By Arshon Howard
Music is a never ending journey for international neo-soul funk artist Nubia Soul Goddess.
“I don’t think it ends even when you die,” Nubia Soul Goddess said. “I’ve had tons of pitfalls. But a lot of artists don’t tell you that. They just show the good or their blessings. But I want to show it all.”
Her voice is the essence of soul, neo-soul, jazz, and funk all wrapped up in layers of sultry smoothness. Just think of Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, and Angie Stone with a hint of James Brown.
“As artists, you have those moments where you question yourself,” Nubia said. “Sometimes it’s a little frustrating watching other people, and you wish them well, but you ask yourself how do you get to that point. Then something falls out of the sky to let you know that you’re on the right track.”
Nubia has always trusted her path. She is finally becoming the artist she always envisioned herself to be, as she prepares to release her upcoming album Changing Faces under her record label SoulBeeMusic Records, LLC.
The album is expected to be released this year. It took 10 years to complete.
“When something is done right, it takes time,” Nubia said. “Nothing is done immediately. You take breaks from recording or doing shows because life is happening.”
For her, life has included both relationships and a precious daughter — more on that below.
As for the album’s launch date, Nubia declined to specify. “I’m not going to give a date. It’s just going to be one of those things where it’s like, boom. It’s here; here you go. Everything is completely finished. I can’t believe I’m finally at this point.”
Success isn’t a destination but a journey.
It’s a statement that defines Nubia’s musical voyage. Her career has had a lot of ups and downs personally and musically since she started in 2006.
She’s been married and divorced twice and led by the wrong people musically. She endured all this while raising a daughter, who just recently graduated high school. Still, Nubia Soul Goddess has music pouring through her veins, and no challenge could stop her from pursuing it.
Nubia was born in Macon, GA, and raised in the small town of Bolingbroke, GA, just down the interstate. She began her musical journey with classical piano lessons at the age of eight.
Over the next few years, she began singing in her church choir as well as in a professional community Gospel choir for the next ten years.
During this time, Nubia attended school and became proficient in marching and concert percussion, becoming the first female drummer in her county. After graduating high school, however, she set music on the back burner.
“I took some time off, being a mother and a wife,” Nubia explained, “But in 2006 I decided to pursue my career as a solo artist. My daughter’s father is a producer, and he co-produced a song with someone that we grew up knowing.”
“It was beautiful to me,” Nubia continued. “It made me feel all these things and have all these thoughts, and they were like, it’s time for you to start writing. You kind of fell out of the loop, and it’s time for you to get back to that. I went to a jam session, and it went from there.”
Since then, Nubia Soul Goddess has continued to perform at local and major venues. She sung for thousands at the Taliah Waajid Natural Hair Show. She has also performed at Charlotte and Atlanta PRIDE festivals as well as Jazz in the Alley.
Nubia performs cover tunes from artists such as Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Outkast, and Lalah Hathaway.
In 2018 Nubia opened for Angie Stone’s neo-soul brunch in Atlanta. “I was nervous,” Nubia confessed. “It was the real deal. When you’re in that type of environment, you know that her people had a hand [in] picking who they wanted for that slot, so it was a great feeling knowing that I was able to open for her. It was great being able to meet her and have her drop a couple of jewels on me.”
Just recently, Nubia Soul Goddess’s music aired on the Sheryl Underwood Radio Show. Nubia was also featured in Atlanta’s Voyage magazine, Creative Loafing Live from the Archives, and on other platforms.
She’s settling in for the ride.
Earlier in her career, Nubia used to question herself musically, but now she understands that her path to success was always correct as it took time for her to see it for herself.
That’s why she started her indie music record label, SoulBeeMusic Records, LLC.
“At the time I felt like no label was going to give me what I felt like I deserved,” Nubia said. “I find it funny that in 2019, a lot of the same ideas of things that I was doing back then is what’s happening today musically. I guess I always appeared to be ahead of my time.”
For now, Nubia is enjoying the moment and continuing along the musical path that she always knew she was destined for.
“There have been so many changes since I started this,” Nubia said. “I see my growth and I still see what I have to grow on. It’s a never-ending journey.”