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Song of the Week

Nané – Seventeen

Nané is a high-energy six-piece outfit from Austin TX who caught the attention of Brittany Howard in June 2020 with their “Blue Velvet” music video. Howard selected them as one of her five picks for this year’s NPR Tiny Desk Contest, commenting on the groove while giving major props to lead singer Daniel Sahad who she applauded for his “no holds barred” performance. Sahad hails from the Dominican Republic. His grandparents are respectively Black, White, Latino and Arab (Lebanese). An offspring of globalism, Daniel comes from a lineage of courageous individuals who broke barriers to pursue their dreams. Growing up, Daniel struggled with displacement, often feeling too white for the Dominican Republic and too Latino or Arab for the small west Texas town in which he was raised. He knew early on that he had to continue his family legacy, weaponizing his voice to blaze his own path guided by love and empathy. His journey and his desire to engage meaningfully with all its characters have afforded Daniel his unique perception of humanity, and fostered his ability to transcribe his experience into music. When he sings, you feel his pain. When he smiles, you know his joy. Called Nané as a term of endearment by his family in the Dominican Republic, Sahad determined the band’s name with a communal approach in mind – when you call him Nané, you’re family too. Nané (the band) came together in 2016 at The University of Texas at Austin. The pair quickly realized their potential to write original music together.

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Suzanne Vega (01 October 2021)

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