The singer/songwriter has been delivering albums consistently since 1999 – her latest, Pink Elephant, being her fourth – but she has not yet been given credit where due. And we, at HelloBeautiful, would like to change all that.
Born Chonita Nicole Gillespie in Dallas, Texas, N’dambi first entered the music world singing gospel in her church; both her parents were Baptist ministers.
After graduating in 1994 from Southern Methodist University, Gillespie attempted to navigate her way through the Dallas music scene with a handful of short stories she had written, as she had majored in English while in school. Her writing skills are evident, as the lyrics to her songs often paint vivid pictures of minute details.
She delivered her debut solo CD Little Lost Girl Blues in 1999, a two-disc set with Tunin’ Up & Cosignin’ in 2001 (which focused more on a live and jazzy sound), and the funky, rock-influenced A Weird Kind Of Wonderful in 2005. These projects were released independently, but having now signed with the Stax label, you can expect to hear her music move to mainstream.
With support from producer Leon Sylvers III – whose credits include Shalamar, Gladys Knight, The Whispers, and Blackstreet – as well as Erykah Badu, who Gillespie sang background vocals for on the Baduizm and Live albums, it’s only a matter of time before N’dambi’s name rolls off everyone’s tongue with ease.
Watch our exclusive interview with her to find out how she got her name, what motivates her, what methods she uses when songwriting, and what regrets she has, if any.
Also, hear her sing an acoustic version of “Ooo, Baby.”
Watch some of our other EXCLUSIVE interviews by clicking the links below: