Singer Nneka: I’m not addicted to applause

Last year you had to cancel your European tour because of the pandemic. How are you looking forward to March, when will you be performing again?

It’s been a while since my last real tour, I haven’t been to Prague for a few years so now I mainly try to be positive and have faith that everything will work out as it should.

I’m dealing with the fact that we didn’t finish last year’s tour easily. I took it because everything has a reason, I took the opportunity to calm down a bit and be quiet.

Even though I enjoyed every moment of recording and producing records and putting love and effort into my work, I wasn’t discouraged because I couldn’t perform. To keep the album from sinking completely, I shot a few clips. I travel in Africa and feel good.

What’s so special about the Love Supreme record for you?

My favorite moments are when I’m sitting in my tiny apartment, painting and composing at the same time. Then I took the songs into the studio, where we worked with the record’s co-producer without any pressure.

This time the songs came very naturally, I didn’t have the compulsive thought in my head that I should release another record. We just created because I need to feel that energy.

Have you ever felt so creatively free in the past?

Sometimes yes, but often different. In the recording studio it’s usually a battle of egos and people fighting over whose idea it was. I feel that the experience of the last few years has changed us all a bit, everyone has reflected on themselves, and that is reflected in the record Love Supreme. I’ve recorded more songs, but I still love going back to last year’s songs. They change when played live.

Yes, but there are also times when I want to finish it. But I’m not at peace with myself. Some of my tours are long, and when you’re not feeling well emotionally, you just focus on making it work and you don’t really enjoy the concert. But today I appreciate even more where life has taken me, or better said, where I myself have led my life. It makes me live more in the moment. When someone doesn’t do this, it shuts down.

I experienced many concerts without any contact with the outside world. Most of the audience didn’t recognize him and thought I put on a good show. But I don’t care. Those were dark times. Luckily they were gone, the day was sunnier.

How important is music in directing your life?

I never considered it a job. It is part of my life experience on Earth. So my happiness doesn’t depend on whether the audience applauds me or whether I sell records. It comes from within me.

Sounds so simple…

It’s also simple. But it took me many years to realize this simple truth. Sometimes the world pulls a person back to indulge in negativity and fall into depression. However, this condition has inspired many artists, myself included. Next, you have to turn again and return to the light. It’s been an intense rollercoaster, but I’ve learned to function more as a bystander in the process. Long term yoga, meditation and self-reflection have brought me to this position.

I realized that if I just relaxed, I wouldn’t panic and feel bad. Before, even in the music business, I sometimes felt like a servant and allowed myself to be taken advantage of. I don’t do that anymore.

It’s clear that music has a deeper meaning to you. But is it just fun sometimes?

Sure, fun for me. I’m not here for fun in the sense of dancing to someone’s whistle. But it’s fun, of course. But the question is this: Are you playing the role, or are you the character you’re playing? I am the character.

Shortly before our interview, you posted a photo of the book What are you doing with your life on Instagram? by Krishnamurti. What are you doing with him now?

The book is interesting to me, it is a current topic for me. But to be honest, I don’t know what I’m doing with my life now. I live. And I feel better than yesterday, when I passed the book and fell into the uncertainty that I did not know.

Camilla Salazar

"Unapologetic social media guru. General reader. Incurable pop culture specialist."

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