Sometimes canonized, sometimes marginalized, Meshell Ndegeocello has given up trying to explain herself. After 20 years in an industry that has called her everything from avant garde to a dying breed, what unquestionably remains is the fearsome bassist, prolific songwriter and the creativity and curiosity of an authentic musical force. With that, she has earned critical acclaim, the unfailing respect of fellow players and songwriters, and the dedication of her unclassifiable fans.
“DEVIL’S HALO” harks back to the way records used to be made, with a focus on live band energy. Produced by Meshell and guitarist Chris Bruce, “Devils Halo” displays Meshell’s outstanding vocals and musicianship throughout.
Meshell Ndegeocello was born in Berlin and raised in Washington DC. By the early 90’s, she had landed in New York armed with a demo recorded in her bedroom, joined the Black Rock Coalition, and was soon signed to Madonna’s label. Her records have offered lyrical ruminations on race, love, sex, betrayal, power, and she has simultaneously embraced and challenged listeners with her refusal to be pigeon-holed musically or personally. Meshell has been both celebrated and berated for her politically charged lyrics, sexual boundary crossing, and for choosing the road less travelled – a winding adventure through her own musical ambitions rather than the industry formulas. A vast array of influences have informed all of her albums and there are traces of her native go-go, hip hop, rock, R&B, new wave and punk in each. Each album has been a step away from the last, each used as a chance to investigate and integrate new sounds and ideas.
A bass player above all else, Meshell brings her signature warm, fat, and melodic groove to everything she does and has appeared alongside the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Alanis Morrisette, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Tony Allen, John Medeski, Billy Preston, and Chaka Khan. Meshell was the first woman to be featured on the cover of Bass Player magazine.
Meshell offers a broad range of lyrical voices and selves to Devil’s Halo’s twelve songs… the searcher, the sceptic, the dissenter, and the lover. True to form, Meshell offers compositions with raging climaxes alongside moments of tenderness and honesty. Genre-defiant as ever, “Devil’s Halo” asks for the real fans of exploration to please stand up.