Electric, eclectic, but possibly inauthentic would be how I would describe the Leeds born, London based 10-piece musical collective, Nubyian Twist. The group performed at The Crescent Community Venue in York this past weekend under Ouroboros, the newest event planners in York.
The collective started with a song called ‘Jungle Run’ which was a mix of jazz, funkelectronica with the rhythm provided by the congo drums. Each piece of the collective introduced themselves with somewhat of a solo whilst simultaneously being presented to the audience. Immediately, it was obvious that they enjoy what they do and their synergy was quickly transferred to the audience.
Nubyia Brandon (main vocalist), not only sang but rapped; her flow was fast but animated, pointing to her obvious south-east London roots. The line “Bitch come step to me, I am my mother’s child” encapsulated the collective’s vibe. They did not hold back anything whilst performing, giving a taste of their vast talents and influences. As the night went on we heard a fusion of genres: ska, reggae, Brazilian funk, hi-life, afrobeat, jungle and funk, mixed well with some slurred synths and soundbytes. Meanwhile as Nubiya sang, her style was at times reminiscent of the artists, Sade, Erykah Badu and Ndambi.
The kaleidoscope of sounds undoubtedly flaunted the skill of all the all the musicians but as time went on it didn’t necessarily exhibit such creativity. Although, they did mention their love for Fela Kuti, over time certain songs seemed to be founded upon a variation of Fela Kuti’s drum solo’s. At times, their sound seemed somewhat un-individual and almost morphed into a Fela Kuti song rather their own. However, watching them perform was a pleasure and I would encourage listen to their album which is soon to drop.
By Adaobi Nezianya