Meshell Ndegeocello

Biography

Although Me'Shell NdegéOcello scored a few hits early in her career, the singer/bassist opted to concentrate subsequently on more challenging material by exploring the politics of race and sex, among other topics. Born Mary Johnson in 1969 and spending the first few years of her life in Germany (her father was both a military man and a jazz saxophonist), NdegéOcello and her family relocated to Virginia in the early '70s as the youngster developed an interest in music. As a teenager, NdegéOcello began to play regularly in the clubs of Washington, D.C., but eventually settled down in New York City after a stint of studying music at Howard University. After auditioning for several local bands (one being Living Colour), NdegéOcello struck out on her own (often performing solo, with just a bass, drum machine, and keyboard), and in the early '90s became one of the first female artists signed to Madonna's Maverick label. 1993 saw the release of NdegéOcello's debut release, Plantation Lullabies, which spawned the hit "If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)," as well as three Grammy nominations. But it was a duet with John Mellencamp on a cover of Van Morrison's "Wild Night" a year later brought the singer/bassist the most acclaim, as the song became one of the year's biggest hits. NdegéOcello took an extended period before a follow-up recording was issued, but during this time, she collaborated with Chaka Khan on the track "Never Miss the Water," as well as appearing on movie soundtracks (White Man's Burden, Money Talks) and on such multi-artist releases as Ain't Nuthin' But a She Thing and Lilith Fair, Vol. 3. 1996 finally saw the release of a sophomore effort, Peace Beyond Passion, which failed to match the success of her debut. Another three-year break between albums occurred, during which time she collaborated with rapper Queen Pen on the track "Girlfriend." NdegéOcello's third release overall, Bitter, was issued in 1999. She took another three-year break and emerged with Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape in June 2002. Comfort Woman followed in 2003. Dance of the Infidel, a sprawling album made with numerous collaborators from the jazz world, surfaced in mid 2005.

Source: http://artists.letssingit.com/meshell-ndegeocello-xp4tr/biography


Following the release of 2011′s critically acclaimed Weather, Meshell Ndegeocello announces the release of her 10th studio album, Pour une âme souveraine (“For a sovereign soul”), a dedication to fellow musician Nina Simone. Joined by musicians Chris Bruce (guitar), Jebin Bruni (keys) and Deantoni Parks (drums), the singer-songwriter, rapper, bassist, and vocalist reworked some of the tracks made famous by the iconic musician. Guests on the album include Sinead O’Connor, Lizz Wright, Valerie June, Tracy Wannomae, Toshi Reagon and Cody ChesnuTT. To celebrate the release of the album, Meshell is sharing the iconic track “Be My Husband,” which just premiered on NPR. Flush with stomps, claps and chants, Meshell is accompanied on vocals by New York singer-songwriter Valerie June.


After only ten days in the studios of guitarist Pete Min, this album was born, reflecting Meshell’s admiration for the pioneering work of an artist who refused to be owned by genre, industry, or expectation. As Meshell describes, this album is “a dedication to Nina Simone and her incredible influence but it is also a dedication to the single, interior life we all experience.” Revered by Meshell, Nina Simone was a powerful influence both musically and politically. Her music was highly instrumental in the fight for equal rights in the United States. “She wanted success, was pressured to make hits, but her own sound was still irrepressible,” explains Meshell. “She had things to say, she protested. She was a loud, proud black, female voice during a time when black female voices were not encouraged to make themselves heard.”


Comprised of a mix of traditional classics (“Feelin’ Good”), songs written by Nina Simone (“Real Real”), or for her (“To Be Young, Gifted and Black” by Weldon Irvine), the album represents a full spectrum of Nina Simone’s work and life. From the pulsing of the traditional ballad “House Of The Rising Sun,” the velvety, soul filled vocals of “Feeling Good,” and a bluegrass duet with Sinead O’Connor in “Don’t Take All Night,” Meshell Ndegeocello gives a subtle spin to the tracks off the Pour une âme souveraine.


“We really wanted to do something we felt was true to Nina Simone. By that realizing it meant we had to do what felt true to us,” says Chris Bruce, who co-produced the album along with Meshell and wrote the arrangements. “The aim was not to re-create the existing versions, because we felt strongly that the only way to honor Nina would be for Meshell to find her own voice in the material. Nina was always exploring and experimenting, and quite cathartic. If you are familiar with her work at all you will frequently find that there exist multiple versions of the same song. So we wanted to tap into that same creative spirit and make the songs our own. And in the end hopefully have something we feel she would appreciate and feel pride.”

Source: http://www.meshell.com/biography/

© Let's Play Bass Guitar 2018