“The Year of Living Stevie” is host Daryl Bean’s biweekly podcast about life, creativity, and the music of Stevie Wonder. In each episode, musicians explore Stevie’s influence, and the affect his music has had on them.
In this episode, musician/vocalist/songwriter/producer Nadir Omowale and his band (Steve Caldwell, guitar; Phil Whitfield, keyboards; Chris Spooner, bass; Lauren Johnson, drums) talk about political activism through music, their deep well of experience in the industry, and what made Nadir want to throw his bass at a drummer (not Lauren). Plus they perform two deep Stevie tracks, “That Girl”, from Original Musiquarium, and “Let’s Get Serious” (a hit for Jermaine Jackson, but written and produced by Stevie).
Purged, a multi-faceted multimedia exhibit, is all about the art of metamorphosis. Detroit artist Nancy J. Rodwan requested that people she knows give her items they’d been meaning to dispose of but for some reason had stored away in their closets, attics, basements, or garages. Everyone she asked enthusiastically offered her a variety of things ranging from old electronics and clothing to books and kitchen utensils – all of which she completely transformed into art.
Examples of the paintings, sculptures, assemblages, collages, and fiber art Rodwan created from cast-off detritus include: A bold doll-like figure called “The Deity of Funk Stitched Together from Jive Ass Slippers” made from the leather baby shoes donated by musician Nadir Omowale; A majestic horse head-shaped wooden sculpture called “Gizo’s Great Horse” carved from a piece of molding from an old Detroit building given to her by Olyami Dabls, the artist and founder of Dabls African Bead Museum; A sculpture suggesting a robotic hand crafted from pieces of a typewriter salvaged frthe former headquarters of the Detroit Free Press by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and talk show host Stephen Henderson.
“How Cool is That” was inspired by a pair of Wonder Woman dolls donated by Detroit radio legend Ann Delisi. Nancy Rodwan explains:
“I am a big fan of Ann Delisi’s show Essential Music on Detroit’s WDET and listen to it in my studio regularly. The deep thought, research and pure fun she puts into her program inspires me. Ann can often be heard saying – how cool is that? – when something strikes her fancy. It makes me smile every time she says it. I wanted to create something fun with the dolls. I asked Nadir Omowale to write a funky love song titled “How Cool Is That?” and I created a stop-motion film featuring the lovebird dolls.
Voices of Vision is a weekly radio show with radio and voice over personality, Jane Asher. She is motivated and inspired daily by discovering the deepest passion in others. So, what exactly is it that excites, motivates and empowers individuals to explore and achieve their full potential? To find answers, Jane searches through her vast network of connections, and each week she interviews thought provoking influencers, change agents, positive authors, non-profits with a mission of bettering humanity and the humble hero next door who elevates one person at a time. She is curious by nature and a natural bliss broker. Jane loves people and thrives on the opportunity to give a voice to their vision.
In this episode, Jane gets up close and personal with her friend Nadir Omowale. Nadir is an Artist, Musician, Producer, Writer and Creative Strategist. When he’s not working on a creative project he is working with his most inspired life’s calling, being present with his four-year-old twins Maya and Miles. From chasing fire flies in the backyard to feeding their curiosity about life, this creative soul is busy with his beautiful wife, Akanke and their two children living in the now. This show also features Nadir’s latest single Blue Lights. Join Jane and Nadir as they talk about the big picture, play some music and have a few laughs on Voices of Vision.
We’ve had an awesome response to “Blue Lights” so far, and here’s a beautiful example. SoulTracks.com the biggest soul music site on the planet, offered Nadir’s new funk single to their audience as a First Listen. Check it out:
SoulTracks.com says: Working For the Man, J. Nadir Omowale’s 2008 polemical album dropped like a bomb into the political, military and economic upheavals taking place in that year. The urgent and powerful funk of the title track pretty much captured the feelings of every working man and woman at a time when the economy was in free fall, mainly due to the greed and incompetence of the people at the top. The rocking Detroit funk man came back in 2012 with the very good, though less overtly political The Book of Jonah, and in the year 2017, Nadir has returned.
A lot transpired – particularly in the fraught relationship between law enforcement and minority communities – between 2012 and 2017, and Nadir has something to say.
Check out Nadir’s latest single and music video, the topical and timely “Blue LIghts”.
A funky night on the town goes sideways when Nadir gets pulled over by the police. “Blue Lights” describes the tension as our hero wonders what will happen next. “Are you good cop or bad cop? Will you give me a ticket, arrest me, or will I have to throw down?” Continue reading
What an incredible event this was! The breadth and depth of talent in this state is unsurpassed! Those who attended heard an awesome array of Michigan music from Jackie Wilson to the White Stripes, from Stevie Wonder to J Dilla, from Mitch Ryder to Brainstorm, as well as a host of magnificent new compositions. Like the State Fair itself, this was a celebration of the best Michigan has to offer. Continue reading
The multifaceted music of Nadir Omowale is rooted in funk, but it always expands. It takes on the vibes of soul, R&B, rock, dance-pop and mashes it into a diverse blend that’s built on emotion: celebratory sing-alongs, cathartic, guitar-heavy head-bangers and poignant ballads bared with thought-provoking social commentary.