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NNAMDÏ’s Not Weird — He’s Wonderfully, Amazingly, Authentically Himself

After years of prefacing his music as weird, NNAMDÏ no longer feels the need to put that label on his work

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NNAMDI interview
NNAMDÏ, photo by Dennis Elliott/Illustration by Steven Fiche

    On Friday (October 7th), pop experimentalist extraordinaire NNAMDÏ will unleash his newest album, Please Have A Seat. The record, his debut for Secretly Canadian, features some of his poppiest, most ear-worm tunes to date while remaining within the weird, outsider approach NNAMDÏ has become known for.

    But, is it really that weird? For years NNAMDÏ himself would say so, prefacing his music with a quick “it’s kind of weird” whenever sharing it. He even named his 2014 release Feckin Weirdo, and the branding stuck. The word would pop up in interviews and reviews, following the Chicago artist as he continued to make art that was true to himself.

    “It was kind of like, not a palate cleanser, but something preemptively being like, ‘Okay, it’s weird,’” he tells Consequence. “Just so they go in and aren’t like, ‘This is weird,’ and then I’m like, ‘I already said that.’”

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    So, again, is it really that weird? Now with years of experience as an artist, time spent navigating the music industry, and re-evaluating his priorities as a creator, NNAMDÏ has his answer: a resounding “No.” After all, what’s more normal than someone making art that represents their lived experience?

    “It’s never been weird to me. I just make the stuff that I want to make,” he explains. “To me, it’s pop music. Like, it might be different than some radio pop, but there are elements of all that in there. And the goal is for as many people to hear it and to enjoy it as possible. So, I don’t want to ostracize anybody that might get enjoyment from it.”

    Such a sentiment can be heard throughout the mesmerizing Please Have A Seat. Making a conscious effort to come through with his catchiest, most inviting melodies, NNAMDÏ slips hum-worthy hooks and slick production into his characteristically experimental structures and sound pallets.

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    Singles “I Don’t Want To Be Famous” and “Anti” showcase as much, featuring NNAMDÏ at his sweetest and most fun. Cuts from the album are just as luscious and memorable, like the acoustic guitar-driven “Lifted,” the dynamic “Dibs,” or the upbeat “Smart Ass.”

    Sure, these songs might contain unorthodox structures or distorted synths. Still, anyone willing to embrace NNAMDÏ’s world will see that such eccentricities are just pop under a different context – and they’ll soon find some of the most interesting, engaging, and affecting music of 2022.

    Below, NNAMDÏ discusses Please Have A Seat, the word “weird,” and his upcoming tour. You can pick up tickets to those shows via Ticketmaster.

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