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“Nhojj – MUSIC and the word” documentary short takes an up-close and personal look at Caribbean homosexual singer-songwriter Nhojj.
Taken from the landmark Jan. 7, 2012 Brooklyn Museum “Out & Proud” First Saturday concert, the documentary short Nhojj – MUSIC and the word is an inspirational journey into the award-winning Caribbean artist Nhojj – the man, his music and message. It celebrates humanity, and redefines the issue of gay sexuality.
In the spirit of First Saturdays – free events at the museum on the first Saturday of each month – “MUSIC” is now available free for all to view via YouTube. “MUSIC” the documentary focuses on the happiness of life experiences that everyone shares – homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. “It is an affirmation.” Nhojj explains, “It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight… what’s important is for you to own who you are and respect those around you.”
The 16 minute documentary shows Nhojj at home, in the rehearsal studio, and on stage. Called the “genius of joy” by Fifth Dimension biographer Robert-Allan Arno, the #1 MTV Hive artist shares his work and talks about his band, the creative process, his sexuality and his perception of God.
Nhojj on God – “I grew up in church and my Dad’s a minister… I must have gone to some church service and heard… ‘God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’… I don’t agree… the only creative force in our world is God… so anything that’s here that was created comes from God.”
Nhojj on songwriting – “I don’t write about what’s wrong in the world… There’s lots about what’s wrong, I don’t need to contribute to that. I think we need to be reminded about what’s good, that’s where I come from.” Nhojj on his audience – “I think anyone who views life from the standpoint of being grateful, working toward a better world – if you’re kind of along those lines, I think you’ll appreciate my music.”
The “Out and Proud” concert coincided with the HIDE/SEEK exhibit – the first major museum exhibition to explore how gender and sexual identity shaped the creation of American portraiture. Band members included John Legend drummer/musical director Swiss Chris, Phyllis Hyman keyboardist John F. Adams, British bassist Clark Dark, and longtime guitarist Marcelo Cardozo. “I was in the perfect hands” Nhojj says, “all these guys are super talented… a dream come true for a songwriter to hear them bring the songs and take them up to their level.”
Under the supervision of Yasuaki Nakajima, Nhojj – MUSIC and the word was originally filmed to share the “Out & Proud” Brooklyn Museum concert and rehearsal process with fans on Nhojj’s website and social networks. Emmy nominated Michael Burlingame (Sting at the Hollywood Bowl) was brought in. He expanded the project to include interviews, and intertwined Nhojj’s message as a gay activist with his music and song lyrics. “MUSIC” is produced jointly by Nakajima’s production company Medama Productions and Burlingame’s production company The Control Group.