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Meet Nnena, the powerhouse who just became J.J. Abrams’ first signing

Almost exactly a year back, we heard that director, producer, and all-round cinema big gun J.J. Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek, Super 8) was launching a brand new indie label named Loud Robot Records.

Well today we’ve just found out who his very first signing is. Meet Nnena.

nnena lovesick Ryan Cardone bad robot records

Photo: Ryan Cardone

Meet Nnena, the rising neo-soul star who just got picked up by J.J. Abrams’ new record label. You need to check out her debut music video Lovesick.

Nnenna is a Cleveland-born, Nigerian American artist who weaves elements of R&B and neo-soul into her compositions, with an obvious hip hop influence filtering down from the realms of genre mainstays like Ms. Lauryn Hill or Missy Elliot.

In addition to her musical influences, Nnena also calls in artistic notes from her Nigerian heritage, even choosing to design a number of her own traditional garments for the Lovesick music video.

Directed by Bad Robot up-and-comer JD Dillard, the clip is a visual feast accompanying one hell of a tune. Throughout we see Nnena move from spotlight to spotlight, era to era, look to look, never letting up on the badass air she so easily exudes.

“Nnena’s a powerhouse artist,” J.J. Abrams shared with Teen Vogue when the clip dropped. “[She’s] daring, insightful, and brilliantly talented. We couldn’t feel prouder to be working with her.”

Working backwards from Lovesick, you’ll find two more singles from Nnena, both released in 2018. Not The Thumb and Me and You showcase a similar, buttery smooth style from the artist, layering sampled beats underneath gorgeous melody lines played on guitar, piano, or bass.

Everything she’s touched has turned to gold so far, and we’ll eagerly await whatever comes next. Props to J.J., he sure knows how to pick ’em.


Lovesick is out now.


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August 5, 2019