My job thankfully affords me the opportunity to check out new music on a regular basis. There are a lot of artists out there that I’ve discovered because of this…artists I probably would never have known existed if it weren’t for what I do for a living. One such artist is Nneka. Nneka’s a Nigerian artist, but you’d be foolish if you were to assume her music is strictly Afrobeat. She draws from a variety of influences, including the funky yet political works of Fela Kuti and Bob Marley. I could see her working with or opening up for any variety of artists-K’naan, Wyclef Jean, Public Enemy, M.I.A., Dave Matthews Band, Vampire Weekend. While you’re dancing to her music, you’re also getting an education-much of her music is politically charged, and while her ultimate message is one of love, she pulls no punches with her lyrics or her between-song patter.

Nneka’s debut U.S. album, “Concrete Jungle” is set for release in February 2010. I got to see her in concert last night, and she’s definitely worth checking out! Here’s a clip I pulled off of YouTube. Enjoy!!