Avid top forty club music lovers may well remember a particular song that was popular in the summer of 2007. My Egyptian Lover, produced by Lady GaGa collaborator Space Cowboy was a sizeable dance floor filler, featuring guest vocals by a girl known as Nadia Oh, a fresh-faced, impeccable figured camera lens natural. No more than eighteen, one could be forgiven she was a run of the mill pop tart with a questionable voice. The vocals on the song were certainly processed to within an inch of their existence, failing to leave much of an impression beyond the booming backing track.
Numerous single releases followed, each made with a cheap as chips video that displayed every asset Nadia had to her disposal. In fact, she showed such a lack of emotion in the videos that many were convinced she was created with Computer Generated Imagery. An album, also produced by Cowboy followed in 2008, entitled Hot Like Wow, further establishing her placing as an aspiring sex pop icon. The tracks featured were all in the vein of Egyptian Lover; auto-tuned to the max, samey instrumentals, and plenty of sex thrown in. Being on an independent label meant the album slipped under the radar, being released only on iTunes, however she nevertheless established an underground following, one of the many benefits of the internet age. It did see a physical release in Japan, where she has toured several times, to a thunderous reception. One of the many videos on YouTube shows Oh doing what can only be described as mincing across the stage, nonchalantly lip-synching and not even bothering to dance. Most pop stars pre-record their live tracks if they are planning on miming. Nadia does not care. She will mime along to the cd, and people will love it. This is part of what makes her such a curious musician.
Disappearing off the radar for a while, Nadia returned in the summer of 2010 with a new internet-exclusive single, entitled Kate Middleton. An aspiring club anthem about being in a club and enjoying ones youth, the track caught the attention of many a pop music lover and even the occasional critic. Sampling an up and coming musical production style known as Moombahton, the track was played a few times on Radio One, albeit in remixed form. A month later, an album, ‘Colours’ followed. Ten tracks long, the songs were equally as catchy as the trailer single, but many people were still left with a burning question; Is she for real?
Whilst the material on her debut album was frothy and light in its own right, the songs on Colours were technically altered to within an edge of their life, featuring lyrics so ridiculously shameful; ‘’Nadia Oh Yow! Blow Jo for sure’’, music fans seemed to be split as to whether she was a talentless Barbie doll, or a smart and talented musician, who was in on the joke. Viral videos released to promote the album tracks, featuring Oh casually stood in front of a green screen environment, wearing t-shirts that quoted lines from the songs, seemed to sway the argument to the latter. Whilst it is entirely possible to believe Nadia is clued up as to what she is trying to achieve with her music, it remains to be seen why she puts so little enthusiasm into her videos and live appearances. It is certainly a factor that budget limitations etc restrict what can be done in a video, yet she would be an easier artist to understand if we could actually get a proper listen to her voice or see some personality or emotion to cling on to. The thing is, that might be the whole point. Even now, as she releases new tracks almost weekly on her Sound Cloud account for all to hear, she still has this writer wanting to hear more, and in the fast-moving world of pop, that is something that should be applauded.