Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Nailah - Life In Session EP

Nailah was once an attorney from North Carolina, but not anymore. She's still from North Carolina, but Nailah made a conscious decision to walk away from her previous career in order to focus on her first love... music.

Citing the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone and Gil Scott-Heron as influences, this jazz songstress expresses a beautiful depth and richness through her music. A wonderful combination of mellow, downbeat melodies and uplifting lyrics and vocals make listening to Nailah a fantastically refreshing experience. A real throwback in one sense, any fan of soulful jazz sounds should instantly strike a connection with what they're hearing.

Life In Session is the new EP from Nailah - a release that has already caught the ear of our good friend Gilles Peterson over at Radio 1. I've been lucky enough to hear some of it and it truly is a beautiful collection of songs. From the raw and emotional 'Transcending', with it's haunting clash of orchestral elements and expressive percussion, to the calming tones of 'Sacred', the music really does hit the listener deeply. Cliched as it might sound, there truly is a genuine honesty and sense of sincerity in both Nailah's lyrics and the actual vocals themselves - this was something that I certainly felt very aware of as I was listening closely and intently.

  1. Transcending
  2. Hands
  3. Lillies & Birds
  4. Sacred
  5. Beautiful Anyway
  6. He Speaks (Live)
Nailah was not an artist I was previously familiar with, but I'm very pleased to have been given this opportunity to hear her music and would urge others to seek it out and realise first-hand what a blessing her art is. Nailah is not a typical jazz artist and upon hearing her it becomes very evident that her influences run deep and varied - there are elements of soul, r&b and blues in there, but it's definitely very spiritual music as well.

I'm not sure what the future holds in store for Nailah, but I believe it's important to remember that there are a lot of extremely talented artists in this world who are not signed to major label labels, or under the umbrella of the latest trends, and they deserve our support as much as anyone else - the most important thing is always the music, everything else is secondary.

LISTEN: Nailah - Sacred


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