From: OR, United States
Genre: Pop, Dance, R&B
In 1984, Valerie and husband, John Smith, recorded a self-produced five-song EP with their band Nu Shooz. Listener reaction to their funky dance track called “I Can’t Wait,” was strong and immediate – the kind of response known in radio jargon as “instant phones.” Airplay spread and the tune made its way to Europe, where a Dutch engineer created a remix that came back to the US and caught fire in New York dance clubs. “I Can’t Wait” reached #3 on the pop charts, #1 on the Urban charts, #1 on the Dance charts, and hit the the top 10 in Europe and Britain in 1986. Nu Shooz went on to record several other hit singles, and after selling more than a million records world wide, was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy in 1987.
Since the 80’s, Valerie Day and John Smith have had a wide-ranging musical journey. Day has been performing with her jazz quartet and created “Brain
Chemistry for Lovers,” a multimedia show that explores the neuroscience of Romantic Love (www.valeriedaysings.com). Smith is a working composer and arranger, scoring indie films and hundreds of commercials. He’s also been posting a graphic novel on the web, a tale of mutant genetics called ‘EVOLUTIONLab’ (www.malcocreative.com)
In the summer of 2006, NuShooz went back into the studio to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their signature hit “I Can't Wait.” The session produced “I Can't Wait – Unplugged,” an acoustic version of the song with jazz instrumentation and a decidedly laid-back vibe. It came out so good they decided to form a band with the same line-up. NU SHOOZ ORCHESTRA was a giant leap away from dance-floor pop into the worlds of Film Noir, 60s Spy Movies, and even Tarzan. The band released an album, "Pandora's Box," in 2010.
The next year, work began on KUNG PAO KITCHEN, a collection of unreleased studio recordings made during the late 80's and early 90's. The songs sound as fresh as the day they were made, and capture the Shooz working hard and digging a deep groove. KUNG PAO KITCHEN was released in 2012. The album features guest appearances by James Brown's legendary taxman Maceo Parker, and Jazz Fusion star Jeff Lorber.
NU SHOOZ continues into the future as a laboratory for sonic exploration. As Valerie said, “We couldn't find the music we wanted to listen to so we had to make it ourselves.”
And the journey continues.