Nneka Makes Us Feel Her Heartbeat at NYC Debut Performance
By Nosa Garrick
As she pushes the curtain aside taking her first steps onto the stage, a hush comes over the buzzing crowd. Nneka is in the building. Beguiling as any performer could ever hope to be, the Nigerian singer infiltrated Joe’s Pub for her first US performance bringing her words and thoughts across the pond.
In the intimate venue, the acoustics enabled Nneka’s voice to be heard the only way it should: as an instrument, woven intricately into the music, childlike yet weathered. From soft ballads to fast paced compositions the audience held on to every note. A moving rendition of “Heartbeat” transported the room to the Niger Delta, the hurt in the singer’s voice tangible, almost visible.
Nneka paused occasionally speaking candidly about her home, its beauty and its exploitation, both internal and external. Her discussion built up to “Vagabonds in Power (VIP)” engaging the audience in a call and response as she condemned those responsible for the distress of Nigeria.
As she closed with “God of Mercy,” Nneka belted out the bridge from the depths of her being, leaving the audience on its feet and the applause unceasing.
Catch Nneka in Los Angeles on November 18 with Vikter Duplaix