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Q&A: Nneka's 'Fairy Tales' brought to life on new album

Q&A: Nneka's 'Fairy Tales' brought to life on new album


Nigerian-born singer Nneka’s fifth album, “My Fairy Tales” featuring the song “My Love, My Love,” was recorded in France, Denmark and Nigeria and explores “the lives of Africans in the diaspora and the struggles they face.” She performs Saturday at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room.

“I always wanted to do something that goes back to my roots — the music I was listening to when I was younger — but transmit a message in a manner that doesn’t seem like I’m imposing my opinion on other people,” she says. “I tried to work it in with irony, with sarcasm, playfully telling the truth how messed up our situation in Nigeria has been and placing a breath of hope into that situation.”

Tell me about your album, “My Fairy Tales.” First of all, it’s a project. I wouldn’t consider it a full album. It represents a particular type of sound focusing on Afro beats. The content is similar to the stuff I’ve done before, but I’m transmitting heavy messages in a lighter manner. It’s easy to listen to, and it’s light.

Why’d you decide to go lighter? It wasn’t done intentionally. It’s something that happened while we were recording. We had recorded a couple of tracks and decided to do this.

What are the issues that went into the album? The hope, the deception, the corruption, issues of racism, prejudice, but at the same time a positive movement that is happening. ... There’s all this negativity in the world today. You’re always a bigger person when you approach love with hate.

What has it been like releasing “My Fairy Tales” on your own label for the first time? Very successful. I’m more in touch with who I’m working with and what’s going on. It’s hard on me, but it’s what I love. It’s OK.

Why did you release the album on your own label? (Her previous label was) taking too much time. They would have never released this type of record — I don’t think they would have. I didn’t offer it to them. Major labels want very commercial records, pop songs, which is cool. I just didn’t want to wait. I felt like I was pregnant for three years and not able to deliver.

How would you describe your sound? It’s conscious music of different genres, soul, hip-hop, Afro beats, reggae, techno, rock, a mix of everything.

What Nneka • When 8 p.m. Saturday • Where Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Boulevard • How much $18-$20 • More info

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