Nigerian-German singer/songwriter Nneka Egbuna is back with her new album, Soul Is Heavy. The politically inclined hip-hop/soul artist has already earned comparisons to Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, shared the stage with Nas and Damian Marley and worked with alt-hip-hop collective The Roots.
We had a brief talk with Nneka about her inspirations, the Nigerian music scene and her ideal collaboration. Read the full interview below!
Congratulations on Soul Is Heavy! Can you tell us a bit more about what people can expect from this latest release?
Simplicity and my truth. It is a bit more of a “band” sound this time around, a mix of digital and organic music. Still very me, though. It deals with issues that have to do with the day-to-day life of people: corruption, false prophecies, religion, war conflict…
If you had to pick one key track on the album, which would it be?
Soul Is Heavy.
Which do you enjoy more: performing live or writing and recording?
I have to admit that I don’t like the spotlight that much. I am more comfortable on the writing/recording side of the creative process.
You carry a very political tone in your work and in your bio you are described as an “Afro-German warrior princess”. What wars are you currently fighting and what messages made it into your latest album?
The Occupy Nigeria movement where Africans come together regardless of tribe or past conflict to fight for the same purpose: peace. To that I have to add Pan-Africanism, the exodus of my truth and womanhood.
Are there any artists in particular that you have been inspired by lately?
What are your favorite albums from the past year?
Comfort Woman by Me’Shell Ndegeocello.
If you could choose any artist to work with, who would it be?
Do you still feel a strong connection to the Nigerian music scene? Do you ever perform there?
Yes, I am half-Nigerian and still live there and perform. I just finished a tour that started in East Africa and ended in the west.
Can you tell us some of the artists from Nigeria and or Germany that people probably don’t know but should?
If you weren’t making music full-time, what would you be doing?
I would probably work for the Nigerian University in the archaeology department, or for a hotel. Odds are I’d be back in university studying something else again, or I’d be married to a very rich man! (Laughs)