Proving that soul music can be exponentially greater than the sum of its parts, The Nth Power is on a mission to share the light. Formed during an impromptu late-night jam at Jazz Fest 2012 in New Orleans, the relentlessly funky and soulful band believes in music as a higher power—tapping into an energy that is simultaneously sexy and spiritual, with songs that will inspire audiences to dance, groove, make love or just stand there with goose bumps.
The quintet hails from diverse musical backgrounds, races and creeds. Female powerhouse Nikki Glaspie was Beyonce’s world-touring drummer for five years before she joined Ivan Neville’s New Orleans funk outfit, Dumpstaphunk. Bassist Nate Edgar of Groovechild and John Brown’s Body perfectly compliments Singer and Guitarist Nick Cassarino who came from the Jennifer Hartswick Band and toured with Big Daddy Kane. Next add West African Master-Percussionist, Weedie Braimah to the mix with his insurmountable world beat rhythms. Finally rounding off the ensemble is the newest and youngest member, Courtney J’Mell Smith who brings his soulful vocals and keyboard abilities to the table.
“Just know that when you hear this music, you’re going to feel something—you’re going to connect with something higher than yourself,” explains Braimah.
The Nth Power’s 2013 independent EP, Basic Minimum Skills Test, showcases a first glimpse of the spark shared among the group, delivering gospel-style vocals with soul, jazz, funk and world-beat riffs in nearly mathematical fashion.
“It’s my dream team,” said Glaspie. “Each one of us is a songwriter, so when we get together, everything becomes that much stronger.” Beyond raw skill, however, Glaspie cites a deep spiritual connection as the glue that binds them together. “Music is what brought us together, but it’s the spiritual bond that makes us play so in touch with each other,” she explained.
And at the core of their vibe is a deviously simple concept—the healing power of love.