[Photo by Emmanuel Blackwell]
Pure and untainted honesty in art is hard to find. Particularly in music, and even more so in the fickle world of Hip Hop and R&B. Nothing is more refreshing than hearing something true. Something created for the sake of personal indulgence. Sounds conceived with intent to please the artist, rather than the listener. Music made without a thought of obtaining praise or accolades.
Ben Harper once said “You can’t fool music. Music will expose you to the depth of who you really are, or who you really want to be. Whether or not I’m honest as a man – that is definitely up for argument, discussion, or debate; within myself, with my friends, and within my enemies. But as a musician, I know nothing but honestly.” As the years have passed, this statement in terms of the current state of music, seems to make less and less sense. Maybe you can’t fool music, but unfortunately in 2014 you can definitely fool the people. In this modern time, there is a formula – Who can make the most digestible song? Who can write a “hit”? Who can get the club popping? A lot of what we are being spoon fed is trash. We all know it and for some reason we accept it.
But every lane has a divine exception, and I’m here to let you in on R&B’s best kept secret – Bay Area California native, Nieko Deluv aka ‘ndeluv’ is the saviour of your speakers. He creates to leave you with a lasting taste of real R&B. If you grew up in the 90’s like Nieko (and I), you were lucky enough to hear some of the legends who wrote rhythmic love songs you could groove to, smoke to, chill to – Aaliyah, Brandy, D’Angelo, Musiq Soulchild; I could go on and on. In this post 2000 era of music, that simple sound is hard to come by. Like all things in life, humans have completely evolved the genre and that’s okay because change is constant and vital. With that being said, every now and then I find myself nostalgic for the things I grew up listening to and ndeluv is the perfect remedy. His music is completely unique in this age but like meeting a relative for the first time, it’s familiar. Comforting. Continue reading