INTERVIEW: Les Nubians

Soul. Power. The dynamic duo of Hélène and Célia Faussart

I recently got a chance to sit down with the lovely Faussart sisters, better known to the world as Les Nubians.  The Afro-French duo were in D.C. celebrating the release of their new album , Nü Revolution, at a listening party held at the popular U Street hotspot Marvin and hosted by Lunchbox Theory, Lil’ SoSo Productions, and Can A Sista Rock a Mic? Festival (CASRAM). I was only allotted five minutes with them, which turned out to be ample time for Héléne and Célia to give insight into their feminist and pro-Africa manifesto, and why this album is the perfect soundtrack for inspiring positive change and turning dreams into reality.

Congratulations on your 3rd full-length album.  How would you describe the sound of this album?  How is it different from your past albums?

Hélène: This album is Afropop, more energetic than the precedent album.  This album is about celebration.  We wanted everyone to dance.  The mindset is very positive, energetic music, more than the precedent album I would say.  This one is definitely more uptempo than the other albums.

Célia: Dreamy too, because this album is also a lot about dreams and evolution and world citizenship.  Citizenship…that’s a very important word about this album.  It’s about participating, bringing about our voice, our support, our visions to the whole vision of the world; and energetic because we need energy to do all that and to continue making our dreams become reality.

The new album is called Nü Revolution.  The word “revolution” represents the need for change.  Why do you feel a new revolution is needed right now?

Hélène: Everything shows it.  I mean, we have all the signs of a necessary evolution.  Revolution is not something we sincerely believe in because revolution is too destructive.  We believe in evolution.  “Rêve” “evolution,” “rêve” means “dream” in French.  It’s the evolution of our dreams.  When you look at what is happening right now, at all those populations that are rising up, they’re like “we don’t want you anymore, we don’t want that situation anymore.”  It has to change.  You can see it.  When you see how Mother Nature is rebelling, all those tsunamis and earthquakes…it means CHANGE!  We have to change something, we have to change our patterns, we have to change our projections.  In [the word] “evolution,” you also have “Eve,” the woman, and we truly believe that the change we’re talking about will come through women.  This album is also a huge tribute to women, to empower them so they realize how much it’s definitely their shoulders on our shoulders.  We are the caregivers, the breeders.  Our business plan is not like a six-month or one-year business plan, our business plan is even afterwards.  When we have children, we project them even further.  I guess that’s what they call the Aquarius age.  It’s about rebalancing our feminine energy out there, getting out of a millennium of male domination.  It’s time for the woman to rule the world in a more peaceful and constructive way.

Sort of like enforcing your power without it being in an explicitly sexual nature, because it seems like women feel like their sexuality is the power.

Célia: (C) And it is not, definitely.  Power is decision.  Power is choice.  Power is [taking] responsibility for choice.  Power is accepting the cause and consequences.

Hélène: And power is mainly recognizing your own essence as a spiritual human being, as a link between the heavens and this Earth.  We’re giving birth!  Men can’t.

You have a song called “Africa For The Future.”  I know you have roots in Cameroon and Chad.  With everything going on with Africa right now, what is your vision for Africa?  Where do you see Africa as far as it being a global beacon?

Hélène: Africa is the next continent.  You can definitely feel it bubbling.

Célia: I think that what really has to happen in Africa, in each country, we need to see visionaries, leaders coming with visions for their people and for the continent.  That is the number one thought that I have about Africa everyday, everyday, everyday, and I visualize it, and it’s gonna materialize…another type of politician, another type of leader.  And not just one person…five, ten, twenty!  So whatever the dynamics that are going into our continent that have been exploited, those people can be able to resist and stand for the visions they have for their people, for their country, and for their continent.

Hélène: And Africa is already doing it.  Africa is very vibrant and energetic right now.  You can’t think about Africa nowadays the same way we were talking about Africa in the 80s.  Nothing compares to Africa nowadays.  Africa is already rising up.  With 50% of the African population being under 18 years old, that’s a very vibrant and vivid population and they have dreams and they will definitely build up our continent.

Les Nubians plays this Friday, April 29th, 2011 at BB Kings Times Square in New York City.