Music Group NUNNABOVE Created Out of Passion and Sibling Love

by | May 2024

NUNNABOVE - Disco Ball

Photos: Atomic K Inc./Timbre Inc.

Siblings launch a music career that’s built on authenticity—and a lot of love.

For most people who take childhood music lessons or perform in a church’s children’s choir, music stays in the background of their lives: Maybe as a fun hobby they pursue every once in a while or even in the form of an old violin or guitar collecting dust in the attic. That’s most certainly not the case for the members of NUNNABOVE, a troupe of Woodbury siblings who’ve translated their childhood passion for music into a true calling—one that’s seen them on stage at big venues and even on TV.

The Nunn siblings—Cadence, Mattie, Bennett and Wisdom—started music lessons early at Woodbury’s K&S Conservatory of Music. Sisters Cadence and Mattie started piano at ages 3 and 4, and brothers Bennett and Wisdom started guitar and drums at ages 7 and 9. As the years went by, they each found their perfect niche for the sibling band that would grow organically: Cadence on lead vocals and bass; Mattie on vocals and keys; Bennett on lead guitar and vocals; and Wisdom on drums and backup vocals. “We just fell into our roles in the band,” Cadence says. Their voices blend in perfect harmony, an outcome of both their musical training and their close familial bond. They call their sound “positive pop” or “pop alternative” and draw from a wide range of musical influences and styles.

Cadence, lead vocals and bass

Cadence, lead vocals and bass

Their parents, Ed Nunn and Michele Pollard, noticed the kids’ passion—and talent—for music and encouraged them to perform locally at church and small gigs. About a decade ago, “We started doing covers at first, and then we wrote our first songs,” says Cadence, now 23.

With a laugh, she remembers their first performances in 2014 as “terrible,” but Ed says, “It was very well done.”

“You would think so,” says Mattie, 22 (speaking on behalf of daughters everywhere).

Mattie, vocals and keys

Mattie, vocals and keys

In a fortuitous moment, NUNNABOVE got connected with local producer Karl Demer. Demer was known for producing Clouds, the hit song from late Stillwater musician Zach Sobiech, who passed away from cancer in 2013 and found a nationwide following in the time before his death. “We were doing a benefit concert, and I had a lineup of seven or so bands,” Demer says. “One canceled last minute, and I was panicked.” Demer’s son, who went to school with the Nunn siblings at Woodbury’s Math & Science Academy, told his dad to reach out. “Ed sent me a tape of their performance at the school talent show,” Demer says. “They were good! They were really young, but they really had something. We had them come to do the show, and it was a great success.”

Demer stepped in as a manager and producer for NUNNABOVE, booking the siblings for local and national gigs and securing an audition for them on season 13 of America’s Got Talent. “They wowed the judges with their Fast Car mashup and then went on to the tapings in Los Angeles for their first TV performance and subsequent trip for the Judges Cut round,” Demer says.

NUNNABOVE also started drawing the attention of Twin Cities music legends, and the siblings had the opportunity to be coached by Jevetta and Jearlyn Steele, and by Sounds of Blackness’s Gary Hines. “That was huge,” Ed says. “It was a step up, and they really started to grow. They’ve had dance lessons. There have been a lot of things that have gone into what it means to be entertainers on stage.”

The Nunn siblings take their roles as entertainers seriously. “When you come to a NUNNABOVE show and see us live, we give you a full experience,” says Bennett—not just the music.

Bennett, lead guitar and vocals

Bennett, lead guitar and vocals

In fact, the Nunns have woven their other considerable talents into their music career, too. Mattie majored in fashion design at the University of Minnesota, and she makes the group’s ensembles for performances and does their styling. Wisdom, 18, is studying animation at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. “I have my own animated show on YouTube, Bob’s World, that the band plays a huge role in,” he says. “We do the music for it. The whole family has played a role in bringing the show to life.”

Cadence, as the eldest sibling (and with a degree in psychology from Concordia University), is thoughtful about the way the band works together. “There are so many challenges and joys working with your siblings,” she says. “The crux of success for us is just communication. We each have clearly outlined roles. Of course, we get upset with each other, but we agree to speak it out loud and be honest about it.”

“We have sibling check-ins,” Wisdom says. “That really helps us air our grievances or just be honest about how we’re feeling in that moment.”

Wisdom, drums and backup vocals

Wisdom, drums and backup vocals

“The four of us try to speak with one voice about what we collectively want,” Mattie says. “We’re an internal unit, and then there’s the rest of our team, so we need to be a united front.”

Bennett, 20, who’s studying computer science at the University of Minnesota, says the siblings’ songwriting process is fun. “It usually starts with a riff or a musical bar. We bring something we’ve been working on to practice, and we’ll each add a piece.”

“It’s music first, and then everybody takes their interpretation of the starting kernel and adds something,” Mattie says. “Then it sits a while, and we’ll finish it, musically and lyrically, and perform it live. Then we start the recording process. It takes a long time.” Despite the lengthy process, NUNNABOVE has consistently released music and performed over the past 10 years, even as COVID-19 put a temporary halt to touring plans. Recent singles, available on its website and streaming platforms, include Pocket Lover, Valentine and Sedated.

Before the pandemic, Demer steered the group to performing opportunities like the Zach Sobiech benefit and America’s Got Talent, helping it avoid the club scene (partly because they were teenagers) and, more generally, avoid some of the pitfalls he observed befall other young musicians. “They were finishing their first record and getting ready to think about touring, and then the pandemic hit,” Demer says. “It was so hard to navigate that. But it was also a great growth period for them. They worked on songwriting and learned to do virtual concerts. It was a time when they really matured as songwriters. Now, they’re doing big shows again.”

The songwriting process reflects all of the authenticity and care that the Nunns put into their craft. “They all play their own instruments. They’re not a producer’s project,” Demer says. “They’re a band—a real band, which hasn’t always been the case in the music industry for the last decade or so.”

Parents Ed and Michele have watched their children’s growth—both musical and personal—with pride. “I’ve enjoyed seeing how they’ve matured in terms of what their responsibilities are, especially in a family group,” Ed says. “For them to understand what has gone into it—the time and resources—and to appreciate that is really rewarding. It’s not the easiest thing to do.”

“Our goal was just for them to have something they loved doing,” Michele says. “And to be respectful of one another and to have a good work ethic. We’re trying to raise really good people, and I think we’re on the right track with that.”

“I want people to know that when you come to one of our shows, we want you to bring your whole self,” Cadence says. “Bring your authentic self. That’s what we’re going to be doing.”

Keep Up

To keep up with NUNNABOVE and find out about its new music releases and tour dates, follow the band on social media, and visit the group online at For updates and episodes of Wisdom Nunn’s animated series, Bob’s World, follow along on Instagram at @the_crewburrow.

Instagram: @nunnabove
Instagram: @cadence.m.nunn
Instagram: @matt_mitch1115
Instagram: @thebeanut
Instagram: @wizzymmd70


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