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N'dambi's debut Stax Records release, "Pink Elephant" in record stores and on internet NOW.
N'dambi (meaning most beautiful) is a singer/songwriter/musician from Dallas, Texas. She has who has three independent albums; Little Lost Girls Blues, Tunin' Up & Cosignin and the Japanese album A Weird Kinda Wonderful. N'dambi has performed throughout the USA and Europe as well as in Japan and East Africa. Her press features include top publications including Vogue, Elle, Vibe, Essence, Harper's Bazaar, etc. Look for N'dambi's upcoming debut Stax Records release, Pink Elephant in 2009.
Soul music has produced some serious truth tellers in its most glorious past. Finding the conviction to pursue our fondest dreams and the courage to face-up to our darkest truth is perhaps the artist’s greatest challenge. Pink Elephant, the long-awaited Stax Records debut from stirring soul singer N’dambi, explores the art of revelation. “I want to write about the elephant in the room,” she explains of her third U.S. release. “They see her but refuse to acknowledge or talk about her, let alone confront her. That’s why I’m here.”
Pink Elephant was recorded in Santa Monica, California, with producer Leon Sylvers III, whose credits include work for Shalamar, Blackstreet, Gladys Knight, The Whispers, Lakeside and many more. N’dambi insisted the record have a modern sheen yet adhere to the sturdy influence of classic R&B and soul artists like Slave, Heatwave, Michael Jackson, Betty Davis, Isaac Hayes, Smokey Robinson, and The Sylvers. That led her to The Sylvers’ famous producer, big brother, Leon. Working in the studio with the veteran producer forced her to dig deeper than she had before, pushing her voice into a higher register on some tracks while layering her molasses-drenched vocals into cushy multi-part harmonies on others.
N’dambi’s purposeful songwriting offers the listener detailed lyrical snapshots largely created from observations, rather than her own life. “Sometimes I write from my experience, but mostly I use my imagination to express myself through story telling,” she explains. “I think of the place, the time, the setting of a story, and invent a situation that shines a light on a particular issue or theme. They are rarely from my own life. More often, they’re someone else’s story.”
The striking singer’s storytelling skills are at peak form on Pink Elephant with tunes like the Rod Temperton, ‘80’s hip-hop flavored “Nobody Jones,” the story of a girl with big dreams who won’t let her humble beginnings stop her, and the delicious “L.I.E.,” a tale of a man living a double life along New York’s Long Island Expressway. Delusions of love spring up in the old school, love-gone-wrong melodic funk of “Daisy Chain”; “Ooo Baby,” is the smooth-grooving tale of reconnection with a former lover; while the blues-inflected “Imitator,” finds a young woman suffering over the collapse of her lover’s promises. “You’re not the man I used to know, you’re an imitator,” she sings on this mid-tempo urban gem. The hope of true love cries out in “The One,” a disarming jazz-tinged ballad kissed with a touch of classic Stax.
The album’s lead single “Can’t Hardly Wait,” is a biting chunk of scorching sarcasm delivered in the commanding singer’s rich tone. Her opening complaint, “I don’t know why I keep f***in’ wit you,” perfectly expresses the inability to turn a listless love loose. “It’s about being in a relationship that has gone awry,” N’dambi explains. “She knows good and well way before now that it’s no good, but she can’t get over the hump enough to get out of it.”
“Mind Blowin’,” a love song to the art and craft of music itself, features elements inspired by Isaac Hayes’ 1974 classic blaxspoitation film Truck Turner, primarily channeling the supreme swagger those films represent. She sings and performs her own drum beats on the irresistible “The World Is A Beat,” a percussive and pointed lament about the current state of the music business.
The daughter of strict Baptist ministers in Dallas, Texas - only two kinds of music were allowed in N’dambi’s house – gospel and country. Church was the center of the family’s life in every way and there was no middle ground. Secular music was forbidden, but its irresistible allure eventually trickled into her life and began impacting the maturing young singer. Blessed with a deep contralto, N’dambi became especially enamored with the male singers from the ‘70s and ‘80s she’d heard and identified with while hanging out with cousins and friends. The funky soul of Bar-Kays’ Larry Dodson, the sophisticated syncopation of Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White and the notorious abandon of the Ohio Players’ Sugafoot influenced her heavily. Later, the mysterious, uninhibited imagination of Nina Simone and Mahalia Jackson also became musical and cultural touchstones.
Her independent streak led to college and a degree in English and creative writing from Southern Methodist University. Her developing, expressive voice, the poetic irony of her skillful writing ability and her musicianship as a classically trained pianist spurred N’dambi’s musical ambition. N’dambi sang back-up and collaborated with another rising soul seeker, Erykah Badu all the while honing her artistry and slowly building a fiercely loyal fan base that resonates with the organic, authentic approach to her life and music.
N’dambi delivered her debut solo CD Little Lost Girl Blues in 1999. Since then she has released the two-disc set Tunin' Up & Cosignin', and the 2005 set A Weird Kind Of Wonderful, which was released only in Japan. On Pink Elephant, N’dambi ingeniously distills soul-deep inspiration into a sensual style of elegance and power, making her a fundamental new addition to the Stax legacy.
Learn more about N'Dambi at www.ndambionline.com or www.myspace.com/ndambi
Aug 17 2009 9:00P
Busboys & Poets (In the Artist’s Studio)
WASHINGTON, Washington DC
Aug 31 2009 8:00P
Sep 4 2009 7:00P
Majic 1075/975 Outdoor Concert Series in Suwanee
Oct 30 2009 8:00P
Muse Café Theater- Black Academy of Arts and Letters
Oct 31 2009 8:00P
Muse Café Theater- Black Academy of Arts and Letters (2nd show)
LIST OF HOT NEW RECORDS ON THE NEW CD
1. L.I.E. 4:43
2. What It Takes 3:30
3. Nobody Jones 4:18
4. Ooo Baby 5:10
5. Mind Blowin' 3:34
6. The One 4:48
7. Take It Out 4:10
8. Daisy Chain 3:52
9. Can't Hardly Wait 4:26
10. The World Is A Beat 4:08
11. Imitator 4:56
12. Free Fallin' 3:20
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Christopher Bonner began his singing career at the tender age of ten at the “Artistic Studio School for Performing Arts”, with the assistance of his mother (Gwendolyn Bonner). While at this facility he trained in the following areas, vocal performance, Hip-Hop dance, and Acting. He has performed several places and has done several “None Profitable Events” that involved raising money for various organizations such as Race for the Cure and S.C.A.N. (Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutritionist of America). Currently a member of the Black Reparatory Company, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, also known as “The Little Theater” in December 2006 he deputed in the nationally acclaimed musical entitled “The Black Nativity”- by Langston Hughes, under the direction of Mabel Robinson- (Black Reps Artistic Director- resume includes assistant choreographer for 1978 movie The Wiz) which was truly a success, Mr. Bonner also debuted in Broadways longest running musical nationally and internationally acclaimed “Smokie Joe’s Café-2007” as Michael, under the direction of Mitchell Sommers- Theatrical Director of CTG (Community Theater of Greensboro). Mr. Bonner dazzled the audience with three –months, ninety shows of his smooth dance steps and melodious, soulful voice. While working hard at his academic endeavors at “Winston-Salem State University” as a fourth year Music Business Management and Merchandising major with a concentration in Vocal Performance, Bonner plans to soon become a professional vocalist, song writer, and composer. Mr. Bonner is currently interning for Hidden Beach Records, a label that host artist such as Jill Scott and BeBe Winans. At Hidden Beach, Mr. Bonner works in the Artist & Repertoire department with event planning, strategic marketing and much more. Mr. Bonner has already made an impact in the Triad area and abroad with his Debut CD entitled “I’m Ready” not to mention his recent return from Carnegie Hall as he and other members of the WSSU choir performed John Rutter’s- Requiem. He’s currently writing his own lyrics and music to fabulous tunes such as “I Wanna Be”, “Everything”, and many more. He has appeared in the “Winston-Salem Journal” and “The Chronicle” on numerous occasions for his soulful singing. His main goal is to continue to allow God to mold, shape and brake him so that he may remain focused with his career endeavors.
Most recent performances:
Black Nativity-2008, North Carolina Black Reparatory Company, Mabel Robinson- Director
Carnegie Hall-2008 DWalla Simmons Burke-Choral and Vocal Director
Winston-Salem Symphony- Gospel Extravaganza- 2008 DWalla Simmons Burke-Choral and Vocal Director
Smokie Joes Café-2007, CTG (Community Theater of Greensboro)- Mithchell Sommers-Director
Dont Bother Me I cant Cope 2008- North Carolina Black Reparatory Company, Mabel Robinson- Director
269 Glen Eagle Dr.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27107
Phone Contact: 336.608.2081
North Carolina Black Reparatory Company Winston Salem State University Wake Forest University Barn Dinner Theater Winston-Salem Arts Council
WINSTON SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY-MUSIC BUSINESS-CONCENTATION IN VOCAL PERFORMANCE