N'dambi

N'dambi

BandR&BPop

Multi-talented singer/songwriter/producer and former background singer for Erykah Badu, N'dambi is ready to conquer the world by herself. Bringing 'nu-soul' to the next, fresh level, N'Dambi's new sound is powerful, amazing and appealing to a wide audience. "N'Dambi, la revelation" (le Monde, Fr.).

Biography

(Album Preview)
It takes nerve to break through to another level of artistry, to strip down your defenses to reveal the personal and honest, to let go of the pretense and shake off preconceived notions. And damn -- has N'dambi got nerve! On this collection of straight-no-chaser aural snapshots, the acclaimed singer-songwriter with the soul-soaked voice peels off the layers to share who she truly is. By liberating herself, she reveals who each of us can be: A Weird Kinda Wonderful, as the title of her new CD proclaims.

"We are all creatures unlike any other, individual," explains the artist of the title. "We have our own experiences, our own idiosyncrasies, and all these things that shape us and make us one of a kind. So in a way it's like describing those little things about me that stand out and make me exactly who I am."

However weird the Dallas native may feel, the wonderful still shines through on this adventurous new album. She does it with her soulful vocal instrument, rock-chick attitude, pop songcraft, and playful bravado. Her insightful lyrics offer human revelations, while the melodies and tight arrangements recall not only vintage soul, but some of the first forays into the black rock realm, when electric mamas like Joyce Kennedy of Mother's Finest and Sandra St. Victor of the Family Stand first staked out their territory. Like her male contemporaries Rahsaan Patterson and Van Hunt, N'dambi plays with the melodic structure and instrumentation of what folks perceive of as R&B and pop. But lyrically and melodically N'dambi lays claim to her own stylistic turf, all in the name of female empowerment.

In that sense A Weird Kinda Wonderful stands apart even from N'dambi's own previous recorded outings, like 2001 album Tunin' Up And Co-Signin', which had more of a raw funk aesthetic. The singer explains: "I think the album previous to this one probably was a little raw, kind of unplugged. This album has more structure and it has a definite beginning and end. And then the genre is different from the previous album as well --it's hard to categorize it, but it's an eclectic mix of pop, soul, and rock."

The set is also her most personal to date, as she shares her own struggles to grow up, see the world, become an artist, give her heart and get it back in pieces. Says N'dambi, "I realized that through experimentation I was going to be telling more of my story this time around. The other albums were always someone else's story, I never really talked about me and this record is really about me."

Personal freedom, exploration, and liberation are N'dambi's themes on the new album, beginning with "Young Lady," where N'dambi cautions young women against leading lives that are too sheltered or proscribed. There's also the self-discovery journey of "Time Passes By," and the funky dancefloor shuffle of "Can't Change Me," a statement of N'dambi's own determined nature. "When I think about the songs, they tie in together -- about empowering yourself and becoming the best person you can be and not allowing other people to put their things on you so you feel limited in your ability to grow," she says. Her criticism of those who try to stifle unique spirits comes in the scathing reading of a lover on "Hey U," a large-scale piece with rock grit that bears come faint echoes of the Beatles and '70s-era Stevie Wonder. Then N'dambi turns soft and supportive with the bumping ballad for sisters battling "Insecurity."

With a combination of sass and fire, N'dambi then flips Prince's "Soft And Wet" on its side, where the hardcore funk opens a window on the sister's fluid sexuality. "That song is definitely something a man would say to a woman but I thought that it was pushing the envelope in a way, because this record is about a little more edge and funk and spark," N'dambi explains. "It was also a way of showing my range --I've never done any songs about me being a sexual being." The singer also teams with fellow Texas singer-songwriter Keite Young for the sexy neo-soul duet "If We Were Alone."

And while love is celebrated and revered, we all know that it doesn't always work out. On the funky pop stomp N'dambi summons her own Tyrone when she orders a lover to "Get On Up," tells the tangled tale of a church affair on "Preacher, Preacher," and examines the obsessive dark side on the towering anthemic power ballad "Love," which she says was inspired by the tragic love stories in Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar's Oscar-winning "Hable Con Ella (Talk To Her)."

A Weird Kinda Wonderful is the statement of an artist who has arrived at a new level of consciousness and creative awareness, who is able to process her various musical influences into a unique whole. Growing up in Dallas as the daughter of two reverends, N'dambi was at first exposed only to gospel and some country music. As she grew up, playing piano and clarinet, she heard pop and R&B on the radio or with friends. "Then I really started gettin

Discography

A Weird Kinda Wonderful....coming in 2006
Tunin-Up & Co-Signin (2001)
Little Lost Girls Blues (1999)

Set List

Lonely Woman
Young Lady
Can't Change Me
Hey U
Insecurity
Ode 2 Nina (tribute to Nina Simone)
Soft and Wet
Hot Oven
Get On Up
Day Dreamer
Call Me

Soft and Wet is a Prince cover

N'dambi's set is 45 minutes to an one hour and 15 minutes.