Published on June 5th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe


Nola Adé: Afrosoul Sensation


Now let’s hop right into this single, “Heaven” — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?

“Heaven” is a song I wrote that’s loosely based on a recurring dream that I’ve had throughout life. In the dream, I’m flying everywhere and there are always different locations I’m headed to, but my mode of transportation is always with my arms up flying around the world (haha). And it feels so real, but obviously people can’t really fly on their own, right? So, I wanted to write a song that detailed my in-air experience, exploring the impossible possibility of it all. And overall it really developed into a song about faith, and having faith for the impossible.

Of course “Heaven” comes courtesy of your recently released new EP, Royal — Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?

All the songs on Royal deal with identity in some way, and I wrote these songs mostly when I was reflecting on my identity as a person and an artist. It means a lot to me because I wrote many of the songs at a point where I could finally say that I really believed in myself, or I was really close to getting to that point, and my frame of mind was that I actually could do everything that I wanted to.

Royal is a Meeting Everyone Through Art project — What are your future plans and / or goals for the label? And who all else, besides yourself of course, currently makes up its artist roster?

At this point, it’s just little ol’ me as the only artist. My siblings and I started the company to act as our all-in-one entertainment hub and as we grow, it would be dope to use it as a resource to prepare and push out similar independent artists.

As a songwriter, when you sit down to pen your lyrics where do you draw your inspiration from?

I definitely draw my inspiration from my own experiences – past, present, and experiences I hope to have in the future – and experiences and stories of people around me. Don’t tell me a juicy story unless it’s cool for me to re-tell it in my next song.

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Nola Adé?

It all started when I joined my elementary school choir in 2nd grade. I was in this choir for 7 years until the 8th grade and I fell in love with music from my experience with this choir. When I started getting solos in the choir is when I realized that I could actually sing and where my confidence in performing started developing.

Now where exactly do you hail from? And growing up there, who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I listened to a lot of radio and was always drawn to soulful vocals like India.Arie, Chrisette Michele, Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, Sade, and when I got older, finding Asa was such a treat for me. I was also very influenced by Nigerian music that me and my siblings would always hear at family functions, church, and just being played by my parents at any point. I always noticed and loved how the singers of the Naija music that I would always hear just had so much soul in their voices.

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

I call my sound Afrosoul. I have a soulful voice that I like to merge with Afrobeats / Afropop sounds. I really have always gravitated to loving different forms of percussion in my music, and Jazz-like melodies.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

I really want people to feel refreshed, energized, and even inspired by my music. What blesses me so much is when people come to me and tell me how much joy they feel when listening to my music. Even when I see people create content to my music on social media, they’re creating such beautiful visuals, and it really makes me feel like I’m on the right track. It feels good to know that what I feel while creating the music is translating to others when they hear it.

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would absolutely love to collaborate with Asa. Asa has inspired me so much through her music and through who she is. She is the first artist that I really identified with who showed me that I can be me and just do all the music I want to do. She made it okay to have a soulful sound and add Yoruba lyrics to it and do happy Pop music and she just always put out music for the soul that I had on repeat.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

It would be dope to play Soldier Field in my hometown one day – just for the sentimental value of performing at the biggest venue in my hometown.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B?

I feel like R&B continues to grow and evolve into a hybrid of different sounds and genres merged together. It’s beautiful! It gives artists the opportunity to express ourselves in a way where we don’t have to feel like we are boxed in. We can just create what feels good.

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

Because so much in music is always changing, I think the key to my longevity is the fact that I am so open to change without sacrificing my own values, and I just really want to make music for the people.

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

I would love to break into acting one day.

To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

The day I released my first EP, because I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not done that. It was the day I put my footprint on the world, and there was so much growth and so many opportunities that came to me from that moment.

What’s an average day like for you?

I get up, pray, brush my teeth, workout, eat breakfast, then I start working in the late morning / afternoon usually – whether that be sending emails, or posting on social, or getting a rehearsal together, or anything that I would need to do sitting at a computer. Then later in the evening, I’m usually at my rehearsal, or someone else’s rehearsal, or actually creating content for social, or chilling if I don’t have anything pressing to do (which is usually not the case). Then I go to sleep and do it all over again. But honestly, this has been one of the hardest questions to answer because my days fluctuate so much – I try to create a routine, but I can’t always follow it exactly.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I always love hearing from fans on social media. Instagram mostly, because I see push notifications on my phone and those are easiest for me to get to. But I try to respond to everything I can. At this stage in my career, it feels good to see the encouragement and to see that fans are really resonating with my music. It motivates me to keep going. Eventually, I plan to get on live more and connect with fans that way.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

I love performing! I give as much energy as I can on stage, and I love hearing and feeling the energy that the crowd feeds back to me. My least favorite part right now is having the responsibility to do everything ourselves music business wise. Being an independent artist also means that we have to work the industry with minimal resources as compared to many artists aligned with a label, and we do everything ourselves – from branding / marketing to touring, etcetera. As we grow, we can hire more people to work different departments and help things run smoother – but right now, our team is small and we have to get a lot done, with little time, under really tight circumstances – so things can get stressful.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Quality and consistency are key. And stick to doing what is true to who you are, but don’t be afraid to continue to evolve into something better. Growth is a part of life.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you all see yourself?

Still working this music. And definitely with a larger team.

As for the immediate, what’s next for Nola Adé?

Right now, I’m preparing to do a show on July 6th for NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest On The Road Tour. I’ll be opening for the contest winner in Chicago. I’m really looking forward to that!

Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?

I think you’ve been super thorough – nothing to add!

Any “parting” words for our readers?

Your support is invaluable. I’m grateful for you. Thank you for reading!


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