Ndidi Onukwulu in Paris
|Also known as||Ndidi O|
|Born||Burns Lake, British Columbia|
|Genres||Blues, surf music, electric blues, gospel, country|
|Years active||2005 – present|
|Labels||Jericho Beach Music|
|Associated acts||Madagascar Slim|
Ndidi Onukwulu is a Canadian singer originally from Burns Lake, British Columbia. Although her style is often classified as jazz and blues, Onukwulu combines several musical genres in her songs including surf music, electric blues, gospel, and country. She frequently tours promoting her music and makes regular appearances at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
Although Onukwulu never had any interest in music at an early age and she did not consider a career as a singer until her friends heard her sing in her early adult years. She moved to New York City where she sang on the open-mic circuit. During her time in New York, she met several hip-hop and blues musicians who influenced her atypical style. Next Onukwulu moved to Toronto where she first became a member of a rock band. Later, she joined the electronica group Stop Die Resuscitate. Eventually, Onukwulu moved back to a more definitively blues style and began performing at prominent venues including Massey Hall in Toronto. In January 2006 Onukwulu released her first album No, I Never. The album release was followed by a tour that garnered positive buzz in the Canadian blues community.
Following a bad break-up in December 2006, Onukwulu spent 2007 composing new music. In addition to drawing on the experiences of her relationship, she found inspiration by visiting cemeteries and imagining stories for the deceased people whose graves she visited. Onukwulu united the ideas of death and the end of relationships to create the eclectic music featured on her second album The Contradictor. This album introduced the more diverse styles for which she is now known. The album got its name from the contradiction between the upbeat music and its more serious themes, in addition to elements of the singer's own personality. The Contradictor, released on June 17, 2008, was produced by Steve Dawson under the Indie record label Jericho Beach Music.
On The Contradictor, Onukwulu's vocals are accompanied by the instrumental contributions of Paul Pigat and Steve Dawson who provide electric blues riffs. Chicago electric blues is a gritty urban style of blues with links to African American folk traditions that contribute to a rougher sound on the album. Jesse Zubot plays strings, and Bill Runge and JP Carter play brass. In her performances on tour, she often collaborates with the Canadian folk and blues guitarist Madagascar Slim.
|Album||Release Date||Song Title|
|No I Never||January 2, 2006||"Horn Blower"|
|"May Be the Last Time, I Don't Know"|
|"Seen You Before"|
|"Long Way Home"|
|Saturday Night Blues: 20 Years||November 28, 2006||"Come on Home"|
|The Contradictor||June 17, 2008||"SK Final"|
|"The Lady and E"|
|"Her House is Empty KH"|
|"Cry All Day"|
|"He Needs Me"|
|Escape||May 2011||"The Whisper" (single)|
|"On The Metro"|
|"Around The Corner"|
|"Kissing on a Bridge"|
|"Crossing The Line"|
|"Waiting for a Sign"|
|"It Isn't You"|
|"Heart of Steel"|
|"Under The Sky"|
|Dark Swing||February 2014||"How Long"|
|"Engine Gone Cold"|
|"Love And Laughter"|
|"Don't Come Around Here"|
|"Last of the Pure"|
|"Why Can't You Be Mine"|
|"Yer So Bad"|
- Ken Eisner, "Melodrama seems to suit wide-ranging Ndidi Onukwulu", Georgia Strait
- Rachel Sanders, " Ndidi Onukwulu: The Contradictor", Exclaim.ca
- Mike Mineo, "Ndidi Onukwulu", 5/20/08, Obscure Sound
- Kathleen Bell, "Ndidi in a Blue Dress," See Magazine, September 18–24, 2008, Music Section, Edmonton edition.
- Massey Hall
- Larry Starr and Christopher Waterman, American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MP3 (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 175.
- Paris Jazz Corner