So I’m on tour (see dates) with the amazingly sweet and chill, Les Nubians. Hélène and Célia are veterans of the game and have been touring, putting out albums for over 15 years. I really respect and love their story, and the fact is, they are still here, touring, bringing sheer joy to the audiences they charm every night. Oh, and they are doing it independently, how beautiful is that? They just put out their latest album, Nü Revolution. Read a review of the album. Then get a free download of the song they did for Blitz the Ambassador’s new album, ‘Native Sun’ — the song is called ‘Dear Africa’.
More about the group:
The women of Les Nubians were shaped by many influences. Les Nubians has its genesis in a small town in the South West region of France where the Paris-born sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart lived as teenagers after returning from several years’ residence with their parents in the African country of Chad. With a French father and a Cameroonian mother, Hélène and Célia experienced cultural dissonance in the rural Bordeaux region. After their father’s death, Célia joined her sister in Bordeaux and they helped found a cultural collective, Les Nouveaux Griots, a “griot” being a traditional African storyteller and historian, all with the goal of increasing awareness of African and Urban cultures. A chance meeting with jazz legend Abbey Lincoln, who encouraged the sisters to sing, led to the formation of Les Nubians. In the beginning they sang acapella due to their difficulty finding musicians who would back them. Their unique sound led to a recording deal with Virgin Records and in 1998 their debut album, Princesses Nubiennes was released in Europe, where initially it enjoyed only modest sales. But the albums innovative mix of hip hop, neo soul and African music found an audience in America and “Makeda” the first single from Princesses Nubiennes became an urban radio hit. The video for “Makeda” garnered heavy rotation on BET and VH-1 Soul while a DJ Spinna re-mix generated strong club play. Characterized by a marriage between Sade and Erykah Badu, “Makeda” was the right sound at the right time. Massive media attention, successful tours and a Grammy nomination followed as well as nominations for two NAACP Image Awards and two Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards; one of which Les Nubians took home as 1999’s winner for Best New Artist Group or Duo.
Check out the amazing new video for their single, ‘Afro Dance’ – so visually rich!