Nola Ade

Performed in Sofar Chicago

THE TRENDY THING IN R&B/SOUL is to be emo, with slickly overproduced songs heavy with dark, coarse, moody, and often, quite frankly, depressing lyrics over synthetic sounds. We’re informed that somehow this malnourishment is “keeping it real.” In truth, sometimes what’s keeping it the realest is a ray of un-ironic optimism, AN INDEFATIGABLE FAITH IN LOVE, a little bit of sun in an uninspiring day, the music of singer-songwriter NOLA ADÉ. Nola Adé is the antidote, the anti-drug to the melancholic bit of missed prozac doses that now passes for depth. In the face of such self-congratulatory darkness, Adé dares to embrace her light. So, have windy city audiences who’ve taken on her positivity challenge and encountered the shine of a full-bodied vocalist whose phrasing is Ella Fitzgerald, soulful timbre is Jazmine Sullivan, and eclectic style is all her own. This too is what adé’s music and message to her eager fans is really all about: honoring the traditions of the past, being unafraid of the present, and unapologetically being oneself for a brighter future. No hipster posturing here, just the real.

Videos by Nola Ade