and house parties — most of which occur outside the Fort in places like L.A., New York, Atlanta, and Philadelphia — as well as the odd survival job, has enabled him to buy his home in Frisco, which admittedly is a long drive from family and friends in Fort Worth, but also a place where an emerging national artist can get a lot more house for the money.
“I want to be the male Erykah Badu for Fort Worth,” he declares, referring to the Grammy-winning singer who’s maintained a home base in her native Dallas and continues to foster artistic development in that city’s African-American community. The confidence, the preternatural centeredness in Nuwamba’s voice as he checks off his plans makes it all sound not only do-able but somehow destined.
For the young man and his music, the outlook for the next 12 months is busy, thrilling, and uncertain. He recently returned to New York City to tape a featured interview and brief a capella performance for the Japanese radio show World MusiX Live From New York, which is syndicated on the country’s largest commercial network and has an estimated listenership of 10 million.
Above The Water
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By Quia Querisma July 28, 2005 When you think neo-soul, chances are Fort Worth doesn't come to m...By Quia Querisma
July 28, 2005
When you think neo-soul, chances are Fort Worth doesn't come to mind. Nuwamba, a soulful singer with an eclectic take on R&B standards, destroys Cowtown stereotypes with his debut album, Above the Water. He croons on mellow ballads in a raspy alto, sounding like a mix of Seal and D'Angelo, and tracks like "Forever" are full of instrumental breaks that provide the soundtrack to a Maxwell-style seduction; he sings softly, "Forever embracing you/Loving you, choosing you/For a lifetime of pleasure/Forever and ever." "Heaven," with its '70s-inspired drumbeats, keeps the romance going with lyrics like "Is it soft like the sands off the coast of Africa/My love, my love." Above consists mostly of ballads and midtempo grooves, so the only up-tempo song, "Caught Up," seems out of place, and the song's hip-hop-infused production tends to drown out Nuwamba's tale of surviving street life. But other attempts at diversity pay off, particularly "When Words Are Spoken." The spoken-word interlude by Dallas native Dr. Reiland Rabaka is a welcome addition to the album and upholds Water's soul-lounge feel. Even more refreshing are Nuwamba's subtler contributions to the album. He's credited with most of the production and all of the songwriting, proving there's more to him than just a sexy voice
Way above The Rest...
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Nuwamba first came to my attention last year on the excellent Soul Lounge Compilation. Ok, he was ov...Nuwamba first came to my attention last year on the excellent Soul Lounge Compilation. Ok, he was overshadowed a bit by the likes of Seek, 3D and Paige Lackey-Martin, but “Heaven” was one of the tracks that really stood out and I’ve been forever hopeful that it wasn’t going to be a one-off. Fortunately, the wait hasn’t been too long and definitely not in vain as “Above The Water” heralds a comprehensive portfolio of what this talented native from Fort Worth, Texas has to offer. Now it appears that “Neo” soul artists are falling out of the woodwork, but this appears to be the real deal, delivering the healthy balance of jazzy, laid-back vibes with unconventional melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. The “Smooth Intro” usually wouldn’t get a mention, but the Maxwellian vibe it gives off does put you in the mood for what’s to come. Essentially instrumental with deep bass, sultry horns and distant falsetto vocals it’s the perfect track to ease you into the album. It’s just a shame it only lasts for 2:15, but on the upside, the “Smooth Outro” is substantially longer and eases you out at the end of the album. The Soulmix of “Tease” is an instant winner. The beats and vocals are reminiscent of Ter’ell Shahid’s “Butterflies” and the easy mid-tempo groove ensures that this has “classic” written all over it. “Forever” keeps it in the 80’s beats per minute realm. The Isley-ish “well, well, well’s” add that additional dimension of extra soulfulness. I absolutely adore this track for its smooth simplicity and the wonderful accapella exit is the icing on the cake. “Saviour” jazzes things down a touch. The horns, acoustic guitar and trippy beats are to be savoured like fine wine. The ideal chill-out track for home, bar or radio station. “When Words Are Spoken” is a spoken verse track (unsurprisingly), if you like your poetry with a twanging b-line that reminds you of New World Soul and lots of harmonised vox in the background then check this out, it’s beautifully done. But the defining tune at the moment has to be the enigmatic “All Mine”. This one of those tunes that’s so good it’s best for you to track it down and get a listen and let it surprise and beguile you as it did to me. “Heaven”, as referred to earlier, is no stranger to these parts. Unashamedly organic in composition, lyrical content and delivery, this deserves another chance to make something of its self, as it really is an exceptional vibe. “Put It Down” is more top notch stuff. Resonant bass and a faultless groovers tempo combine to inject your body with an urge to bounce. The title track “Above The Water” is a sweet fusion of retro soul and pseudo-old time reggae. The bass line keeps it nicely afloat while the strong vocals carry you along for the duration of what is yet another superb neo-soul jam. “Caught Up” has more of an edge to it, signified primarily by the fiendish cuts supplied courtesy of DJ Ernie “G”. The beat is upfront and funky and the b-line is round and chunky. A nice rap combined with the signature high purity vocals promotes this onto only the most essential playlists. A true neo-soul album wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t at least one track that leaves you wondering about the accuracy of the title. “Sweetness” is a really sweet track, but considering that the most frequent words used are “I wanna groove with you…” you’d think that the title would be something based around that. But that is only a minor point, and it doesn’t detract from the track in the least. There’s an acoustic mix of “Tease” which strips it back for those who can’t take too much soul in one session. “Take Me Away" brings it back into gritty, urban soul country. Laid-back, lazy and emotive it’s the male equivalent to The Real Koffee Brown’s “Fly Away”. Finishing off with the Outro of “Smooth” it’s as polished as the Hope Diamond and an absolute must for anyone who counts themselves as a serious soul music lover.
Overall…Is It Funky?....Or Is It Junky?
It’s not just above the water….it’s way above the rest.
Nuwamba Above The Water
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— Sunday, 23. October 2005 Above The Water starts with an MC asking us if we’re ready for one o... — Sunday, 23. October 2005
Above The Water starts with an MC asking us if we’re ready for one of these neo soul artists. Judging from the quality of Demetress “Nuwamba” Cook’s debut album he surely won’t be one out of many but a soul singer to reckon with in the future.
Nuwamba, which means “November” in the Nigerian language Hausa, takes us back in time with his mission to put the blues back into rhythm & blues. Those of you who are old enough may remember the days when R&B was a synonym for black music, i.e. soul and funk, and not just crappy formulaic pop. “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,” Nuwamba says. “The blues are the inner core of soul music.”
Demetress “Nuwamba” Cook’s music has a warm, organic sound. He has obviously studied all the eclectic masters in soul music’s history like Marvin, Curtis, Smokey or Stevie; luckily that didn’t prevent him to create his own style.
Nuwamba’s debut has it all, neo soul highlights like the Soul Mix of Tease, spiritual midtempo love songs like Heaven (which musicwise reminds me of Big Brooklyn Red from the Organic Soul 3 compilation) or food for thought like the funky title track Above The Water or the hip hop influenced Caught Up. When Words Are Spoken is a great spoken word track which shows that Nuwamba is not only a gifted singer. More food for thought comes with the hidden track, the so called Wise Words by Lyrical. Here we get some lamenting and criticism about the state of most Western societies that are in the stranglehold of neoliberalism with increasing surveillance and a reduction of fundamental rights or economic fascists like Lyrical puts it. Especially her remark “I hate to be here when the infrastructure crashes” has become a sad reality recently with numerous natural disaster like hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.
Above The Water is a really impressive, musical and lyrical diverse album or in a nutshell one of the albums of the year 2005 that will stand the test of time.
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Neo-soul is the purgatory genre. If you are an urban singer whose niche falls somewhere in between c...Neo-soul is the purgatory genre. If you are an urban singer whose niche falls somewhere in between classic soul and new-school R&B, then you are instantly pigeonholed as a replica of what once was. Complimentary? Yes. An advantage? No. However, Nuwamba carries the torch with a tinge of ingenuity and refreshing sincerity. A spirituous infusion of Dwele and Maxwell, his debut, Above The Water delivers spotless soul. " Forever " and " Savior " are near perfect Indian summer grooves and his deceptively simple lyricism delivers an intimacy that his hip-hop-dependent, R&B contemporaries should take note of.
Isoul H. Harris
Top Soul Albums of 2005
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Another very strong debut from the Texan singer which is in a simular style to Maxwell's 'Urban Hang...Another very strong debut from the Texan singer which is in a simular style to Maxwell's 'Urban Hang Suite'. Slinky semi funky backing tracks compliment Nuwamba's soulful vocals. This is album, is good throughout but the highlights are 'Forever' a plodding mid tempo dancer, the floater 'Heaven' and the more uptempo dancer 'Sweetness' which has a relentless groove. Also check the slower 'Smooth', 'Take Me Away' and 'All Mine' and the D'Angelo infl title track. Brilliant
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A.Scott Galloway Color me stunned. This debut album from Fort Worth texan Nuwamba (pronounced noo...A.Scott Galloway
Color me stunned. This debut album from Fort Worth texan Nuwamba (pronounced noo-wahm-bay) is thematically and musically awesome. With his tangy southern-spiced tenor voice, songs about love and the world today and a sound meticulously hand-packed with the complete package of what Black music has to offer, he is one of the few artists to deliver on the promise that his music is "contemporary yet timeless". An avid reader, Nuwamba clearly appreciates the power of words, but he's also no slouch when it comes to optimal musical accompaniment-bubbling fretless bass, mind-clearing Flugelhorn, bedrock rim shot boom bap and soulfullystrummed acoustic guitar playiung against a haze of precisionpicked wah-wah. Spin this CD from beginning to end, but ifyou must have highlights, checkout the breathtaking love song " Savior", the gently driving first single "Heaven", the modern times blues of the title track "Above the Water" and the supremely sensual "Tease". My sole quibble is with the intro (and this goes for many srtists and albums today). Stevie Wonder didn't have to forewarn us of the depth of Innerversions. When you dropped the needle on "Too high", it was instantly and abundantly clear. Start Nuwamba's discat track 3 and prepare to declare it among the finest of the year thus far.
INDIE BEAT Underdogs Sound Off
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The neo-soulster from Fort Worth, Texas, crafts easy-listening grooves about falling in lust and wor...The neo-soulster from Fort Worth, Texas, crafts easy-listening grooves about falling in lust and working hard for your baby with calming keys, jazzy horns, and lulling bass. Nuwamba nestles the essence of love in a blanket of soothing tunes.
Nuwamba's Sound Is Far From 'Unusual'
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Whenever I think about music from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, my mind instantly gravitates towards E...Whenever I think about music from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, my mind instantly gravitates towards Erykah Badu and N'dambi. Well, singer Nuwamba is out to change that. Hailing from the Fort Worth side of things, it seems he has been bubbling under the radar for quite some time. Though his debut album, Above the Water, dropped in 2006, I was unfamiliar with him until he made his way into my inbox last week with his latest single, "Unusual." Smooth and mellow, the song definitely made me want to find out more about what Nuwamba has to offer. Check out the song to see if Nuwamba is putting Fort Worth on your musical map. And head on over to his SoundCloud page for more sounds.
45 minute typical Set time...
Varied Set List...