Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Nelly’s Echo attempts to connect with audience

Nelly’s Echo, a former contestant on “The Voice,” does not call himself a solo singer or part of a band, but instead a singer attempting to connect with his audience and have them connect back.
His music, with Motown and African roots, will be featured in the Brew on Friday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m.
Nelly’s Echo is the stage name for the singer Nelson Emokpae, and the most important theme of his music is positivity; he believes music can be a voice of reason for students and even save a life, help heal a broken heart or give students encouragement to avoid peer pressure, which he says he has experience with from his own college days.
Emokpae recalls a moment when, singing for a school, a woman in the front row cried quietly through his song until he walked off the stage and hugged her. She cried on his shoulder for several minutes, but afterwards, she spent the rest of the concert smiling. He also mentions when he was recruited to sing for troops in Guantanamo Bay.
“(‘The Voice’) was a great experience, and I enjoyed my time there,” said Emokpae. “I have nothing negative about it, but the one thing I would like to point out is Hollywood is Hollywood. It is not real. What you see on television, what you hear on the radio, it is not real. Reality for me is the two stories I just told you about.”
The musical style that will be coming to the Brew is influenced by singers like Michael Jackson and Norah Jones.
Nelly’s Echo will be playing original songs, especially from their newest of three albums,  “Journey,” but they plan to mix in covers of well-known songs, as well.
Whether singing alone or with a group of musicians, Nelly’s Echo believes in the importance of the audience, and that music is a give and take. Nelly stands for Nelson Emokpae or the creators of the music, and Echo represents the people who listen to the music.
“I would describe my music as it sounds like something you have heard but nothing you have quite experienced,” Emokpae said.
Nelly’s Echo finds inspiration for his affirmative music in real life experience and observation and in the world of make-believe, but he does not limit his influence to simply famous artists.
Nelly’s Echo understands that even if an artist is unheard of, if their music is good, then it is good.
This encouraging view inspires Nelly’s Echo’s three albums, which focus on themes such as self-fulfillment. The desire to convey this optimism on the attitudes of students is why Nelly’s Echo looks forward to coming to Augustana.
“I am performing for people who will be the leaders of tomorrow, and I find that a lot of college kids, at the age and at that stage in their lives, they have ideas about the way the world works,” Emokpae said. “It is pretty concrete but still malleable, and if I can be that person to impart some positivity and some hope and some creativity and some imagination into their thinking, it really bodes well for the future of this country and even the world at large.”

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Nelly’s Echo attempts to connect with audience