Music Minute #5 : The War & Leisure Edition

I went to the show on Friday and I’m writing this on Sunday and still on a high from the show. The second I saw the bill for this show, I knew I had to be there. SiR, Nonchalant Savant AND Miguel?? yea I had to there front and in the center.

I went to the Terminal 5 show in New York. The second you walked into the space, you could just feel the excitement and electricity. it wasn’t long before Nonchalant Savant took the stage. I was so excited to finally seeing him perform, I remember first hearing Mixed Signals like a year and some change ago and playing it repeatedly for weeks. (link to the previous write up you should really check out) Besides the fact that his voice sounds even better live, he had such a command of the stage. (All 3 acts each commanded the stage that almost dared you to look away) Anyway, he started with ‘Same Way’ from his recently released album, ¡Spark! then went on to some other songs on his album and ended with Mixed Signals. Trust i was belting out every single lyric the entire set. It was everything I was excited to see and so much more.

Next was SiR. The year was 2016. I was dating this guy and I was so excited to share this song I had discovered on Spotify and was absolutely loving. Homie and I didn’t work out but I was sold on SiR. His music makes you believe in love with all its ups and inevitable pitfalls. Even him just crooning about everyday situations just makes you feel, for lack of a better word, real good and seen. Anyway, he had a quiet but unmistakable command of the stage. I was receiving my entire life. Just the beginning of Queen and Oh Nah Nah had me wanting to melt into a puddle of happiness. It’s safe to say I was beside myself his entire set.

And then there was Miguel. The last time I saw him live was when he performed at my alma mater in 2012 right after Art Dealer Chic Vol. 2 just dropped. I still remember that performance like it was yesterday. I legit stood in awe at how amazing it felt to stand in that crowd hearing him live and not in my headphones pretending to study lol. It’s crazy seeing how much he’s grown musically. I still remember the first Miguel song I ever heard. Ya girl was in high school and it was ‘Let’s Just Be’ from the Mischief Mixtape. I legit used to listen to it staring out the school bus window imagining myself living out the lyrics.

The show began with a video montage of Miguel discussing the current isolation politics and immigration debate currently going on in our country. He went to a town in Southern California that was along the Mexican border and met with a group of people in these ‘detention centers’ and people of the town. From those images to the room blacking out and him crooning in the background as the audience bubbled with excitement. I knew we were all in for a show. Miguel comes out and the place erupts in screams. Like I said before each person on that stage was electric but Miguel was completely on a different level as he glided, gyrated and danced through what looked like a spaceship playground all while hitting each and every note and then some more all while looking like he was barely trying to be this cool. HOW SWAY?! To say that I enjoyed every single second of his nearly 2-hour set is an understatement. He performed hits from all his albums and you already know ya girl was in the audience bopping and belting out every song. I’m still in awe.

Overall if you have the opportunity to see this tour or any of these artists, RUN and Go. As a fan of all three of these musicians, I may be a bit biased but it’s honestly an experience that was worth all the pushing and prodding to secure my spot up front. The energy in that space was so magnetic you couldn’t help but feel the love. I’m so excited for each of their careers and will be sure to every show I possibly can.

Also, they all possess this collective cool that I only aspire to be.

until next time,

Nneoma

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Hi, My Name is…

So unless you’ve been living under a very large rock, Black Panther has taken the world by storm and it’s not letting up anytime soon. I have seen it 3 times already and plan on seeing a couple more. I can go on and on about how in love I am with the film, all the themes discussed, the scenery and the beautiful cast. It was so beautiful to see us on the big screen in all our power, beauty and our complexities. It was such a powerful and validating moment to see people who looked like me doing the damn thing.

There was a recurring theme of identity throughout the film that really resonated with me. T’Challa and Killmonger’s characters and their philosophies about identity really brought the conversation between the continent and the diaspora to the main stage. Ryan Coogler’s ability to give humanity to each characters’ point of view in a way that was refreshing especially for a Marvel film.

I lived in Nigeria from the ages of 4 to 7 while there I went to school, learned how to read and speak in my mother tongue, Igbo. Even while there, I still recall never feeling Nigerian enough because I was born in America. Eventually, I moved back and I remember being 7 and wanting more than anything, to fit in. On my first day, I remember being excited to start school and have tons of friends like I did back home. My parents, sister and a counselor introduced me to my class and I recall the giddy anticipation. My second-grade teacher, Ms. Batagllia, struggled a bit with my name as told by her screwed up face and mispronounced my name. KNEE-O-MA. My 7-year-old self was confused but didn’t speak up. I accepted this way of pronouncing my name even if it didn’t feel right. I was the odd girl out who just wanted to fit in.

Fast forward through a very uncomfortable period of time featuring me trying desperately to get rid of my accent and fit in. I stopped speaking Igbo for reasons I can’t even understand now. I was ashamed and so desperately wanted to be ‘normal’. I can go on and on with stories of me struggling with my identity as a Nigerian American while existing as a Black woman, it was a whole mess. I didn’t come to appreciate being Nigerian until I was 14 and went to the annual Ngwa Convention (Ngwa is a part of Igboland that my family is from). Being able to finally see the beauty of my people and our culture was everything and that’s what Black Panther felt like. Seeing different parts of the continent in all its glory. Getting to relearn and appreciate my identity in its entirety has been a journey that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Watching de Black Pantha (Forrest Whittaker’s accent ftw!) has been such a moment of pride and a full circle moment. Being able to identify parts of Africa in the scenery, the characters clothing, to the traditions, was such an overwhelming source of joy. I was that girl in the theater crying because I finally saw my people in all their greatness and it was nothing short of awesome.

My name is Nneoma (NNOH-MAH)

until next time, 

Nneoma

WAKANDA FOREVER!

guess who’s back back back, back again gain gain (Music Minute #4)

First off, shout out to any and everyone who gets the T-Boy reference.

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I’m back with another music minute, this time by way of UK group 808Ink. I went through a period of time when I was really into UK shows and music so this was very much appreciated. anyway, Sometimes my Spotify Discover Weekly comes with the hits and other times not so much, this week my playlist was not letting up. I have now listened to Suede Jaw countless times because I have officially lost count. The sound is reminiscent of ’90s house laced with harmonizing vocals and a simple bass beat. Their voices ride over the beat and you honestly can’t help but hit a shoulder shimmy. It feels very middle of summer house party when you’re having a grand ol’ time and walk outside to the smell of summer and under a clear sky and feeling the gentle subtle warm breeze or the song you two-step with a cute stranger. (i miss not being cold if you can’t tell).

I love a good sample so when I finally decided to venture through the rest of ‘Billy’s Home’, and heard Crooked. Bad, it immediately caught my attention. It’s a lot grittier than Suede Jaw. Mumblez is commanding your attention as 808Charmer’s beats sear through. and then it happened, I heard the faint slightly faded loop of Jai Paul’s Jasmine in the middle of their Crooked. Bad, I almost my mind. like I said, I love a good sample.

I appreciate everything about this group. they have a very distinct sound and look that commands attention. y’all they make really cool music videos. MUSIC VIDEOS ARE IMPORTANT AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH. one thing I really appreciate music that allows you to escape into a specific feeling and that’s exactly how their music does.

check it out: listen here and here

until next time,

Nneoma

Be Intentional

Happy New Years y’all! We’ve made it to yet another year and although things aren’t at all how i want it to be, i’m so grateful for it all.

this time of year, people usually make their resolutions of the things they want to change for the new year. i actually stopped making resolutions a while back but i’m all for making intentions. intentions, to me, are (wait for it) intentional. they are more deliberate and direct than resolutions. i usually set my intentions right after meditating and being very clear in what i want and make steps to accomplish said intentional. it’s super important to make those steps because it allows/makes me be mindful of working towards my intention.

i set all my intentions while in awe at the moon and making sure i wrote it down in my journal. honestly the full moon on NYE was everything and i felt so hopeful and extremely happy despite how much things aren’t seemingly how i want it to be in this very moment. it’s funny how we have all these thoughts and ideas of what our best life should look like. this past year has taught me to be ok if and when i don’t get that perfect present i had hoped for. being able to be ok with the unknown is honestly the most freeing feeling. it feels like the smell of fresh rain on summer day. or that could be just me lol

anyway, let’s make this a really good year we can look back and be proud of all the growth. be very intentional with all your personal goals and be relentless about achieving them.

until next time,

Nneoma

so here we are..

day 7- 28|

hey hey,

so i kind of disappeared. December was a really hard month. there’s been a lot of ups and downs (more downs than ups) that i have been navigating through. i had to relearn that even though good and bad times are temporary, it’s ok to not be ok in the now. so i have been trying to give myself the space to not be ok, hence my disappearance (i didn’t want to be here complaining everyday). it’s always interesting how old lessons make their way back into the present.

it is December so of course all the cheeriness wasn’t exactly the best when all the turmoil was going on. i completely understand why the Grinch wasn’t about it. i have never been so over Christmas music as i was by December 2nd (it was bad).

as i have gotten older, i have a deeper appreciation for my family. being able to be around my family for the holidays was exactly what i needed. there was so much love that i didn’t realize how much i needed to be around. we spent the day cooking, eating and laughing all in our PJs.

i’m trying to finish the year strong, whatever that means. this was such a hard post to write.

until next time,

Nneoma

why can’t we have nice things?: a Game of Thrones rant

|day 6|

edit: i furiously wrote this when GOT season 7 finale aired and was heated but never posted. i have been excited following all my favorite GOT/ASOIAF blogs on everything season 8 so i had to post. enjoy

on Sunday August 27th, the season 7 finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones premiered. after seasons of war, the viewers finally see the major players in the game of thrones finally meet and come together against the Night King and the army of the dead. we see Dany and Jon get it popping, Littlefinger meets his end, Viserion (RIP, my guy) gets the army of the dead past the wall, Samwell takes credit for Gilly’s discovery and Theon finally steps up. lots of explosive discoveries and as usual twists and turns, cool.

but ya girl couldn’t get past one little detail. so in a very well placed scene of Bran and Samwell’s conversation about Rheagar and Lyanna’s love while Jon and Dany finally bump skins, Sam reveals that Jon is legitimate because his parents got married. Bran in turn, reveals that Jon’s real name is Aegon. Aegon Targaryen. AEGON TARGARYEN. either Rheagar (the real Rheagar not the one they presented to us with that horrid wig) is even messier than we all thought or Dan and David thought we wouldn’t notice. either way, i want to fight. allow me to go full nerd.

now, if we remember or not, Rheagar was married to Elia Martell of Dorne (sister to one of my favorite characters, Oberyn (RIP my guy). anyway they were married and had two children who in the show meet an unfortunate ending (in the books, the little boy lives thanks to Varys’ sneaky ways). cool. now in the books, Dany has a vision of her brother, while in the house of the undying, talking about the Prince who was promised would come through his lineage. In this vision, Dany doesn’t know what Rheagar is talking about or who he is talking to but notes that he looked like Viserys.  Now if he was talking to Lyanna, it makes sense because fire and ice. so with little Aegon from poor Elia Martell, who’s only crime was loving Rheagar, why in the name of the old gods and the new would Rheagar go off and name his child with Lyanna, Aegon. why!? he didn’t add any surname, let’s not act like he couldn’t call the kid some other Targaryen name and keep it pushing. i’m still waiting on answers from GRRM because Dan and David have been remixing GOT since season 2 and i am sick of it. They have written off entire characters, plots and regions (quick shoutout to the Summer Isles and actual Dorne) but this is tew much.

luckily it’s not coming back until 2019 and while i will be perched and ready to be stressed out, i am patiently waiting on GRRM to answer all my questions because Dan and David won’t.

also i’m not satisfied with the actor they chose to play Rheagar, (hence the featured image) he was supposed to be beautiful with gorgeous hair and a constant solemn look on his face. homie’s wig was all wrong, he didn’t look like he was in constant deep thought. A whole war started because he choose Lyanna, at least let his portrayal be a complete baddie 

until next time, 

Nneoma

religion?

|day 4|

i struggled with this one.

i was raised in a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian home, super duper religious. i was in Adventurers, in Pathfinders (like boys/girls scouts), i was in the choir, in all the youth groups. if i wasn’t around family, i was with church folk. ya girl was there and all this time i felt this huge disconnect. i remember always feeling like i could never measure up to the idea of God or religion that i was taught to believe in. i always felt like i constantly fell short, that i wasn’t holy enough, that i just wasn’t doing enough to be considered a good Christian. in addition, i always had questions with answers that never quite made sense. i remember being 15 and asking a one of the elders a question during sabbath school and he didn’t have an answer. now i understand that not everyone knows everything, but at that moment, i just felt very unsatisfied. from then on, i started expecting less as my curiosity grew.

as i have grown older, so has my frustration towards the religion i grew up in. I have stopped asking questions because it tends to get side looks or worse it gets chalked up to being a wayward youth who will soon see the light again. i resent that with a passion actually. why can’t my questions and concerns be valid? why can’t i have the room to explore? can i ever get that or is that too much to ask for?

needless to say, i don’t really go to church as much as i used to now that i’m older (also other factors here). this is a topic i tend to avoid talking about because i already know i’ll be considered to be ‘out in the world’.

there’s so much i can say about this and i always feel like i can’t have this conversation with others and feel heard.

anyway, i hope your Monday went well.

until next time, Nneoma