It’s quite ironic that I’m first hearing Nadirah X’s new single “Here it comes” on a cold autumn morning in South Wales where the rain is hammering it down as per usual in this country at this time of year.
“Here is comes” heavily samples the Eurythmics classic, “Here comes the rain” with permission from the creators Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart I hasten to add (she has close working links with both), but this is more than just a reimagining, it’s a brand new song in itself with the lyrics giving everyone a lot to think about. It’s an outstanding start for the young (I don’t know how young, she won’t tell me the year she was born) rap artist from Jamaica and I’m hoping that this single will finally lift her into the limelight.
To be fair, she should be up with the greats already. Her song, “I Hate This” was included on the soundtrack of the film Tomb Raider - Cradle of Life while she co-sung the theme to the re-make of “Alfie” in 2004. And if you want even more credentials, she opened for Pink on her 2006 tour of Europe. It was at this time that I first met her when we were staying at the same hotel. She was watching Rugby League on TV in the bar and I was helping her to understand it! I wonder if she knows that her two countries, USA and Jamaica, faced each other on the Rugby League field last night in Jacksonville with the US winning 36-26.
But I digress – Nadirah (or Nadz to her friends) invited me to watch her when she came to Cardiff on her club tour later that year. I gladly accepted and I think she was pleasantly surprised when I turned up! We chatted and had a drink afterwards and she gave me a copy of her promotional EP CD containing some well written and great sounding tracks like “Bomb Dat” and “Ordinary Girl” (love the remix with hubby Swisha by the way). We’ve kept in touch ever since and I’m reviewing her music here as I feel that it deserves a much larger audience. We have shows like X Factor these days that create a lot of manufactured pop stars and while some of them aren’t that bad, it’s people like Nadz who are working hard to give their music to the world.
On mentioning the X Factor, one could say that there are obvious minor comparisons between Nadz and Cher Lloyd. However Lloyd’s style is more on the side of pop, Nadz’s singing is more in line with of hip-hop, reggae, soul and spoken word. More than your traditional rap artist, she is very much a revolutionary and her songs need listening to carefully for their depth and meaning. While her style is nothing like another of my favourites, Midnight Oil, her ideals and the general meanings of her songs certainly are – both know their ideals and know the causes that they are standing up for… through the medium of music.
If you haven’t sampled her work yet, please do so, and if you like it, go out and buy the single “Here it comes” or the album “Ink” which has this on there as well as the aforementioned “Ordinary Girl” (but no “Bomb Dat” which is a pity – you can tell which is my favourite here!).
A good place to check out some of her work is on YouTube, she’s done a lot over the last few years, including playing a part in official Greenpeace songs alongside other greats like Dave Stewart, Mudbone, Natalie Imbruglia, Annie Lennox and Imogen Heap. But it’s her individual work that really excels for me. “Here comes the rain” is superb but not necessarily her best song in my opinion. However it is music that will greatly appeal to the mainstream hip-hop and general music lovers a bit more and I can see why it was chosen as a first single. Hopefully this will do well enough to justify a second mainstream release, which is normally the one to watch. If taken from the album I’m hoping for “Ordinary Girl”, which is a contradiction in terms – Nadirah X is no ordinary girl, she has the skills and potential to be a music legend. Please support her.