new music: nneka’s ‘my fairy tales’ brings her nigerian roots to the global stage #soundcheck

March 24, 2015

Steeped in reggae, soul, and of course, afrobeat, Nigerian soul superstar Nneka’s 5th studio album ‘My Fairy Tales’ is a mix of the deeply personal and wide perspective social criticism she’s made her name on. From tracks like the infectious single ‘My Love, My Love’ to the damning critique of tribalism of ‘Pray For You’, ‘My Fairy Tales’ accomplishes the rare feat of working equally well as a dance record and a protest record.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor


Nneka has a rare gift for framing her personal struggles and triumphs as part of larger struggles. The name ‘My Fairy Tales’ speaks to her use of her music as modern day fairy tales: short stories of extreme circumstances (both good and bad) that speak to the universal. Many of her songs concern Nigeria; from ‘Local Champion’ and opener ‘Believe System’, which celebrate her hometown Warri and champion connecting to your roots, to the Fela-esque ‘Babylon’ and ‘Pray For You’ which address larger regional concerns. “Pray For You” calls out Boko Haram, whose recent reign of terror has kept Nigeria in the news in the West, but which Nneka is quick to point out in her recent illuminating CNN interview, is far from a new phenomenon.


The closing tracks ‘Book of Job’ and ‘In Me’ weave together sounds from across the African Diaspora, from reggae to dub to afrobeat to soul to deep house. While her music may be firmly rooted in her native Nigeria, Nneka has her eyes set on the global picture. ‘My Fairy Tales’ is out now.