Nneka's Heavy Soul

Studio 360
The World
It's rare that a musician comes along whose songs are both political and globally appealing. Nneka's music is a mixture of Afrobeat, hip-hop, R&B, and folk. She's just released her second album in the US, Soul is Heavy, and plays acoustic versions of some of the songs in our studio. "My Home" is about "the plight of Africa," she explains, "because of our selfish behavior, the selfishness of our corrupt political leaders, the selfishness of Western countries that come and exploit Africa." But she believes "Nigerians are also beginning to take responsibility for themselves." Nneka feels that the Occupy Nigera movement is a milestone, bringing together ordinary people from different tribes to talk about the country's problems. "People are frustrated by keeping silent. We do not want to live that way anymore. And you can see that agitation in the eyes and the actions of the people." As a teenager, Nneka moved to Germany, her mother's home country, without speaking the language. "I was a foreigner, and I was treated like a foreigner. Despite the fact that I had both passports. Even if on your passport it's written Deutsche, that does not necessarily mean that you are German in Germany." At the same time, she tells Kurt Andersen, "I began to appreciate being Nigerian by stepping away from Nigeria."    Bonus Track: Nneka performs "Do You Love Me" live in Studio 360    Video: Nneka, "My Home"