NoMBe may be a newcomer in the music scene, but I bet you will hear about him very soon. The emerging artist played a very intimate set on Wednesday night inside the headquarter of Live Nation, during the ‘Ones to Watch’ showcase in Beverly Hills, and I had the privilege to get a first look at this upcoming and talented young artist.
Just before him, English singer and songwriter Sinead Harnett opened the night with her soulful and charming vocals, only accompanied by a guitar. She looked very pretty with an impressive range and an effortless delivery, and her voice had plenty of warmth and depth, freely running over melodic R&B pop with a light touch of jazz. With comparisons to Adele and Jessie Ware, she is already a big star in her country and dedicated her last song, ‘If You let Me’ to America, as the song which introduced her to the US.
If there is one difficult task when it comes to describe NoMBe, it may be to pigeonhole his music,… but who wants to be pigeonholed? On stage, he brought plenty of energy, a rare confidence combined with a professionalism and a real humbleness. Surrounded by a 3-women band, he told us he was a bit under the weather, but who could have noticed? NoMBe seemed determined to impress, despite the fact that his forthcoming album’s first single ‘Wait’, has already been streamed over one million times on SoundCloud, and Pharrell Williams chose his song ‘Can’t Catch Me’ as the theme song for his HBO docuseries, OUTPOST.
His sounds elegantly engulfed different genres and style, from electro-soul to rock blues and R&B, and as he started with the soulful ‘Do Whatchu Want To Me’, a nice indie rock piece with a warm chorus, his deep vocals quietly floated above the dynamic melody like a jazzy Junip composition. ‘Can’t Catch Me’ had a more straightforward rocking tempo with deep bass lines and an infectious upbeat vibe, showing right away a very genre-nuanced set.
He was commanding the stage with a great confidence, and even screamed at people in the back in the room who were rudely continuing their loud conversation during his performance. I gave him a thumb up for that, as he was taking the time to explain his new single, ‘Wait’, a song about a high-school crush: ‘You know, young love can build up for months and years,’ he said ‘and when you are older, love becomes this every-day casual thing…Young people are the only ones who have that kind of love’ he added before the bouncy, sexy ballad, infatuated with young love and its surrealist expectation: ‘As long as we’re together/This moment lasts forever’…
NoMBe, who whose real name is Noah McBeth, grew up in Germany and moved in the US about 8 years ago. Interestingly, he is also the godson of R&B-funk legend Chaka Khan, and a true feminist who dedicated his debut album to his godmother, his mother, ex-girlfriends and all the powerful women who have shaped his life… But was his last song simply called ‘Sex’? Did I see a pantie around his guitar?
Throughout his set, NoMBe looked definitively at ease, with his strong vocals soaring above a fusion music navigating between a light funky vibe to an alt-R&B tone, going from electro pop to powerful bluesy guitar explosions, wrapped around a touch of hip hop influence…There is a reason why prestigious names such as Daft Punk, Jimi Hendrix, MGMT, The XX, Electric Guest, Milky Chance and Lenny Kravitz have been brought up in reviews, and why people have named him an ‘icon in the making’.
Watch for NoMBe’s forthcoming album, ‘They Might’ve Even Loved Me’ (out March 23 via TH3RD BRAIN) a very personal and genuine collection of stories which he delivered live with an electrifying charisma.
Do Whatchu Want To Me’
Can’t Catch Me
Jump Right In
Freak Like Me
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