Nu Shooz, the husband and wife duo of John Smith and Valerie Day, shot to fame in the mid-80s on the heels of “I Can’t Wait,” an irresistibly catchy single that melded Valerie’s soulful vocals with a classic electro-synth backing track. “I Can’t Wait” hit the Billboard Top 5 in June 1986, logging fifteen weeks in the Top 40 while also buzzing the upper reaches of the R&B and Hot Dance/Club Play charts.
“Point Of No Return”, the second single from the group’s Atlantic debut, also hit the Top 40 and showed similar staying power, while “Don’t Let Me Be The One” became another dance staple, making the group one of the most influential club artists of the time. By the end of the year, Nu Shooz had completed a 70-city tour in 73 days, saw its album reach gold sales status ,and found itself nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy.
Their 1988 follow-up album yielded another Top 30 pop hit in “Should I Say Yes,” followed by the dance chart-topper “Are You Lookin’ For Somebody Nu.”
John and Valerie, still making music from their Portland, Oregon, home base, recently recorded and released an acoustic version of “I Can’t Wait,” produced a DVD chronicling the band’s meteoric rise, and formed an eclectic new ensemble mixing funk, jazz, and world beat dubbed the Nu Shooz Orchestra.
Spirit creatives placed Nu Shooz songs in feature films “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan“ and “Hot Tub Time Machine”, video games such as 'Grand Theft Auto IV' and 'DJ Hero,' and a national advertising campaign for Powerade energy drinks.
Recently Beluga Heights rapper, Mann, dropped some bars over a chopped ‘n’ screwed sample of “I Can’t Wait” for his track, "Buzzin'." This in turn garnered the attention of 50 Cent, who subsequently hopped on the “Buzzin” remix.