BIO

LES NUBIANS’ AFROPEAN REVOLUTION: THE SOUND OF A MULTICULTURAL NEW WORLD

NÜ REVOLUTION CD FEATURES SPECIAL GUESTS MANU DIBANGO, ERIC ROBERSON, BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR, FRESHLY GROUND, JOHN BANZAÏ

Nü Revolution: Nü for New Universe, this new world as World Citizens that we are. In Revolution, in  motion. In the word Revolution, there is Rêve which in French means Dreams. The Evolution of the Dream, of our Dream for a better world, a better Self. In Evolution, there’s the evolution through Eve, the woman. We were princesses becoming Queens with Grace, Strength, Responsibilities, Unconditional Love and Care for our Community: The World, The Universe. Full Circle” –Les Nubians

In a world where teenagers in West Africa and Eastern Europe can share videos and mp3s on youtube, a Sri Lankan urbanite is transformed by hip-hop and an American deejay re-mixes sounds out of a Brazilian favela, it is undeniable that the completely interconnected global village has arrived. As a result, a new wave of artists from around the world, conversant with and connected to ancient traditions as well as the latest technology, has emerged. Artists such as M.I.A., Zap Mama, Manu Chao, Michael Franti, Nneka, Gogol Bordello, Rachid Taha and many others mix and match musical elements and cultural experiences, often with hip-hop the lingua franca. Very often the mix is rooted in the multiple strands of the African diaspora. One of the leaders of this trend has been Les Nubians, who managed the difficult trick of scoring an urban radio hit with French language neo-soul–the first time that had ever been done. Suddenly Les Nubians, consisting of two bi-cultural sisters from France, Hélène and Célia Faussart–were being hailed as one of the most appealing and innovative artists on the urban music scene world-wide. There followed a near gold-selling album, collaborations with the likes of Talib Kweli and the Red, Hot and Riot collective, and Grammy nominations. Then suddenly they seemed to disappear but all along they were busy refining their craft. Now Les Nubians return with Nü Revolution, their highly-anticipated third album to be released on April 19, 2011 by Shanachie Entertainment. It fully delivers on the promise of their breakthrough efforts with a relentlessly enchanting and energized mix of R & B, hip-hop, African music and other world elements.

“The main difference between this album and the others,” muses Hélène Faussart, “is that Nü Revolution is more uptempo. This album is a celebration of life! We wanted to bring and spread this energy, this joy in a time of uncertainty.” Indeed Nü Revolution may be the most impressive representation of Les Nubians’ “Afropean Soul” to date. Featuring special guests ranging from African music legend Manu Dibango, whose “Soul Makossa” crossover classic gets a politically charged make-over to indie soul icon Eric Roberson, with South African pop stars Freshly Ground, Ghanian-American MC Blitz The Ambassador and Polish MC John Banzaï along for the ride. Somehow, Les Nubians manage to make the blend of so many diverse elements seem logical and organic; it flows quite naturally from their multicultural lives.

The infectiously funky dance track “Afrodance” expresses this reality by celebrating hairstyles as an expression of personal style and cultural identity. “Your hair is a statement of who you are and how you live with your true nature,” Célia Faussart notes. “That’s why since the first album we insisted on bringing back natural Black hair by using traditional braids and hair-dos and dreadlocks because we need to embrace ourselves to the fullest. Our mother always said “natural is beautiful” but it’s not easy to cope with everyday! And, yes, it is a political statement saying who we are and that we will not compromise. This message has been used by the same way during the 70’s as a symbol of  liberation, destruction of the old establishment and affirmation of identity.”

Nü Revolution embodies, both through music and lyrics, a true sense of ‘World Citizenship.’ “Liberte,” for instance, is inspired by the general shift signaled by Barack Obama’s election as President, and is dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King. Les Nubians do not neglect love or romance.

“Déjà vu,” with guest vocal by Eric Roberson tells of a man and woman meeting in a club while “Fraicheur Souhaitée (Freshness Desired)” presents romantic longing through a personals ad.  Nü Revolution also delivers provocative messages, as on “Femme Polyandre (Polyandrous Woman).” “Polyandrous woman” is the female version of a polygamous man,” Les Nubians explain. “This idea came from a conversation between women friends where we were wondering if there was a word for it. Why some man could ‘marry’ several women and not the inverse? We also appreciate the different qualities in a variety of people! Women are naturally very complex. If you listen to the voices in their mind, you would be amazed! There is a joke saying that a woman needs three men: one for the money, one for romance and one for sex. The ideal situation would be to have all those three men in one!”

The women of Les Nubians were shaped by many influences. Les Nubians has its genesis in a small town in the South West region of France where the Paris-born sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart lived as teenagers after returning from several years’ residence with their parents in the African country of Chad. With a French father and a Cameroonian mother, Hélène and Célia experienced cultural dissonance in the rural Bordeaux region. After their father’s death, Célia joined her sister in Bordeaux and they helped found a cultural collective, Les Nouveaux Griots, a “griot” being a traditional African storyteller and historian, all with the goal of increasing awareness of African and Urban cultures. A chance meeting with jazz legend Abbey Lincoln, who encouraged the sisters to sing, led to the formation of Les Nubians. In the beginning they sang acapella due to their difficulty finding musicians who would back them. Their unique sound led to a recording deal with Virgin Records and in 1998 their debut album, Princesses Nubiennes was released in Europe, where initially it enjoyed only modest sales. But the albums innovative mix of hip hop, neo soul and African music found an audience in America and “Makeda” the first single from Princesses Nubiennes became an urban radio hit. The video for “Makeda” garnered heavy rotation on BET and VH-1 Soul while a DJ Spinna re-mix generated strong club play. Characterized by a marriage between Sade and Erykah Badu, “Makeda” was the right sound at the right time. Massive media attention, successful tours and a Grammy nomination followed as well as nominations for two NAACP Image Awards and two Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards; one of which Les Nubians took home as 1999’s winner for Best New Artist Group or Duo.

In 2003, Les Nubians released their second album One Step Forward a conscious evolution of their style. They sang more in English on this album, largely as a result of their American experiences, which made them far more fluent in English.”  Restlessly creative, the sisters graced 2005 not with a new Les Nubians album but with a spoken word project that brought together talented spoken word artists under Les Nubians’ umbrella. By now Les Nubians was in demand around the world as a performing act, which they felt fostered both personal and artistic growth–the fruit of which is revealed on Nü Revolution. Their pan-African vision remains as vibrant and clear as ever, as expressed on “Africa For The Future” from the new album.

“Africa is our past, present and future,” Les Nubians asserts. This song is about accepting and rejoicing through our body and mind that Africa is vibrant and 10,000,000 times ALIVE! Africa FOR the future also to say that we have to prepare the future of the continent. It’s in the NOW that we create the future. ACTION time is NOW!!!”

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Discography

1997
JAZZ A ST GERMAIN – Virgin
“Autour de minuit”

1998
Album PRINCESSES NUBIENNES -Virgin
~ GOLD ALBUM ~

1999
DA OMEN – Underground classic – Nouvelle Donne
Feat. Les Nubians “La routine”

TOWA TEI – Last Century Modern
Feat. Les Nubians “Funkin’ for Jamaica”

PRODIGE NAMOR – L’heure de verite – Crepuscule
Feat Les Nubians ‘D’ou viens-tu ?’,
Backing vocals ‘Retour vers le futur’, ‘Ou sont les enfants ?’

IMPACT – Sad Hill – Delabel
Les Nubians & Yak “Escrocs et associes”

BRiSE DE CONSCIENCE
K-Mel & C.Lia “Vies faciles”

2000
DJ HASEBE – Hey World
Feat. Les Nubians “Le son du combattant”

DEF BOND – Maxi – Sad Hill / Delabel
Feat. Les Nubians “Comme les mots”

BLACK EYED PEAS – Bridging the gap
Feat. Mos’ Def & Les Nubians “On my Own”
Interscope/Universal

REFLECTION ETERNAL – Talib Kweli & DJ Hi Tek -Train of thought – RAWKUS
Feat Les Nubians “Love Language”

LOVE and BASKETBALL Soundtrack
Black Eyed Peas Feat Les Nubians “Complete Beloved”

2001
JAZZMATAAZ : SoulStreet – GURU – Virgin
Feat. Les Nubians “Who’s there?”
+ Backing Vocal ‘Supalove’ by Kelis

RED HOT & INDIGO – The Duke Ellington Project – Red Hot/ Okayplayer
Les Nubians “Come Sunday”

JIMMY SUMMERS – 360 Urban Groove – Gemini Records/ Higher Octave
Jazz .Feat. Les Nubians : “Menage a trois”

JUNGLE JAZZ – Franck Fitzpatrick for Hidden Faces
Les Nubians Feat. John Banzai : ‘What U Get’

2002
1st MUSICAL EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION from LES NUBIANS :
ECHOS – Chapter. One: Nubian Voyager
Nubiatik Prod : winter 2005

KERY JAMES – Alariana/Warner – feat. Les Nubians : “Desequilibre”

RED HOT + RIOT : The Music & Spirit of Fela Kuti – MCA
“Shakara / Lady” with Checkh Lo, Manu Dibango & Chateau Flight.

2003
Album: ONE STEP FORWARD – Virgin France – Higher Octave /Omtown
Les Nubians 2nd Album

2004
Les Nubians featuring Beres Hammond – Going All the way – UNITY The Official ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games Album

2005
Les Nubians & Henri Salvador : Recording ‘A tous les orphelins’ ( que le mot soit perle ). Compilation UNISIDA – Nocturne

Les Nubians & Danny Dan ( Sages Poetes de la Rue): Recording “Babylone”. Album Danny Dan

Les Nubians & Straika : Recording ‘Afro Fache’ compilation Zone Caraibes – Manu Key.

Les Nubians presents : ECHOS: Chapter One Nubian VoyagerAlbum produit par Les Nubians/ Nubiatik Publishing LLC/ Licence Artemis – Triloka Records sortie USA le 4 octobre 2005/ fin octobre International-France.

2008
IN THE NAME OF LOVE: AFRICA CELEBRATES U2 – Sony BMG

In The Name Of Love: Africa Celebrates U2, an album celebrating the music, culture and future of Africa, and an unprecedented musical homage to Bono and U2 for their ongoing humanitarian relief efforts aiding the beloved continent.

Track List :
1. Angelique Kidjo “Mysterious Ways”
2. Vieux Farka Toure “Bullet The Blue Sky”
3. Ba Cissoko “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
4. Vusi Mahlasela “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”
5. Tony Allen “Where The Streets Have No Name”
6. Cheikh Lo “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”
7. Keziah Jones “One”
8. Les Nubians “With Or Without You”
9. Soweto Gospel Choir “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”
10. Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars “Seconds”
11. African Underground All-Stars Featuring Cho
12. Waldemar Bastos “Love Is Blindness”

2010

EP: Nü Revolution – Nubiatik LLC