Mariame: Bloom (N'we Jinan)

 |   |  1 min read

Mariame: Native
Mariame: Bloom (N'we Jinan)
When a North American singer is presented as the “Cree Rihanna” it's hard to know how to respond.

Are you being invited to show more interest just because she's singer from the First Nation people in North America?

But if that is somehow her point of difference then why make the immediate association with a singer who has an established sound? That doesn't suggest a point of difference . . . beyond her lineage.

The promotional material for Mariame Hasni also plays up how she emerged from the Quebec Cree communities around James Bay, is a graduate of a music education programme winning their Rising Star award in '13, and this is the debut album on a new label N'we Jinan.

She's also a single mother of two who wants her kids to look up to her and . . .

This all sound very Idol . . . and like the hopes of a lot of people are riding on it.

But should any of that be our concern?

The good news is you shove all this to one side (it does sound special pleading) and just listen to the six classy r'n'b songs on Bloom.

Mariame – the single name is what she goes by -- is a very proficient and soulful singer and when she raps on All For You she has that effortless style New Zealanders might recognise from Sisters Underground. Very cool indeed. Emotionally and style-wise.

Her pop smarts are to the fore on Now You Know It and the rhythmically pop'n'bopping sound of Electric (you'll get the Rihanna reference on these) but more interestingly her cultural background emerges in the chant groove and inspiration message of the powerful Native (featuring Supaman) and she has a facility for storytelling over a slower groove where her vocal flexibility is evident as on the rather special Vulnerable.

You'd like to hear more from these sources, although it'll probably be the r'n'b pop that gets her over the line ...

So this is very much a case of putting aside the interesting but perhaps intrusive backstory (leave that for the interviews) and just listen to the music.

Glad I heard her . . . and of course I was seduce by that “Cree Rihanna” things.

Just goes to show though . . . when it comes to promotion it's what ever works.

Would I have listened to her otherwise?

Would you? 

You can find her music here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007 Iron and Wine: The Shepherd's Dog (SunPop/Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007 Iron and Wine: The Shepherd's Dog (SunPop/Rhythmethod)

Sam Beam -- who is Iron and Wine -- really sounds like he has hits his stride with this exceptional, engaging and folkadelic outing, and he's achieved that by just continuing on the same, mildly... > Read more

Crime and the City Solution: A History of Crime; Berlin 1987-1991 (Mute)

Crime and the City Solution: A History of Crime; Berlin 1987-1991 (Mute)

Subtitled An Introduction to Crime and the City Solution, this 16 track collection puts this dark and often demanding band -- mainman Simon Bonney pitching somewhere between Jim Morrison and Nick... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ELVIS COSTELLO, COVER STAR (2014): 10 Great Interpretations

ELVIS COSTELLO, COVER STAR (2014): 10 Great Interpretations

When Elvis Costello plays in Auckland this weekend the expectation is going to be high. Last year he and the Imposters -- two thirds of the original Attractions but which Costello sees as a... > Read more

U23D CONCERT MOVIE: Even Better Than the Real Thing?

U23D CONCERT MOVIE: Even Better Than the Real Thing?

From where I hear it, the last couple of U2 albums have been a musical retreat from their innovative albums of the early 90s such as Achtung Baby and Zooropa, the only albums by them I have ever... > Read more