With an unwavering passion for staying true to his artistic callings and a spirit born out of epiphanies, Nhojj has spent more than a decade becoming what some regard as a “soul pioneer”. “I want to help make this world better for everyone… one song at a time.” Nhojj says, a statement that underscores the classic soul tradition of “message in the music”.
More distinctive than his trademark locs or striking features, Nhojj is a songwriter who understands lyricism, a vocalist who projects his voice as an instrument, and an entertainer with a mystical magnetism that has compelled audiences for years. With an essence that is as sweet as it is strong, Nhojj is the self-affirming warrior whose mantra “Live Your Live” is echoed throughout his 7 CDs (5 studio), 13 singles and an Unplugged Live DVD (filmed by Emmy-nominated director Bill Cote).
Nhojj grew up in Guyana and Trinidad, where he performed for the Presidents of both countries. A preacher’s kid, his humility and deep spirituality can be traced back to a 7-year old singing in his father’s church in Georgetown. He was a good student whose musical talent was understated given his natural inclination for it, he completed a BA in Economics at New York University before embarking on a musical career.
Since taking that step Nhojj has shared the stage with such iconic artists as Norah Jones, Regina Belle, Estelle, Taylor Dayne, Diana King and Donnie. In 2005, the 8 month “Coming home” tour took him throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and the Caribbean. His 2010 Pride Tour culminated in Germany at an AIDS memorial in Munich where 500 balloons were released to the sky as Nhojj’s voice soared offering the refrain I Miss You.
One of his more notable accomplishments is reaching #1 on MTV Hive chart with the same gender loving music video “Love”, and receiving congratulations and a feature on Advocate.com as a result. In late 2009, Nhojj again opened doors when he became the 1st Black male to win an OUTMusic Award, the Alliance of LGBT Recording Artists & Performers voted “Love” R&B/Soul Song of the Year. In spite of the perceived and actual homophobia in communities of African and Caribbean descent, Nhojj has been uncompromising in his message, leading to high praise by black media groups like BET’s Centric Soul Sessions who congratulated him, “…for delivering high quality Jazzy-Soul for nearly a decade… for being a Black history and a gay history first!”
Remarkably, Nhojj’s impression into the hearts and minds of people the world over has been organic in nature. There are no major label marketing ploys or reality TV stunts; little beyond a heart that understands sincerity and gives to causes such as Lifebeat, Jazz Against Malaria, and distributes food to the homeless. Most recently he helped raise over $1,500 in one month for a LGBT Center in Guyana. Nhojj’s belief in the message of God’s unconditional love is the foundation on which songs like Things Will Get Better, created in response to gay bullying, and the marriage equality music video for the classic hymn Amazing Grace spring from.
Creatively Nhojj understands the value of collaborations with other artists like filmmakers Antoine Craigwell, producer of the award winning documentary You Are Not Alone; Kirk Shannon-Butts, writer and director of Cannes Film Festival official selection Blueprint; and Roger Omeus, creator of the #1 TLA film Finding Me. Other noteworthy collaborations include an album with queer Hip Hop pioneer Tim’m West and a music video collaboration with Def Jam Poet ButtaflySoul and fellow OMA winner Baron in My Brother.
With a new #1 album “Made to Love Him: Celebrating Love” and an award winning documentary “Out On The Tracks“, the desire to “make the world better for everyone” is evidenced by quiet power that is as contagious as his melodic falsetto runs. Says Nhojj, “I like to think that it creates a sanctuary for my listeners… a sanctuary of love and acceptance.” This temple is here for people from all walks of life, open your heart and you’ll find its harmony in his songs.