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As the crowd gathered in swank bar of the luxurious The Backlot, musicians arrived with instruments in worn cases and chatted with everyone on their way through to the theatre.

An evening spent getting to know these artists and their journeys through music was something special. Intricately entwined with soulful performances, we not only experienced an up-close-and-personal night of live music but also heard numerous stories about the music world.

Ofa (Odette Mercy) and Jon Nandez, the duo behind Odette Mercy and Her Soul Atomics, were the performers for the evening. Normally a 6-piece funk soul band, the duo performed seamlessly together at this small, personal gig. We learned of Ofa’s relationship with music through her Tongan culture, her growth as an artist through the persona of Odette Mercy and how she and Jon came to work together through the years to form what is now Odette Mercy and Her Soul Atomics.

As we sank comfortably into our seats in the intimate auditorium, the organic honesty of the words coming from deep within Ofa seemed somehow effortless. Both Jon and Ofa treated us to powerful light and shade performances of Call On Me, Mama and Heartbreak.

Currently halfway through an album and with plans to release new tracks from the upcoming album next year, Odette Mercy and Her Soul Atomics are looking forward to 2018.

Image by Steve Worner.

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