Words by: Blossom Maduafokwa
“Music allows me to express myself in a completely free way. It lets me connect with my inner self.” – Brisa Nunjo
For 20-year-old Brisa Nunjo, making music has basically always been inevitable. Born and raised in the bustling global city of Barcelona, she grew up in a household with a Spanish mother and a Cameroonian father who is also a seasoned artist. As a result, Brisa’s world was one where she was consistently surrounded by instruments, musicians, and, of course, music. She specifically remembers listening to the sounds of Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Awilo Longomba, Manu Dibango, and of course Xumo Nunjo, her father.
In her own musical stylings, however, Brisa leans specifically towards R&B and Soul, drawing heavily from the aforementioned Hill and Winehouse as well as contemporary acts like Jorja Smith. Her music career kicked off as early as 2014 when she accompanied her father to Cameroon as a backup singer on his Multilinguistik tour. More recently, she has featured as a singer alongside Spanish songstress Gabriela Richardson on the famed Spanish music platform Gallery Sessions. Despite her many performances alongside others she had yet to release any music of her own. That is, until now.
“What really made me realize that I wanted to do music as a career was when I started taking singing lessons and I found out that I could improve my skills as an artist.”
After working tirelessly for months, on October 1st, the musician finally took a firm step into the world of music-making and released her debut single, “Stupid Love”.
Written in the form of a letter, “Stupid Love” is an ode to the process of falling in love, one that is both lyrically and sonically vulnerable. Over a stripped-back instrumental consisting solely of a soothing electric guitar, Brisa – with a warm yet full alto – confesses her emotions to a nondescript individual. Her declaration is not impersonal, but instead, immensely intimate.
Replicating the awkward blundering that often accompanies a romantic confession, Brisa starts the song by saying, “You know I’m not good at explaining myself / So I’m gonna sing this song / and maybe you’ll understand.” She begins to divulge her feelings, including everything from the inability to get her crush out of her head to all the hurt that comes with pining. In the chorus, she asks, “What is love? / I don’t really know / Stupid love / I think it catches me now,” underscoring the message at the heart of the song: that while love is all-consuming, it is, at the end of the day, a difficult thing to understand.
Her confessions throughout the track are punctuated from time to time by soulful harmonies, reminiscent, fittingly enough, of the stylings of Lauryn Hill. The song itself ends with a half-spoken, half-sung final message to the object of Brisa’s desire. Backed by a beautiful multi-part harmony, she declares, “If you came to see me now / I would sing this song to you / from the bottom of my heart.”
More than being the simple result of Nunjo’s musings, “Stupid Love” is a relatable, unguarded track that anyone who has ever been enamored with another person can feel seen in. For this reason, Brisa has earned almost 1,700 Spotify streams on the track in barely over a month, a number which is only going to rise. What’s more, Brisa is busy at work as we speak, working on two more singles and steadily building a name for herself as a burgeoning artist. With the likes of “Stupid Love” under her belt, there is no doubt that she will deliver.
Credits: All photography by Sol Bela Mele (@solbela_)