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The Book of Jonah

The Music of Nadir Omowale

Nadir Omowale doesn’t have time to stand still.  There is far too much life to be lived.

The fifteen-time Detroit Music Award winner and former MTV News correspondent is driven by an impassioned activism. All of his hats – performer, producer, creative strategist – are worn by a man who explores as he produces, teaches as he advises, and creates art that honors the fact that life is filled with extremes and in-betweens. The result is infectious, a creative electricity that is essential to who Nadir is.

Nadir will tell you that life is too important, not to be an activist. His impressions about life are the essence of his work. His lyrics can tug at heartstrings, tickle funny bones, or evoke an honest look at the world around us, and (possibly more importantly) the world within us.

His music is influenced by funk, but don’t call Nadir a funk revivalist. His understanding of rock, R&B, hip hop, and jazz takes funk to a most Nadir-centric next step; a Southern born, and Detroit raised sound that doesn’t fit in traditional boxes. His music reaches across genres and political aisles – sometimes with a gentle, outstretched hand, and occasionally with a clenched fist  – always challenging listeners with a funk inspired, Motor City sound that is as relevant today, as Holland-Dozier-Holland were in the sixties.

Jane Asher of Radio Sophie 103.7FM in San Diego writes of Nadir:

“If Motown had never moved to L.A.,
this is what it would sound like today.”

His live show is dynamic. Nadir works a stage comfortably, engaging with audiences, guiding them on an energetic, emotional experience. There will be time for laughter, and love, amid irresistible outbursts of dance, and the occasional plea to understand the challenges that we still face in our attempts to insure freedom for all.

When Nadir Omowale performs, you get more than music. You get all of the man, his humor, his passion, and the depth of a personality that embraces his responsibility to make this a better world, because of his love of life.

“To label Nadir as a neo-soul artist would be neglecting his rock roots; to call him a rock artist would be overlooking his hip-hop and jazz influences. Fully encompassing all the talents that Nadir possesses would be comparable to expanding the mathematical term Pi to its last digit.” 
The Michigan Chronicle, Detroit, Michigan

It makes you DANCE, it ROCKS your world,
It makes you THINK about the world and it makes you SMILE.”
Bob Davis,

 “As usual your performances NEVER disappoint.
Sometimes I felt like I was seeing Sly and the Family Stone again.
Great show!”
Terri Koggenhopp – Executive Director, Detroit Music Awards and
Director of Artist Relations, Detroit International Jazz Festival

WDET-FM Detroit: The Book of Jonah is Rob Reinhart’s Essential Music CD Pick of the Week

No one knows more about popular music and the magic of radio than Rob Reinhart. “Good radio is now one of the only media that isn’t designed to simply reflect the taste of the user. It’s still a community that brings together lots of different people.”

Rob Reinhart - WDET DetroitRob’s version of Essential Music on WDET FM in Detroit is a three-hour creative mix of old and new, rock and soul, folk and a bit of jazz, thematic elements, humor, exclusive/rare material, from local and national artists alike.

It’s quite a feat which Rob pulls off seamlessly.

On Saturday, September 29, Rob selected Nadir’s new album The Book of Jonah as his Essential Music CD Pick of the Week.

Big thanks to Rob and WDET for their unwavering support of the Detroit music scene!


Saving Commercial Radio From Itself


If you’re looking for a surefire way to bolster your sagging ratings and stave off the full frontal assault on your medium by the Pandoras and Spotifys of the world, ADD MY NEW RECORD TO YOUR PLAYLISTS NOW!

No, I’m not arrogant enough to believe that my album alone could save us from commercial radio’s otherwise eminent demise. But it seems clear that a potent injection of fresh sounds would help lure back listeners who have turned to programming their own iPods or wandered down the dial to community radio in an effort to escape the monotonous repetition of mainstream terrestrial radio.

Two decades of mercurial technological advances are inspiring more great artists to create incredible music in their homes, on their laptops and (gasp!) on their cellphones. Still commercial radio playlists get shorter and shorter. Why?

Consider the tweet below as shared on Facebook by Steve Heath of Alma Artist Booking and Management:

And after the recent decision by US and EU regulators, we’re down to three major record labels. That means a shrinking number of corporate executives will exercise greater control over the music we’re force-fed by mainstream media outlets. As our information and entertainment pie grows, a few mega-companies are slicing up ever larger slices with the intent of stuffing consumer faces with more junk food media.

That’s bad news for those of us who turn on the news because we want to know what’s happening in the world, and who turn on the radio when we want to hear music that satisfies our souls.

Continue reading

Funk Gumbo Radio Video of the Day: Nadir – “95 Miles Down The Road” feat. Mayaeni

FUNK GUMBO RADIO is your ticket to great funk/rock music, playing all your favorites of today and yesterday: Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Betty Davis, TVOTR, Lenny Kravitz, Janelle Monae, and many others. Good luck finding this great collection of artists on PANDORA or anywhere else. It happens 24/7 only on FUNK GUMBO RADIO and the Live365 Network.

The good folks at Funk Gumbo named Nadir & Mayaeni’s95 Miles Down The Road” as their Video of the Day on Sept. 21, 2012.

By the way, have you picked up your copy of “95 Miles Down the Road” on vinyl? Get Yours NOW!

Nadir - 95 Miles Down The Road (feat. Mayaeni) 7-inch single cover

Songs From Studio East: With Detroit-based musician Nadir

Nadir_on Michigan Radio Credit Logan Chadde / Michigan RadioBy and Jennifer White
Originally Published at

The Book of Jonah is the new album from Nadir Omowale.  It’s a blend of soul music, rock, funk and blues. While there are songs about love and relationships, themes of social and political consciousness carry through the album.

“I never felt like I had to fashion myself into one particular style. I grew up on Prince and The Time and Cameo and all that good stuff, and so funk is all deep within my soul. And I grew up in a small town in east Tennessee, so there were country music influences, there was a lot of Van Halen and rock and roll and so I love all of that music,” Nadir told Michigan Radio’s Jennifer White.

CLICK HERE to LISTEN to the full interview, and to hear more about Nadir’s newest album The Book of Jonah, including the song he wrote with guitarist and singer Mayaeni, titled 95 Miles Down the Road.

And click on the video below to see Nadir performing in our studio:

Exclusive Interview: Nadir Featured on

TheDetroiter.comSince its founding in 2002, has covered thousands of happenings and artists, and continues to be one of Detroit’s favorite sources for art and culture.

In this exclusive interview by Chariti Joi Ntuk, Nadir talks about his forthcoming album The Book of Jonah, about why Detroit is the world’s number one music city, and about why organizing artists is like herding cats.

Nadir Omowale: Diary of a Distorted Soul

Somewhere in Detroit sits an anonymous building on a nondescript block. Throughout any given day, a steady stream of conspicuously awesome people carrying guitars, keyboards, etc. flow in and out of this seemingly forgettable building on a seemingly forgotten block of a city whose demise some people seem to think is a foregone conclusion.

If music is indeed the soundtrack to life, then Detroit and more specifically, this building, is very much alive thanks to its long list of strong-winded musicians who blow life into it daily. One of the musicians you can find in this building, and who is most responsible for the city’s current musical pulse is none other than 11-time Detroit Music Award winner, Nadir Omowale.

Read the full article HERE

© Nadir Omowale