Who is all apart of Nubii?
Nubii is a music collective founded by Tanyah Dadze (pronounced “da-zhee”) and GloriaRain after doing the “LA” thing. We have pursued our musical presence through our non-profit The Foundation For The Healing Arts, recording and presenting “Positive Music for Positive People.” When we record or perform we collect international musicians of like mind to join us. For our new release “Old Fine Funky”, we gathered old friends; bassist Clarence “Pookie” Jenkins, Cuban percussionist Alberto Limonta Perez and a new friend studio owner Jeff Covert on drums & guitar.
Where did you meet?
Gloria and I met at Mindseed Entertainment in 1986. I came onboard as Creative Manager, Gloria was one of our artists. We worked on commercials and demos then we came together with guitarist Stan Franks and bassist Clarence “Pookie” Jenkins to record a track with saxophonist David Murray for Sony Records. It went so well that we wrote some songs and formed a female vocal trio, “One-i-na” (meaning God Has Come) that was produced by Patrice Rushen. Went down to LA and did the music business thing. We ended up turning down contracts from Capital, LaFace and Death Row Records - they all wanted us to be more Hollywood and less jungle.
Tanyah and Gloria, what inspired you to get into music?
I (Tanyah) got musical inspiration from my Mother and older brother. My Mom learned to play stride piano growing up in Brinkley Arkansas hanging out at Louis Jordan’s house. She took her music to the church where she was choir director. She would have me play and sing while she worked out harmonies for the choir.
My brother Edwin Tobo Anderson played everything from Doo Wop to Afro Cuban, playing with Pete Escovedo, Cal Tjader, and Babatunde Olatunji. I would sit under the piano with my ear on the soundboard while he practiced. I started piano lessons at five and violin at eight.
I (Gloria) was also inspired by my Mother and two aunts who would perform acapella, 3 part harmony at church & family gatherings. I joined the church youth choir at age 5, sang in the Oberlin Black Ensemble in college and continued singing through medical school to present. During medical school, I used music to uplift my spirit and attract joy after being drenched in pain and suffering from routine days in the hospitals.
Is there a story behind the name Nubii?
Yes, Gloria just returned from a six week trip to West Africa with a snake dancer priestess, who was being sponsored by our nonprofit. Upon her return we had our Rose Bowl group breakup. She was reminded about an earlier trip to Egypt and Nubia, just at the time a dam was being built that would cover many Nubian antiquities with water. So she came up with the name Nubii, which means many Nubians, to say we’re still here.
What is a songwriting session like for you all?
We go into our home studio, light some incense, set the mood and get to work. We usually have come up with ideas separately, a bass line, a hook or full lyrics, and sometimes I’ll have a topic idea, put the music together; drums, bass, keys and ask Gloria to write the lyrics. We bring the ideas together and record a demo of the song. We’ve been writing together so long, that when we sit down to write we usually come out with finished songs. I turn on Pro Tools sit down at the keys, Gloria gets a mic and we just flow. We have at least forty songs waiting in the wings ready to record.
Can you tell me more about your non-profit, The Foundation For The Healing Arts?
FHA (Foundation For The Healing Arts) was conceived in 1985 as a result of a meeting with a mentor, Dr. James Holbrook one of ten patent holders for MRI, a friend and author, Dr. Emmitt Miller and myself (Dr. Gloria Jackson). Jim and I were adamant that the organization not be privately owned so the idea of a nonprofit manifested. With corporate articles written around the theme of the Ancient Spiritual Healing Arts (which include music and healing), FHA was incorporated in 1987. Since its inception, projects have included music, concerts, healing, video production, radio, business, education, trainings, presentations and domestic & international travel for the benefit of communities throughout the nation, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean.
How long has Nubii been around?
Nubii was formed in 1992. Our trio One-ina was opening for Maxi Priest at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Our third member, who shall remain nameless, had a nervous breakdown on stage and that was the end of the group. Gloria and I decided to take a different route and go more Reggae, Worldbeat so we started Nubii
Have you been performing live lately?
For the past four years Gloria and I have been performing with a Blues group, Gaye Adegbalola & the Wild Rutz. We have performed up and down the East coast, West coast and Europe. And in 2016 we performed at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN. As Nubii we have been concentrating on recording our backlog of songs. Our plan is to start live streaming performances from our home studio in late summer after finishing our gigs with the Rutz. We’ll see what comes up.
Tell us about your latest project. Are you getting solid feedback?
We are getting great feedback in the last couple of months we have been featured three times on ReverbNation; Top Emerging R&B/Soul Artists, Most Played R&B/Soul Music, and a Crowd Pick Featured Artist. We have had solid consistent play on SoundCloud over 50,000 plays and a few industry types sniffing around.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More music! We’re going back in the studio for a couple more singles, one being a cover of Gloria’s Grand Uncle Gus Cannon’s song “Walk Right In”. Our fans will be able to see us via live streaming and our goal is to get back over to Europe for some gigs.
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