“Havana”: The only thing that stands out for me here is the bold choice in janky piano samples, just pitchy enough to transport you to the world of well-preserved cars and state socialism. It’s also subjective whether it’s a different chord change, or just a different arrangement of the same chord change that happens when Young Thug comes in. I’ll tell you one thing, nobody on the dang dance floor cares if the implied chords are diminished or dominant.
Famed for her 2014 opera Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom, Dr. Nkeiru Okoye’s music has been described as “emotionally charged and musically sublime.” Okoye also cites inspiration from a dizzying range of influences including Gilbert and Sullivan, Gershwin, Sondheim, Copland, gospel, jazz and yes, even Schoenberg. Born and raised in New York, the composer studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division and later at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she completed degrees in Music Theory and Composition. Okoye later went onto complete her PhD at Rutgers University. Her varied and well-crafted music sits nicely in a diatonic framework, making it easily accessible and highly enjoyable for a range of audiences. With music as captivating and loud as her recent opera, I believe we’ll be hearing a great deal from Dr. Nkeiru Okoye.