27 February 2013
Spotlight: Nia Andrews 'Colours'
Los Angeles-born singer/songwriter Nia Andrews has had one of those lives that are worth going into some detail about: the self-taught musician dropped out of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz due to an inability to actually read music. She then pursued a career as a writer, finding success particularly as a treatment writer, with her concepts directly resulting in multiple MTV awards. She then moved back toward music, taking a position as "creative assistant" to Common (though I'd like to know what that really means...) before quickly becoming his background singer, and going on to sing behind Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, Janelle Monae and many, many more. Andrews is currently collaborating with Golden Globe nominated songwriter Andrea Remanda and producer Deron Johnson (Miles Davis, Alanis Morrisette, Seal) on her debut solo album.
Colours is a 4-track EP of all original material which Andrews has written and recorded with Remanda and Johnson, which is being released in advance of the album. As a teaser, I guess.
Whatever. Even if Andrews wasn't Mark de Clive-Lowe's missus I'd still be drawing attention to this release.
She possesses a voice which bleeds emotion, and her lyricism is what one would expect of someone with her credentials. The music is woozy without being wobbly and dreamy without a sniff of Dilla's influence, while the presence of guitar and proper pop hooks put this release somewhere nearer the mainstream that I would've expected.
And in this case, that's not a bad thing at all. I hope folks do sit up and take notice. And you can too, in the player below, or right here.