Ntangou is easily one of the most elegant women I have met here in NYC. When I dropped by her home in Crown Heights for the first time last fall, she gracefully ushered me in — a stranger — with a piping hot cup of ginger tea. Since then we had spoken only a handful of times, at music venues and cramped Brooklyn basements — needless to say, I was beyond excited to shoot with her this past Sunday afternoon.

A painter by day and vocalist by night, Ntangou radiates creativity. She wears her hair in beautifully dyed linen headscarves and is often draped in a cascade of bright pigmented fabrics. She can usually be seen at various Brooklyn music venues either performing onstage or manning a booth in a quiet corner selling her beautiful acrylic paintings.

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Hence I was hardly surprised to see a woven hammock adorned with colorful pillows in her sun-drenched bedroom. The facing wall was occupied by a wooden easel and a myriad of paintings in various states of completion. Bundles of paint tubes and brushes were strewn about on the oak wood floor like a thread of jewels — a nest, in every sense of the word.

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Growing up in beautiful Hudson Valley, Ntangou (and her entire family, in fact) have a natural propensity for warmth and community that can be difficult to find amongst jaded New Yorkers. Being one of the first of her sisters to move to NYC seems to have bred in her a quiet sense of responsibility. Still, Ntangou is not afraid to let her intuitions guide her. She is currently working on a body of paintings (prints available here) and is a robust vocalist in Lady Moon and the Eclipse.

ntangou-2-smIt’s been a struggle adjusting back to life in NYC after the intoxicating adrenaline of travel, but individuals like Ntangou remind me why I’ve nested here in the first place. Be sure to check out Ntangou’s paintings and her various endeavors over on her Instagram.

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Photo Credit: The Denizen Co.