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Distorted Soul

The Year of Living Stevie: Nadir Omowale and his Band Discuss and Perform The Music of Stevie Wonder

The Year of Living Stevie” is host Daryl Bean’s biweekly podcast about life, creativity, and the music of Stevie Wonder. In each episode, musicians explore Stevie’s influence, and the affect his music has had on them.

In this episode, musician/vocalist/songwriter/producer Nadir Omowale and his band (Steve Caldwell, guitar; Phil Whitfield, keyboards; Chris Spooner, bass; Lauren Johnson, drums) talk about political activism through music, their deep well of experience in the industry, and what made Nadir want to throw his bass at a drummer (not Lauren). Plus they perform two deep Stevie tracks, “That Girl”, from Original Musiquarium, and “Let’s Get Serious” (a hit for Jermaine Jackson, but written and produced by Stevie).

Click HERE to Listen.

The Music of Nadir Omowale

Nadir Omowale doesn’t have time to stand still.  There is far too much life to be lived.

The fifteen-time Detroit Music Award winner and former MTV News correspondent is driven by an impassioned activism. All of his hats – performer, producer, creative strategist – are worn by a man who explores as he produces, teaches as he advises, and creates art that honors the fact that life is filled with extremes and in-betweens. The result is infectious, a creative electricity that is essential to who Nadir is.

Nadir will tell you that life is too important, not to be an activist. His impressions about life are the essence of his work. His lyrics can tug at heartstrings, tickle funny bones, or evoke an honest look at the world around us, and (possibly more importantly) the world within us.

His music is influenced by funk, but don’t call Nadir a funk revivalist. His understanding of rock, R&B, hip hop, and jazz takes funk to a most Nadir-centric next step; a Southern born, and Detroit raised sound that doesn’t fit in traditional boxes. His music reaches across genres and political aisles – sometimes with a gentle, outstretched hand, and occasionally with a clenched fist  – always challenging listeners with a funk inspired, Motor City sound that is as relevant today, as Holland-Dozier-Holland were in the sixties.

Jane Asher of Radio Sophie 103.7FM in San Diego writes of Nadir:

“If Motown had never moved to L.A.,
this is what it would sound like today.”

His live show is dynamic. Nadir works a stage comfortably, engaging with audiences, guiding them on an energetic, emotional experience. There will be time for laughter, and love, amid irresistible outbursts of dance, and the occasional plea to understand the challenges that we still face in our attempts to insure freedom for all.

When Nadir Omowale performs, you get more than music. You get all of the man, his humor, his passion, and the depth of a personality that embraces his responsibility to make this a better world, because of his love of life.

“To label Nadir as a neo-soul artist would be neglecting his rock roots; to call him a rock artist would be overlooking his hip-hop and jazz influences. Fully encompassing all the talents that Nadir possesses would be comparable to expanding the mathematical term Pi to its last digit.” 
The Michigan Chronicle, Detroit, Michigan

“It’s STONE COLD FUNK,
It makes you DANCE, it ROCKS your world,
It’s got GREAT LYRICS,
It’s got POWERHOUSE SOUL SINGING,
It’s got GREAT MUSICIANSHIP,
It makes you THINK about the world and it makes you SMILE.”
Bob Davis, Soul-Patrol.com

 “As usual your performances NEVER disappoint.
Sometimes I felt like I was seeing Sly and the Family Stone again.
Great show!”
Terri Koggenhopp – Executive Director, Detroit Music Awards and
Director of Artist Relations, Detroit International Jazz Festival

Big & Bigger on CaveRadio with Nadir, Volcano, Chris Spooner, and DJ Ray 7

Friday, November 14 was a night full of surprises as Nadir, Christopher Spooner, DJ Ray 7, and Volcano visited the CaveRadio studios and appeared on the show Big and Bigger.

The fellas talked about Nadir’s Electric Lounge, discussed their favorite war movies, and played a few funky tunes including an unexpected and highly unorthodox rap battle between Volcano and some random dude from the bar next door. Hilarity ensues…

Click HERE to LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE SHOW ON PODCAST

Or check out a clip of the guys’ performance below.

Post by Alan Isaacson.<

LIVE RADIO PERFORMANCE: Nadir Live on WDET for Ann Delisi’s Essential Music, June 2013

In early June, Nadir and the band converged on the legendary Studio A at WDET radio in Detroit for a live recording and interview on Ann Delisi’s Essential Music. The band fired off smoking versions of “Daddy’s Cane” (from Nadir’s award-winning debut Distorted Soul 2.0) and “Go It Alone” (from 2012’s critically acclaimed disc The Book of Jonah). Click the player below to hear, share or download the performance and interview.

Players:
Nadir – vocals, guitar, interviewee
Tasha Lord – vocals
Steve Caldwell – guitar, vocals
Christopher Spooner – bass, vocals
Jeff Rebrovich – keyboards
Raphael Merriweathers, Jr. – percussion, vocals
Jason Bonaquist – drums

Ann Delisi – host
Alex Trajano – engineer
Nicole Fritz – 2nd engineer, editor

Detroit Free Press: Nadir sees life looking up

Nadir at Church_photo by Marc NaderRachel May: Nadir sees life looking up
Originally published October 4, 2012 in
The Detroit Free Press

His music is a harmonious blend of R&B, funk, jazz, hip-hop, rock and soul. On his latest album, “The Book of Jonah,” Nadir reveals a fantastic collection of songs with a positive message about everyday life.

” ‘Belly of the Whale‘ really sums up the record,” says Nadir. “It gives us the message that it may feel like the end of the world but it’s not. It’s just another day in the belly of the whale.”

“The Book of Jonah” is Nadir’s third full-length solo CD, and he’ll celebrate its release with a performance Friday at PJ’s Lager House.

“A lot of the songs are really inspired by some of the things we’ve been going through here in Detroit and Michigan,” says Nadir, whose full name is Jonah Nadir Omowale.

“It’s not as overtly political as my 2008 record when I was mad at George Bush and angry all the time. This one is a little more hopeful, and even with all of the turmoil that we and the rest of the nation — and the rest of the world, really — have been going through, I see a lot of positive signs and a lot of positive things happening.”

Click HERE to Read the Entire Article at Freep.com

VIDEO: Nadir & The Band Live on Fox 2 Detroit Morning Show – October 3, 2012

Nadir and the band lay down the early morning funk with this performance of “Go It Alone” on Detroit’s Fox 2 Morning Show. The incredible band is (left to right): Jeff Rebrovich on Keyboard, Steve Caldwell on guitar, Jason Bonaquist on drums, Tasha Valdez Lord on vocals, Nadir on vocals and guitar, Ray 7 on percussion, and Christopher Spooner on bass.

Special thanks to Taqqee Khabir for manning the mixing desk; to Steve Caldwell and Nextwave Media Lab for going above and beyond the call of duty with the audio assist; to Nancy Schoenheide-Phares for being the best publicist in Michigan; to the folks at Fox 2 for having us on, and for Toast Ferndale for the great post show victory breakfast.

Be sure to check out the full set at The Book of Jonah Album Release Party on Friday, October 5, at PJ’s Lager House.

Nadir and the Band at the Fox 2 Morning Show - Photo by Nancy Phares

PRE-ORDER NOW: Distorted Soul Sound Pack for Producers, Beat Makers & DJs

Some artists defy classification. Detroit-based rock and soul insurgent Nadir rebels against it. So true to form, Nadir’s Distorted Soul Sound Pack for producers, beat makers and DJs, arms you with a stockpile of original rock, funk, jazz and soul kits, instruments and loops for your production arsenal.


Explore the making of the Distorted Soul Sound Pack, created by funk/rock/soul producer Nadir in collaboration with BKE Technology at legendary Submerge Studios Somewhere in Detroit.

We stuffed the Distorted Soul Sound Pack with tons of crunchy rock guitars, roaring B3 organ, percolating bass, stellar post-bop saxophone riffs, and loads of live drum fills and loops. Click below to download FREE kits and samples, and take advantage of nearly 40% pre-order savings!

CLICK HERE to Pre-Order your copy NOW!

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Fields Are Burning – Music Inspired By Rodney King & The LA Riots

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F11419098&show_comments=true&auto_play=true&color=ff7300 Jack Johnson (the band) – Fields Are Burning by nomowale

20 years ago today Rodney King was beaten by LA police officers after a high speed chase. The attack was videotaped by a resident in a nearby apartment complex, and later aired around the world. We all witnessed the brutality inflicted by men who were trusted to protect and serve.

Over a year later those police officers were acquitted, and that miscarriage of justice sparked one of the worst race riots in US history. The burning and looting was televised as well. We all watched as black people beat a white truck driver, and entire neighborhoods went up in smoke at the hands of local residents.

2000 miles away in Nashville, Tennessee, my roommate, Steve and I tried to make sense of it all. Steve, who is white, could certainly understand the anger, but couldn’t fathom why these people were so enraged that they would destroy their own community.

In those nights of frank discussion I found it difficult to explain the madness. It was hard for me to articulate to my white middle class friend the frustration and alienation that blacks in America felt at that time.

With this verdict we saw proof that our lives were meaningless in the eyes of the US legal system. Here was evidence that a man had been beaten unjustly, but the perpetrators were found not guilty. A jury of the officer’s peers – not Rodney King’s peers, mind you – said it was okay. This was the America we lived in every day.

Would I be next? There was no way to know.

A few weeks later, I wrote this song. It was recorded in 1995 by my band Jack Johnson for our album Round One. In retrospect, I’m not sure I articulated the anger any better, but I believe the recording, and especially the one-take solo by guitarist Paul Cochrane, captures the frenzy and fury of those long dark days.

Has America improved since then? I think so. But I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I see a squad car behind me. I wonder if that feeling will ever go away…

“Fields Are Burning”
Written by Kurtis McFarland
Performed by Jack Johnson (the band) for the album Round One (PC! Music)
Produced by Kurtis McFarland & Rob Feaster

Paul Cochrane – guitar
Simone White – drums
Ethan Pilzer – bass
Kurtis McFarland – vocals, guitar, programming

Fields Are Burning – Music Inspired By Rodney King & The LA Riots

20 years ago today Rodney King was beaten by LA police officers after a high speed chase. The attack was videotaped by a resident in a nearby apartment complex, and later aired around the world. We all witnessed the brutality inflicted by men who were trusted to protect and serve.

Over a year later those police officers were acquitted, and that miscarriage of justice sparked one of the worst race riots in US history. The burning and looting was televised as well. We all watched as black people beat a white truck driver, and entire neighborhoods went up in smoke at the hands of local residents.

2000 miles away in Nashville, Tennessee, my roommate, Steve and I tried to make sense of it all. Steve, who is white, could certainly understand the anger, but couldn’t fathom why these people were so enraged that they would destroy their own community.

In those nights of frank discussion I found it difficult to explain the madness. It was hard for me to articulate to my white middle class friend the frustration and alienation that blacks in America felt at that time.

With this verdict we saw proof that our lives were meaningless in the eyes of the US legal system. Here was evidence that a man had been beaten unjustly, but the perpetrators were found not guilty. A jury of the officer’s peers – not Rodney King’s peers, mind you – said it was okay. This was the America we lived in every day.

Would I be next? There was no way to know.

A few weeks later, I wrote this song. It was recorded in 1995 by my band Jack Johnson for our album Round One. In retrospect, I’m not sure I articulated the anger any better, but I believe the recording, and especially the one-take solo by guitarist Paul Cochrane, captures the frenzy and fury of those long dark days.

Has America improved since then? I think so. But I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I see a squad car behind me. I wonder if that feeling will ever go away…

“Fields Are Burning”
Written by Kurtis McFarland
Performed by Jack Johnson (the band) for the album Round One (PC! Music)
Produced by Kurtis McFarland & Rob Feaster

Paul Cochrane – guitar
Simone White – drums
Ethan Pilzer – bass
Kurtis McFarland – vocals, guitar, programming

Nadir Featured on Good Life Radio Mon. Dec. 6

UPDATE: I’m not on until the 10pm hour. Sorry for any inconvenience.

TONITE! Nadir is the featured artist on Good Life Radio with K-Lew, Slim and Fal J at 9pm EST on WHPR 88.1FM in Detroit and live online at www.fm881whpr.com (Windows Media Player).

We’ll watch Nadir music videos, listen to music, perhaps check out some documentaries about Nadir and take your calls. Join the conversation at 313-868-0331 or 313-868-8688.

© Nadir Omowale