This April, PALM introduced you to ndeluv, an experimental R&B artist who’s made music for the better part of the past decade and captured the ears and imaginations of many online during his 2012 heyday. With virtually no music released in the past five years, ndeluv has fans wondering where he is and what he’s been up to. I caught up with the 28-year old San Francisco native on his whereabouts to piece together the question of who is ndeluv.
How’d you come up with the name NDELUV?

I used to go by the the moniker “Deluv” for awhile, it worked for the time it lasted but eventually I was looking for a change of face, a new skin, matured leather you know, ndeluv came about fairly simply but still with a great deal of thought behind it, no caps, 6 letters, dualism within the context, I was ready to express my new found self awareness but still i wanted to hide behind the name. Nieko is my first name, lower case “n”, Deluv was a thing, a ruse to throw people off of my scent i suppose, ndeluv, subtle yet still present, unassuming but still intriguing, it was perfect.

 How was it growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area how was it? Has the gentrification boom affected you personally?

The city was something special man, only now can i appreciate the jungle it was for what it was to me, it had everything a kid could want or need, transportation, dense population, culture, different divisions within the main hub that supplied you with even more diversity for your senses, it was a playground, and i find myself fanatically remembering or piecing together random events from my past growing up in the city, almost as if it never happened but i wish it had.. the city was cold, but we wore coats and hoodies, it was our city for the time, but now it belongs to somebody else

What nationality are you?

I’m Samoan, Latin, [and] White.

You seem to have a heavy 90s R&B influence. Growing up what did you listen to?

90’s R&B you say? How cool was 90’s R&B for real, it was player as fuck, it was sexy, demanding, in your face, emotions on the sleeves with a groovy ass bounce or swing, that shit was soulful and full of youth and the harnessed the spirit that you thought you were going to live forever in that very moment your song was playing.. brings a tear to my eye.

You’ve been off the radar for the past few years, what have you been up to?

After i finished ndeluvs projects i was at sort of a stand still for awhile, i did so much in such a short amount of time you know, not many people who know about ndeluv even know that there were 10 projects in total between the end of 2010 and the end of 2012, it was a heavy growing period for me creatively and personally, i had really laid it all out on the line by the time #RIPRNB came out in Dec. 2012 (the last ndeluv project) after that i had a couple random jobs here and there, one was packing boxes of kale for 10hrs a day at some factory in the town, i worked graveyard shift at urban outfitters unpacking boxes of clothes for a hot min, barbacked as couple places… there was a solid six or seven months where all I would do was walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland reading books that i had found or was introduced to by strangers, i had reallly long hair and facial hair, i was a walking tree man. i really got into film photography, i liked taking pictures but only when they meant something to me, with film you cant just go photo crazy, you really gotta want to take a picture to use up a spot on your roll you know what i mean.. i also started writing a lot, like movie ideas, screenplays, short stories, anime ideas, comic super hero stuff, Bukowski blurred life typer of shit, which im still very much into, i did some visual short show series on YouTube that were really cool, thinking about starting that back up again, maybe a channel with random visuals to new music tracks I don’t know what to do with, little mini shows in between, sound like fun right now.

You have a certain visual aesthetic where most of your video content and photos are in black in white. How did you come up with this?

It’s the mood, I never really wanted to be seen, I always liked the mystique of being present but allusive, black and white videos or really tight face shots and no real definite profile of me were all surrounded by that attraction to privacy but having the door cracked open just enough to let you come in. It was my bag you know.

Who would you like to work with? (artists and producers)

I would love to work with more women, shoot them, talk to them, laugh with them, listen to them, that’s where my head is at right now.

Where do you see R&B music going in the future?

R&B was a product of generation, whats going to happen now is a new generation will idealize it and come up with its own hybrid child as we’ve seen already with the ndeluv projects for example, those were childs of R&B but they weren’t R&B, feel me?

Who are you currently listening to?
I have Miles Davis Pandora station on at all times currently
What are you doing right now to occupy your time? 
Pushing drinks to my fellow man, side note.. I’d really like to own my own bar one day, live up stairs and i know all of my customers names, that would be nice.
Interests/hobbies outside of music?
 I’ve found the older i get the more i find interesting about all the things life has to offer, even simple walk from a to b is enough to keep me enthused.
Favorite food/drink?
I’m really into tofu burritos right now, as a matter of fact! I’m about to go get one right now! / water, water is life, drink more water, and hot tea..
Why should people care about NDELUV?

ndeluv was a passion project for me, it was my life, it was a journal and a piece of self growth in real time you know, I remember when I first realized that if I knew myself I would know the world because we all share the same set of emotions and feelings and potential, apathy and empathy help us connect with each other and relate.. ndeluv could be anybody, it just so happens that i had my crack at him first.


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