Onah Indigo from noaccordion and Jonathan Youtt from The Sustainable Living Road Show/The Big Tadoo Puppet Crew joined forces this summer at Puppet Plex in Berkeley, California to film the Green Screen puppet portion for noaccordion’s Mama Nature music video. Jesse and Sirraum Nash hopped aboard as well to help with puppetry, filming and editing. Jonathan and Onah co produced the project while Onah and Jesse worked on the editing. This is a fun, playful video that should appeal to a wide age range. It packs a loving and potent message so true to our current times and encourages us to respect all mothers especially mother earth. Mama Nature video will officially release on Earth Day 2017.
Noaccordion’s LP “Love Warrior” just came out and is available at online stores worldwide. One of the best ways to support this LP is to purchase the music thru Bandcamp because they take very little commission and most of the money goes directly to the artists.
Freak in C: noaccordion’s Polyrhythmic Dance Tracks, Goddess-Loving Hip Hop, and Beautiful Contradictions
New album Love Warrior releases Aug 18, 2016
When multi-instrumentalist Onah Indigo first picked up the accordion, she had to put it down. It was heavy, awkward, annoying.
Yet eventually, she found an idiosyncratic stance that puts the instrument center stage, while defying its limitations. Like the push and pull of bellows, this tension generates a quirky blast of energy. Add club beats, underground MCs, freaky variations on deceptively familiar keys, a bit of surrealist wit, and a rebellious fight for greater openness, and you have noaccordion.
On Love Warrior (release date: Aug 18, 2016), noaccordion’s first full-length album in five years, Onah digs deep into the polyrhythms and quirky phases of the heart. She taps MCs (Sunru, Chatterbox, Delwin G), beatboxers (Mastah Lock), and musical mavericks (guitar wizard Eenor) to get the party started–and to celebrate the glories of womanhood, from the elevated to the sensual.
“The tracks on this album mark a major milestone in my movement toward greater confidence and joy, something I think a lot of women can relate to,” muses Onah, speaking of her journey through motherhood, divorce, renewed sexuality, and artistic transformation. “I feel I’ve grown musically stronger and set aside all my obsessions as an audio engineer. I’ve become a lot more open and playful. For me now, it’s about juxtaposition, yin and yang. It’s the light and the dark. We need to embrace both.”
Embracing wide ranging influences comes naturally to noaccordion. Onah got hooked on club music during the first big wave of techno, drum ‘n’ bass, and jungle that swept Europe in the early 90s. She later turned to beatmaking after the death of her second child, as a way to cope with the grief. It became a musical fascination, one she honed over the years, in response to changing sounds on the electronic music scene, sounds that come through loud and clear on the trap-inspired instrumental “Frey”.
Rhythmic experiences from other traditions and genres, from samba to jazz, have infiltrated her beats, expanding the 4/4 tendencies of many club tracks. “I want to feel the internal pulse in my body,” Onah explains. “When you’re in a samba band, you dance as you walk to the beat. You internalize the pulse and then lay your polyrhythms on top,” an approach that creates intriguing tracks.
Like the club music and hip hop that inspired the album, noaccordion’s music is made to get people moving, while delivering a message of liberation, self-love, and sheer delight. “I’ve got a huge connection with movement and sound,” she says. “I can’t sit still when I’m playing. I’m going to embody that pulse in some form of movement.”
Hence the accordion, which, despite the project’s name, pops up on several tracks (“Trouble” and “Mama Nature”): It allows a keyboard player to move. But the instrument has a charisma all its own, one that Onah does not want to overshadow her work.
“I call my project noaccordion for a reason. People have strong reactions to the instrument. Most people love it; it often reminds them of their cultural past. But some people can’t stand it. It’s a particular sound, designed to be played outdoors and loudly,” she says. “I may not play it a few years from now. It may not appear in my repertoire. I don’t want to be defined by it.” But of course, sometimes noaccordion includes accordion: “I like to break rules,” laughs Onah. “Even my own.”
Though Onah’s songs, performances, and engineering are the heart of noaccordion, she brings friends and kindred spirits into the mix, fellow musicians from the Oakland underground with distinct voices and visions. They include vocalists like Sunru, featured on Love Warrior’s opening track. “He’s phenomenal. I needed someone who could pull off a Rick James-style vocal. He was the only one I could think of. We had a blast. He has to be one of the most unique guys, and his freestyle ability is amazing, hip hop meets metal.” Or Chatterbox, a puppeteer, MC, and environmental activist who connected instantly with Onah, thanks to his love of accordion. (He shines on “Mama Nature.”)
There’s a musical thread tying the tracks together, a harmonic choice that reinforces Onah’s call for self-discovery, for finding extraordinary strength and new insights in the ordinary. “Conceptually, these ten songs were all written in C, but the modes are each different,” she explains. “It adds to the strange harmonies that might sound a little unusual to some listeners. I’ve always had this weird relationship to C; I thought it was boring. But there are endless possibilities in each key. I’m finding the freak in the key of C.”
Finding the freak in plain sight is part of accepting freakiness and growing in love. “I had a huge heart opening a few years ago,” Onah recounts. “I’ve learned to that to keep my heart open I must maintain a fierceness. A warrior’s love. Even if people are knocking me down, I fight to stay in that place of love, starting first and foremost with myself.” It’s a fight worth fighting, and one that resonates beautifully on the dancefloor.
Noaccordion is currently working on 10 new tracks that will be released this Summer 2016.
Past collaborators are being re-featured and new collaborators are joining in.
Welcome first time noaccordion contributors Eenor, Sunru & Delwin G
Welcome back returning collaborators Chatterbox and Mastah Lock
Here’s a bit about each one of them:
Eenor is a many dimensional multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and performer who has been received enthusiastically by audiences all over Europe and America. he’s enjoyed many musical adventures from touring Europe with Plainfield (an infamous S.F.punk band) , to studying with Indian Sarod master Ali Akbar Khan, to rocking the nation with Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade. You’ve heard his guitar on the soundtrack of comedy central’s Southpark for years. Eenor also recently toured worldwide for many years with The Yard Dog Road Show… an innovative cabaret cartoon ride through America’s past and future.
Sunru has lived 20 yrs in Oakland delivering a pure 333 vocal channel, unique fashion and handmade wearable art. He is also the co founder of Town Futurist, which creates future forward change using Music, Art, Dance & Media as a vehicle to heighten the senses of the people & the culture. Sunru is currently on Tour on Asia.
Delwin G is an urban Latin Poet, whose repertoire includes elements of Hip-Hop, R&B, Latin groves and Reggaeton. His innovative music and international appeal respond to today’s multicultural urbanites with a new sound for the global age – one that is true to urban hip-hop and cuts across ages, races and cultures. Delwin G boast an extensive artistic resume and brings something unique to the table.
Delwin G’s sound and performance is as dynamic as his energy, a wild reflection of rhythms, cultures, harmonies and flows. It would be foolish of the industry to sleep on this rare M C, one where all the elements are perceptible yet inseparable.
Louie Lock is Music. Bringing fluid, body moving rhythms that get people to their feet and onto the dance floor. With meticulous technical metronome timing and the improvisational skills he has earned as a seasoned drummer, hand-percussionist, and mouth-percussionist, (Beat Box) Louie Lock is a walking Drum Machine with marathon stamina and breath control, mids, highs, to lows. He demonstrates devastating delivery and precise, crowd-pleasing powerhouse output. Louie (aka “Mastah Lock” or “BeatZ”) is literally a Living, Beat-Dropping Instrument, bringing syncopated variation to lift spirits in celebration
Sirraum Nash aka Chatterbox was born and raised in the South Bay Peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area in CA. He developed a knack for writing & composition at a very young age beginning to write words in rhyme and poetry at age 7. At age 13, he began to hone his lyrical improvisation skills. In the early 2000’s he became a founding member of Jazz Funk Hiphop band, Precise Device. Since 2009 he has been an integral member of Big Tadoo Puppet Crew & The PuppetPlex, based out of Berkeley, CA. He currently uses beat boxing, singing, character voice acting and Emcee skills for environmental activism, food and social justice issues, Self expression & Composition for adult and children’s entertainment. He has traveled extensively across the USA with the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew and Sustainable Living Road Show.
These are snaps of behind the scenes during the MFLS 12 hour video shoot. It took a production crew of 6 to make this happen with most people volunteering their time. Oliver de Lantsheere and I produced this music video.We brainstormed a week before the shoot and a couple of days before the shoot I collected 50 vases, 2 wedding dresses, copious amounts of white fabric/lace, tables and chairs while Oliver filmed, crushed, froze, burned flowers I had gifted him. The night before we set up most of the backdrop at the Super Natural Factory in West Oakland. On Friday Feb 6 we began to unload at 3 pm. The party started with mimosas and snacks. Jalua and Donna spent hours on my make up and hair while Max, Noah and Oliver finished the set dressing. Max stepped in to finish off my recycled wedding dress and head piece and then at 8 pm I was ready to go on set. We began to discuss and improvise what I would do up there. We began rehearsing while Oliver continued to projection map and experiment with new images. Around 1 am, after many rehearsals, we began filming live takes. I was allowed to do everything except break the vases so I had to pretend that until the last take. At 330 am, hours later, excited, blistered and exhausted, we opened the last bottle of champagne, toasted to the fun and insanity that comes with being creative and then took the last take. This time I was allowed to break glass which was exhilarating except I kicked my shoe off half way through the take and the floor was covered in broken class so I had to hop on one foot for the dancing scene. We ended up prefering the last take, no edits, and chose it for the music video. Thanks to Oliver de Lantsheere, Jalua Dell, Max Neuman, Donna Wood and Noizy Ark for helping me make this happen!!!