Emerging artist Nicole Bus, who was born and raised in Amsterdam, had an immediate presence about her — a glow that radiated from all 6‘1” of her as she sauntered into the Tiny Desk area. She beamed a smile so infectious that her energy and aura were immediately felt. And this was before she graced us with her sultry voice.
Before launching into her performance, Nicole shared how meaningful this moment was and that playing at the tiny desk was a vision board aspiration she willfully manifested.
An ominous piano melody from keyboardist Eugene “Man Man” Roberts helped set an ever-evolving mood on the opening song, “You,” along with a seamless blend of horns and flute. Nicole followed by premiering a new song about women’s empowerment, “Love It,” before closing with “Mr. Big Shot,” an up-tempo banger mixing high-energy rhythms with ragga-influenced vocals.
Nicole Bus’ sound is nostalgic. It’s reminiscent of vintage R&B, yet still feels current, and can transcend age and demographics.
- “Love It”
- “Mr. Big Shot”
Nicole Bus: vocals, guitar; Anthony DeCarlo: guitar; Ray Bernard: bass; Eugene “Man Man” Roberts: keys; Korey Riker: saxophone, flute; Chris Stevens: trumpet; Aaron Goode: trombone; Mark Thomas: drums
Producers: Abby O’Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan, Jeremiah Rhodes, Maia Stern; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Production Assistant: Paul Georgoulis; Photo: Olivia Falcigno/NPR