“Big Dreaming Ants is Adjoa looking down upon this crazy world of ours through her own eyes in a continued sonic exploration”. 9/10 – THE LINE OF BEST FIT
“…stunningly gentle voice” COMPLEX UK
“An emerging artist with the talent to make talking about the big stuff seem easy” 8/10 – LOUD & QUIET
Today, 24th September, rising Dutch-Ghanaian singer-songwriter Nana Adjoa releases her highly anticipated debut album, ‘Big Dreaming Ants’ via Bloomer Records – Stream ‘Big Dreaming Ants’ here Nana is also announcing a limited vinyl release in collaboration with Day Dreamer Records, available for pre-order via Bandcamp
The album is THE LINE OF BEST FIT‘Album of The Week’ this week with a 9/10 review, while Loud & Quietreviewed in their new issue with a 8/10 score. It follows a string of irresistible singles and powerful videos including, the anthemic ‘National Song’Consequence of Sound-approved ‘She’s Stronger’‘Throw Stones’ which received praise from the likes of i-D, Noctis, The Voice, C-HeadsMahogany and Indie Shuffle to name a few, the Complex-premiered ‘No Room’, featured by London In Stereo in their ‘Tracks of The Week’ and spinned by Chris Hawkins and Lauren Laverne on their BBC 6 Music shows, and the most recent Gorilla VS Bear-approved ‘I Want To Change’.
Written and recorded in her own studio, the album sees Nana handling the majority of the instrumentation herself, using a wide palette of instruments. A process that helped her to develop a multi-layered sound, rich in tonal textures, which is as intimate as expansive. Talking about the storyline behind the album Nana explains, “Big dreaming, little ants, it’s just who we are. Zooming in on myself and my personal search for identity and then zooming out to see yourself as a very small piece in a bigger part, that as a whole is also on that same search. Themes like heritage, nationalism, internal conflict, change, originality and insecurity come along in that search”.
Opener ‘National Song’ looks at cultural identity and neo-nationalism. “Every country has a national song,” she explains. “In the Netherlands, ours is translated from old Dutch. Everybody sings along but they don’t know what it means.” She elaborates, “It made me question the tradition, and why we feel the need to belong to a nation when borders aren’t as clear as they used to be.” The song is also about searching for one’s own identity – on a personal, cultural and global level. On ‘Throw Stones’, the artist sings about “calming myself down in difficult times. This era of ‘online life’ invites the uglier sides of ourselves to exist outside of just our thoughts. It’s about regrouping and reflecting. You don’t always have to be ‘on’, you are allowed to make time for yourself”.
Intimate single ‘No Room’, deals with the concept of small-talk. Adjoa purposefully added metaphoric layers of sounds to the airy melody, from distorted voices to effect-heavy synths, all punctuated by steady handclaps, representing “the noise that somebody makes when they’re talking to you, but not really saying anything”, she candidly saysElsewhere, sweeping guitar driven cut ‘She’s Stronger’, is about a friendship, which Nana recalls, “made me realize that I wasn’t as strong, or as independent as I thought I was”.
Closing track, ‘I Want To Change’, explains Nana “summarize all of the thoughts that I was having when I was recording these songs”. She adds, “I’m having these dreams about what my life could be, but I’m also seeing myself as a small part in this chain of people – all these small pieces working on something, and they don’t really understand how it’s connected or if it’s even connected. To me, it was like ants – all working together for a bigger goal.”
Nana Adjoa is sonic explorer armed with a deft poeticism and a fierce sense of musicianship, a skilled multi-instrumentalist and trained jazz player. Born in Amsterdam to a Dutch mother and a Ghanaian father, Nana joined her first band as a teenager, choosing to play bass because, “every other instrument had been claimed”. It was a lucky twist of fate, unbeknown to the musician, her mother had once been the bassist in a Ghanaian Highlife band and happened to have her instrument. Accepted to study jazz (electric bass and double bass) at the prestigious Amsterdam Conservatory, Nana traded the restrictions of a structured curriculum for the free-flow of her own compositions.
Since her debut in 2017 – the vulnerable EP ‘Down at the Root (Pt. 1)’ – she has been praised for her sonic explorations and effortless lyrical poetry. Her second EP, ‘Down at the Root (Pt. 2’) and the Stereogum-approved ‘A Tale So Familiar’, increased support from international press including Consequence of Sound and The Fader, influential radio stations such as USA tastemakers KCRWKEXP and streaming platforms. Making her USA live debut in 2018, Adjoa played a series of headline shows as part of a worldwide Communion residency, as well as performing on some of the European largest festival stages.
Album Track List: 1. National Song, 2. Cardboard Castle, 3. Throw Stones, 4. No Room, 5. In Lesser Light Pollution, 6. Every Song, 7. Love and Death, 8. She’s Stronger, 9. Who Do We Look to Now, 10. I Want to Change.