Who went inside the perimeter to catch a night of soul, blues and R&B? I did, with Smith’s Olde Bar as the destination. Smith’s Olde Bar is one of Atlanta’s most beloved venues that brings in local and national acts. At Smith’s one can find just about every style of music in on of the bar’s live music rooms: The Music Room, The Atlanta Room and The Bar Room. On this Saturday night the headliner in the “big room” was Kween and NuExperiance. Our Libro Musica editor at large, main man in charge, Antonius, has seen Kween and company before when the group performed at Liquid Lounge. Tonight was my first time seeing the group perform. When I heard that I had the chance to hear a 7 piece core band with depth and groove AND a dynamic front woman on vocals I said “sign me up!” and he did.
Kween and Nu Experience are: Lead Singer/Songwriter: Kween, Bassist: Erasmo Sosa, Drummer & Composer: Mel Lightfoot, Keys & Producer Jason Grimes, Percussion: Fester and on background vocals, The Angels of Soul.
It was a great night with lots of love, groove, soul, R&B and attitude. Starting the night decked out in her amazing blue dress, Kween totally knew how to work the crowd. Unabashed in speaking her mind either vocally or verbally (even calling out one guest, “Excuse me….excuse me……you…at the bar….I’ve got something to tell you…something important….listen up…” ) to which he responded with a huge smile and undivided attention. We all loved the energy and passion she displayed on stage. As I listened to her I heard influences such as Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston and Yolanda Adams. Her song “Brotha” is a modern twist on the Bill Wither’s classic “Use Me.”
One thing also drew me into her music was learning the stories behind her music. Every song was pulled from her life. Some songs with painfully sad memories wrapped in them and others uplifting. One thing I also learned from Kween was that no matter what hardship life throws at you there can always be brighter days ahead. One of the most touching stories was when Kween openly, tenderly and powerfully shared her story about what brought her into writing music: tragically losing her infant son to SIDS. As great artists do she used music as a vehicle to heal resulting in her song, “Million Dolla Baby” to which the crowd responded to with love. “Bame It On The Meds” is one of her songs where she sings about the epidemic of over prescribed drugs and their negative impact.
The band worked hard and delivered hours of wonderful groove and melody which hit the range of emotions and also brought what many bands often don’t bring, a stage show. Kween and NuExperiance have a performance with high audience interaction, break downs, great interplay with the band and wonderful accompanying vocals by the Angels of Soul. Oh! and did I mention the dancers or as some might call them “body movement artists”? The dancers, Re’Keny Watson, Destiny Gaines and Makeda Bryce, for a couple of songs were a great additional layer to a great night of music. I didn’t see anyone leave the upstairs venue at Smiths early or unhappy and that is a successful night.
Check out their debut Album: D.I.A.R.Y: Devote, Ignite, Accept, Revive, Yourself. To reach the band for info or booking: NuExperiance@gmail.com. You can also support the band in their GoFundMe campaign for the Kween and NuExperiance Tour