Nhojj Makes Black HistoryPublished by L. Michael Gipson on Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 3:21 am.
Even fifty-five years after Brown vs. The Board of Education, being named the first Black anything in this country is still a big deal. And so it is interesting to note how few publications other than Billboard covered the fact that Nhojj did the improbable by becoming the first Black male artist ever to win an OUTMusic Award from the Alliance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Recording Artists and Performers. His song “Love” was named OUTstanding R&B/Soul Song of the Year. Never mind how weird it is that he was reportedly the first Black male winner in the awards’ eight-year history (host OUTMusic has been around for 18-years). Several Black and biracial women have won over the years, including: Pamela Means, Nedra Johnson, and folk-singer Toshi Reagon (who won a Heritage Award this year, her second OUTAward), but no Black men. Making up for lost time, the awards committee also honored dance divo Kevin Aviance (Lifetime Achievement Award) and Vogue innovator Willie Ninja (OUTMusic Icon), in addition to Nhojj’s historic win.
From Guyana and Trinidad, the NYC based Nhojj has been delivering high-quality jazzy soul for nearly a decade. A soul pioneer, Nhojj is one of a growing number of “out” Black gay performers releasing both universal and same-sex material. His latest EP, “Love Songs,” includes the award-winning song “Love” featuring keyboardist Carl Evans (Stevie Wonder, Barry White); guitarist David Stark (Rick James, Teena Marie) and percussionist Tommy Aros (Luis Miguel). Love Songs is currently available at whatever price you feel it’s worth (gon’ ‘head give the brutha a ten-spot at least!). Long time fans of Nhojj will recognize “Love” from Nhojj’s 2007 full-length project, “Soul Comfort” sporting the creamy dance jam “Peace & Blessings.” Soul Sessions congratulates soul singer Nhojj for being a Black history and a gay history first!