Ndeh (pronounced En-duh) released a new EP last week, playing a release party on Friday the 9th in Brooklyn. His psychedelic soul music has evolved over the last decade to create his new release Chasing Suns. His parents are from Cameroon, Africa and his father, also a musician, spent time across Europe growing up. Ndeh grew up in the outskirts of D.C. where there was always music equipment in his home. As a teenager he began to make beats and sell them, trying to distance himself as much from his father’s soul and funk sound as possible. His beats varied from hip-hop to dance to EDM, but didn’t feel as much passion creating beats for someone else as for making music for himself. After taking a break from music for a year after high school, he returned with a vengeance, determined to make his own sound and make music for himself. After spending half a decade divorcing himself from his father’s music, his current music is directly influenced by his father’s sound as can be seen with the heavier guitar involvement and soul and funk themes.
He moved to New York City in the summer of 2017 and is committed to staying in the area for a while longer. With a home studio at his apartment in Greenpoint he has been recording himself, striving for a real-sounding-grit that he failed to find recording in studios where he found his music sounded “too polished, and not in a good way.” His current EP was written predominantly while he was in London, where he stays with his father’s old music friends and visits with family. His creative process includes sitting with a concrete concept (like birds, or in the case of this latest release, the sun) and meditating on the subject until he can access the subject’s meaning in the world of the surreal. He then writes lyrics, beginning with one song, and creates layered melodies and beats that represent the colors and vibes that he finds in the original idea. Sometimes this causes a dualism between darker or more nihilistic lyrics and a more upbeat or “yellow” musical sound. His current EP, sonically, is very bright and very dreamlike.
Since beginning to work with a band for live shows, Ndeh has been inspired by the diversity and nuances new opinions bring to his sound. He says that, “Having likeminded musicians in my orbit makes a world of difference.” When asked why he makes music he says, “I don’t want to be the super artsy guy talking about how much music means to me – I live my life and I’m very observant about the things going on around me. And at this point in my life and musical development I have no choice but to write it down as music.”
His textured sound is a fantastic listen, whatever the occasion. His next show is on December 22nd at the Velvet Lounge in D.C., and if you’re in the area, pop by.
Stream his new EP, Chasing Suns, here!