Every artist claims his music is too broad to be labeled as one thing or another. (In the words of Ed Lover, “C’mon, son!” Sometimes, a rapper is just a rapper.) But try to put Les Nubians’ French-pop-rhythmic-world-jazz-hip-hop fusion into a box, and you (and your iTunes) might become schizophrenic.
Counting everyone from Michael Jackson to Miriam Makeba as influences, the soul-stirring Faussart sisters first broke out with “Makeba” from their 1999 U.S. debut Princesses Nubienne. That led to a Grammy nomination for “Je Veux D’la Musique” from their 2003 follow-up, One Step Forward, and collaborations with Talib Kweli and Black Eyed Peas. Unfortunately, while the rest of the world was praising their sound, there was some hate brewing back at home.
Such negativity is merely inspiration for the ladies of Les Nubians. Their latest collection is filled with upbeat jams like “Veuillez Veiller sur Vos Reves” (Don’t Let Your Dreams Fall Asleep) and the duo’s personal fave, “Femme Polyandre” (Polyandrous Woman). It’s “a celebration,” said Celia, of life, dreams, change and, most of all, “love as a universal force.”
So don’t write their songs off as just soul music. “The album is called Nu Revolution, because I believe we’re living in new times,” said Helene.
Listen to “Veuillez Veiller Sur Vos Reves” (Don’t Let Your Dreams Fall Asleep) and get more on Les Nubians in the July 2011 issue of Sister 2 Sister.