all photos by bird.ee
Though Valentine's day is generally a thoroughly detestable holiday, it does provide an excellent opportunity for a guest mix created around one of my favorite musical genres: the LOVE song! This month I asked Mariama Ndure, incredible singer herself and one of the taste makers behind record label Orbital Mechanix, to make a mix of some of her favorite love songs and answer some pressing questions.
Born in Norway to Gambian immigrants, singer-songwriter Mariama has always been deeply connected with her West-African roots. She is a highly regarded vocalist and performer who has gained prominence for her work opening up for big industry names like Talib Kweli, M1 of Dead Prez, KRS-One, The Wailers, Toubab Krewe and shared the stage with highly respected world musicians Marco Bahia, Ulisses Rocha and Marco Pereira. In 2016 she was given the lead role of Nina Simone in a documentary play called "I Am Nina", a production by Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway. Due to popular demand the show was put up again in 2017. She has performed in highly renowned venues such as the Boston Symphony Hall, Phillips Center in Gainesville, Florida, and Chate Neuf theatre in Oslo, Norway. She currently resides in Oslo, Norway where she is enrolled in a music Masters program.
Press play on this mix and learn a little more about her and her international lifestyle below:
Who are you and what do you do?
Sometimes I ask myself that question, but I know I am definitely a human, a sister, a friend, a strong female lead who also happens to be a musician.
Tell us about the Norwegian school program that you're currently enrolled in?
I am currently attending the Norwegian Academy of Music where I am taking a Masters in Jazz performance. This program is great because it allows you to pursue your current music career and encourages you to build on it. In my project I am focusing on diving into the Gambian/Senegalese music culture and the goal is to make an album where I fuse this together with other Western genres that have inspired me such as jazz, soul, RnB and Hiphop.
What (and who) is Orbital Mechanix?
Orbital Mechanix is the study of how man-made devices navigate their way through celestial objects and cosmic phenomena. We at OM are navigating through contemporary culture by stylizing our aesthetic and sound to reflect the expansion of musical and fashion boundaries. Our style is fresh, edgy, and organic. As an artist-run label, we intend to inspire, express, share, and put a face and name to our growing artistic movement. At Orbital Mechanix, we curate and help facilitate an artist’s success by providing a means to codify and promote their art.
What projects do you guys have in the pipeline?
Tell me about your mix:
The playlist is sort of an homage to the women in music who inspire me and that list of women continues beyond that list, it is also a tribute to my partner who is not only my partner in life, but also my partner in music.
Because you've lived in so many different countries and cities (and because of the valentines day theme) we thought it would be interesting to find out your top rated date spots around the world?
Some of my favorite date spots has been at the prairie in Gainesville, FL, such a peaceful and beautiful place to be. One could either go for a walk or a bike ride, you got wild horses, alligators and birds of all sorts, after that I would want to go to Crane Ramen, one of my favorite places to eat in Gainesville. In Boston I would love to go back to L.A Burdick Handmade Chocolate, such a cozy place and chocolate that could change your life, whatever argument you and your partner had before that, these hot chocolates would fix. In Oslo I would want to go for a walk to Vigelands Park, check out the lovely statues that represent the cycle of life from young to old and then after this I would eat at the delicious Indian restaurant, New Anarkali at a hip location called Grunerløkka. I haven't been to Gambia in 7 years and this year my partner and I will be traveling there together, this will be his first time going to Gambia, I look forward to exploring music, places to eat and see with him, ask me again next year and I would have some recommendations for Gambia.
Where can people hear more of your music:
If you go to Spotify you'll find my EP Fall and Rise, I am currently working on new music and I can't wait for you all to hear it.
Here is the EP Fall and Rise:
Here's a video from Fall and rise:
Where can people find out more about orbital mechanix or reach out to your record label about their own music?
You can find more on Orbital Mechanix on our website
, our facebook
pages, also feel free to contact us, we are always interested in new artists and potential collaborators.
What album are you currently obsessed with?
Currently obsessed with: Toumani Diabate (repping Mali), Gurls (repping Norway), Nosizwe (repping Norway) and Noname (repping U.S)