is embarking upon a flurry of activities this week in the Nigerian-American’s hometown of Boston in conjunction with today’s release of her self-titled debut album.
Bassey began the day taping back to back television shows – “CityLine” and “Chronicle” – including a five-song performance with her band set to air on Boston’s ABC network affiliate WCVB. Then she performed a few cuts from “Offiong Bassey” on WBUR, Boston’s NPR radio affiliate. On Thursday (February 6), Bassey will take the stage in nearby Cambridge at the Regattabar Jazz Club for a concert performance dubbed “A Moonlit Evening,” a reference to the Yale graduate’s record label and production company, Moonlit Media Group.
A cross-cultural artist of substance and breadth, Bassey wrote the eleven songs that make up the colorfully diverse and compelling “Offiong Bassey.” Incorporating the Nigerian ancestry of her parents and grandparents, Afro-Peruvian rhythms from her travels, inspired gospel from her spiritual roots, and R&B, hip hop and jazz inflections from her U.S. upbringing, Bassey’s harmonies, stories and commentaries are sung and rapped in English, Pidgin English and her native Efik. Authentic through and through, she recorded with African musicians, percussionists and vocalists as well as players from the Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco and other parts of the world.
While appearing locally this week, Bassey’s intriguing aural amalgams are garnering praise, airplay and attention nationally and globally. Below are some excerpts.
“Polished and professional…with a jazzy feel, soul-filled messages, and a strong infusion of African roots.” – Boston Globe
“Bassey’s lyrical and topical choices are the two things that give listeners insight into the fresh way in which this singer views the world, her relationship with humanity and with the Almighty. On ‘Offiong Bassey,’ the artist goes a step further, employing not only unusual arrangements but also metaphorical creativity in the topics and situations addressed.” - SoulTracks
“Bassey blows the doors open like a force of nature on a roll...[she] takes African music, stirs in a whole lot of other stuff and techniques, and takes the whole thing to a whole different level of the game.” – Midwest Record
“Offiong Bassey has taken this idiom to another level with her self-titled debut album, the total body experience, which speaks to all aspects of the self; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.” - ABYSSJazz
“Offiong knows how to combine jazz, R&B, funk, psych, and African rhythms for an enjoyable listening experience.” – Inside World Music