Rich vocals in a synth sandwich
NAO’s influences range from hip hop, soul and R&B to UKG, funk and jazz. The Hackney bred songwriter and producer fought for her right to pump out a variety of genres, coming from a large family who all had different tastes. “It’s just of fusion of everything,” she says. “I can’t tell you what, really. It just is”.
After studying vocal jazz at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, NAO rivalled her peers and always strived for perfection.
It was only last year NAO started to put her music online and it wasn’t long before she was discovered. Zane Lowe picked So Good as his Next Hype record. It swiftly rose to number one on The Hype Machine, with more than 60 blogs raving about the track.
Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac said of NAO; “She’s honed a sound that is irresistibly groove-laden” and made Zillionaire her Hottest Record and, more recently, Bad Blood became her Tune of the Week.
NAO’s unique vocal tone has garnered her fans including Disclosure, who asked her to feature on Superego, from their album Caracal, and fellow Sound Of 2016 nominee Mura Masa, with whom she collaborated on Firefly. The duo performed it earlier this year during a piano session for Huw Stephens.
NAO also performed on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2015 and received a MOBO nomination for best newcomer.