Soul is Heavy is the new album from the award winning Nigerian singer/songwriter, Nneka. An effortlessly balanced combination of hip hop beats, reggae grooves, brass riffs and African-pop are the canvas for the motif of love, pain, politics and God.
Respective albums have earned Nneka the moniker of 21st Century Soul for their sincerity and frankness and this, her third album, is no different. Featuring guest collaborations with The Roots’ Black Thought (‘God Knows Why’) and Ms. Dynamite (‘Sleep’) Soul Is Heavy further affirms her credentials as a fast-rising star of black-consciousness music.
Nneka’s natural energy channels hope and optimism throughout her writing (‘Shining Star’), but her signature steeliness and stark life observations are maintained (‘No Doubt’). This isn’t an album that has to be pretentious to stand out. It is real, honest, true to itself and bursting with feeling.
Soul is Heavy is both affirmative and compelling in addressing the tough realities and uncomfortable truths of modern politics – both personal (‘Stay’) and international (‘Soul is Heavy’) - and adding credence to the Lauryn Hill / Erykah Badu references so often cited in comparison of her.
A majority of the album has once again been produced by close friend and co-writer DJ Farhot, and mixed by Tom Elmhirst and Philippe Weiss whose recent credits include Amy Winehouse, Adele, Cee Lo Green and Wyclef Jean.
Since the release of her last album, Concrete Jungle, Nneka has had an incredibly active tour schedule, performing over 150 shows for over 500,000 people. Appearances at SXSW and on the David Letterman show, Glastonbury and Newport Folk Festival were recent highlights, in addition to supporting Lenny Kravitz, Nas & Damian Marley (“Distant Relatives”), The Roots, Gnarls Barkley.