Leading up to LEAF festival, Xpress is talking to a number of artists from across the country and across musical genres. The Nth Power classifies its sound as, simply, “Love.” With musicians culled from the likes of Dumpstaphunk, John Brown’s Body and John Brown’s Body, the collective performs an intoxicating mix of soul, funk, jazz, gospel and world beat. Keyboardist Nigel Hall (who has toured with John Scofield and the Warren Haynes Band and recorded on the 2014 Grammy-nominated Pretty Lights album), talks a bouts eating the mood and returning to Western North Carolina.
Mountain Xpress: There’s a great quote in from Weedie Braimah in your bio: “Just know that when you hear this music, you’re going to feel something — you’re going to connect with something higher than yourself.” How do you create that experience for your listeners?
Nigel Hall: Through prayer before each show we all become emotionally and spiritually connected with each other. Thus we’re open to share with the audience and connect them with the oneness of the music, too. It becomes a universal experience.
When you perform, do you want to connect with something higher as well? How do you accomplish that?
The spirit of music is higher than ourselves. So fortunately, every time we play, we feel connected to something greater.
Your music taps into energy that’s simultaneously sexy and spiritual. Is that something that you think about, and if so, do those energies ever seem at odds with each other or are they, perhaps, two sides of the same coin?
They both have to do with the human experience. They are both dealing with creationalist energy – making spiritual connections, making love, making other humans, making music.
Do you approach outdoor festivals differently from indoor concert hall shows?
Yes, we turn up.
How will your late-night set at LEAF differ from your daytime performance?
Margaret Willard, the band’s agent: Nth’s late night sets are sexier, exactly what you want to hear at the end of the night, sets the mood. Catskill Chill voted them “Sexiest Set” last month.
This is a return visit to the Asheville area for you — anything you hope to do beyond performing at LEAF?
We would love to hook up with our friends at Echo Mountain and Port City Amps to do another studio session if time allows.