Song You Need to Know: Zawadi Noel, ‘Panic’
There’s a deceptively simple joy in the music of soul singer-songwriter Zawadi Noel. At a recent Brooklyn show, the New York-via-Washington D.C. musician pulled off the tricky feat of uplifting the audience without wading into maudlin waters that trip up other performers. Maybe it’s the childhood years spent living all over the world, but both onstage and on his recently released debut EP Waiting Room, Noel displays an earnest empathy to connect with listeners, destroying the wall between artist and audience.
“I have realized that it is my duty to make music that speaks to people’s hearts, to their fears, to truths we struggle with,” he says. “It is the music I have always searched for.”
Waiting Room builds on Prince’s synth-dripped funk-pop-rock fusion on tracks like “Waiting,” where optimism and liveliness collide. “With You” and “Morning Call” could be lost Bill Withers B-sides, while “In Love” is a neo-soul gem.
But it’s “Panic,” a song about trying to stay optimistic when overwhelmed by stress, that stands out for its buoyant, spirited propulsiveness. “The pressure, the pressure, the pressure, the pressure to relax,” Noel sings with a soulful urgency. “I can’t do that.”
As a teacher and cartoonist, Noel has published two art education books and storyboarded numerous music videos; creative skills that both drove him to record his own music and inspire others. “As an artist, I aim to create visual works that are both aesthetically striking and conceptually thought-provoking, while exploring ideas of diversity, understanding and acceptance,” he says. “As a teaching artist, I challenge young people to develop their craft, respect the art form and each other.”
“This is the first body of work that is exclusively my creation,” Noel says of Waiting Room. “It encompasses all of the styles of music I love and sends a message of self-discovery and self-reflection; a message I truly believe in.”
Source : Jason Newman Link