It seems almost unfair to compare singer songwriter N’Dambi to Jill Scott, Nina Simone, or even Angie Stone. Why? Because N’Dambi’s no stranger to the game. She’s been rocking it for years and has amassed a worldwide following in her own right. Now with local radio station Radio Free 102.3 KJLH playing her hit single “Can’t Hardly Wait” in heavy rotation, the Dallas, Texas native is introducing herself to Los Angeles.
Feature during this year’s Taste of Soul, the singer and songwriter known for her trademark afro is now donning a new sleeker and hipper look with a red Mohawk—but still with the same passion for putting out good music that has won her fans worldwide and garnered her a Grammy nomination.
Since moving to Los Angeles from Dallas, Texas eight years ago after “exhausting all possibilities” in her words, the daughter of a Baptist minister and missionary and the ninth of eleven children continues to win over unsuspecting audiences with her bold vocal tones and enchanting stage presence.
Having spent the first part of her musical career in church and singing back up and collaborating with friend and fellow Texan Erykah Badu, N’Dambi says she’s more focused than ever on her career and putting out good music.
N’Dambi has already released three independent albums: “Little Lost Girls Blues”, “Tunin’ Up & CoSignin” and “A Weird Kinda Wonderful” before being signed to the re-activated Stax Records (Concord Music Group) in 2006. The following album “Pink Elephant,” released in 2009 was nominated for a 2011 Grammy.
LAS: Every time you release an album, you come back with a different sound, a different style. Do you plan to continue that trend with the follow up to “Pink Elephant?”
N’Dambi: I just want to continue to write good songs. I think that the sound will evolve because in this process there will be a lot more of me in it, in a different kind of way. It will inspire a fresher sound.
LAS: Who inspired your hit single “Can’t Hardly Wait?”
N’Dambi: The honest truth is that I was back in Texas and I had come home for the Christmas holiday and I had been listening to some UGK music. UGK music is steeped in a lot of funk but they normally say stuff that’s kind of like saucy. It was part of that sound that really inspired the song. That night after listening to them I had a dream and then a melody and line came up and I just went with it. I told a couple of friends about and they said that I should finish writing it and that’s really how it was born. That’s not to say that I can’t relate to the song but that wasn’t my story at the time.
LAS: What made you get rid of your trademark afro?
N’Dambi: I had been wearing it a long time and I just wanted to find a new way to express myself and it’s still semi ‘fro but different. It’s the evolution of me. I just think that I am evolving and certain things will change over time. Changing can be scary but for me it just allowed me to see who I am. It forces you to grow in a different kind of way.
LAS: Of stage, what does N’Dambi get into, where can we find you just being you?
N’Dambi: I like working out—anything about fitness I am interested. I like the Baldwin Hills Overlook and Runyon Canyon. I love read I love to cook. I love to get outside and go to little hiking trails. I like to do anything creative, like create my own art. Anything that can motivate me to be creative that’s what I am doing.
LAS: So what’s next?
N’Dambi: Well, I am continuing to write songs and working with different producers. I am looking forward to putting out a new album in next year. I just want to put out good music that people like. I hope I do that.
And that she does we can honestly say as we are long times fans of N’Dambi and own all of her albums and wait in eager anticipation of the next one.
You can check out the music video for N’dambi’s steamy single ‘Ooo Baby’ from her Grammy nominated album, Pink Elephant online at lawattstimes.com. For music downloads, concerts, and the latest news from N’Dambi log onto ndambionline.com