Podcast: A Conversation with Nino Arobelidze

A Conversation with Nino Arobelidze:

I had a very enjoyable conversation about a week ago with Tbilisi, Georgian-born, Chicago-based singer and songwriter Nino Arobelidze (and her son).

I don’t know Nino, so I was going to simply post the profile from her website to accompany the podcast and videos. The more I thought about the conversation, however, the more I thought of my dad. The obvious similarity is that they both came to the United States when they were teenagers. My father became an American in the army, but a big part of him remained German. Growing up with him led me recognize that somebody who comes to another culture experiences it differently than a native. That difference no doubt is exacerbated when the culture is as chaotic as ours.

I suppose I sensed the same thing in Nino. It was a very pleasant surprise that Nino said she was influenced by somebody as removed from her homeland — and as forgotten by most — as trumpet player Bix Beiderbecke. She also cited female blues singers from the same era. The eclecticism and integration of styles is easy to hear in her music.

It’s odd. I can’t really put my finger on it, but Nino’s approach reminded me of the two cultures that were very obvious in my father.

This is from Nino’s website:

“Nino Arobelidze Creates New Crossroads Between Pop, Jazz, Soul and Damn Good Beat Boxing” writes Hannah Frank of CAU “Nino, a U.S./Georgian musician and vocalist who grew up overseas, represents how dynamic, rhythmic and lyrical exploration created beauty with her new album NOMAD. Smooth jazz fans, R&B hip hop aficionados, EDM troubadours, genuine rock and roll lovers and spoken word listeners all find themselves sitting appreciatively at the altar of NOMAD”.

Hailing from Tbilisi-Georgia, Nino Arobelidze moved to Chicago to make music and develop her sound. While still studying classical vocal performance at DePaul University Music School, Nino became the first vocalist to be an Artist in Residence at the North Shore Hotel in Evanston, where she held a weekly lecture/performance series for three years. Her time is currently occupied with her solo project and Forbidden Knowledge (ft. Pablo Gordy & Nino). Nino’s 2014 release NOMAD is co-produced by Pablo Gordy- Ni Fu Ni Fa Records.

Nino’s voice is often described as pure and effortless with a timeless vintage twist. While her imaginative phrasing and swagger are reminiscent of a skilled instrumentalist, her treatment of language is driven by the power of words and the magic of subtlety. Nino recently released a new music video- “Passages” in collaboration with Terry Dixon and Studio 2A Films.

Below is “Strange Brew.”