– Hi Naiyah! Can you tell us about your journey as an artist, from your beginnings singing in the church choir to where you are today?
Hey, yes of course. I started singing at around the age of 8 and joined our church choir where I ended up singing soprano and becoming a choir leader in my early teens. From there I was just singing at every opportunity possible, from the school showcases, to local competitions and open mics, which then led to me gaining my first residency in a local venue where I would perform for 2 hours once a month. I then auditioned for X-Factor when I was 18 and made it to the 3rd round of auditions but was sadly sent home. I still continued to push and was eventually able to work with Downtown Artists where I first started recording my own music. This was probably my first real introduction to the music industry and I decided I needed to take a break from writing to study and learn some more so I enrolled onto a music performance course at Westminster University which is also when I moved to London. After some time studying and taking time to learn and grow I returned in 2020, doing backing vocals for others and began touring and gaining more and stage experiences until I was ready to start writing my own music again.
– “Blue Dream” is a beautiful and soulful track. What inspired you to write this song, and what message do you hope it conveys to your listeners?
Thank you so much! I wrote Blue Dream in 2020 during the height of the Covid pandemic. It was a time where there was so much confusion and tension in the world but also around me. I felt really anxious and lost and so I would spend many days in parks, just trying to find some solace. I would journal and write affirmations and eventually write the lyrics to this song. It’s really about finding peace amongst chaos, being able to block out the noise and find grounding no matter your circumstances and it also just paints the picture of how I spent most of those days during that time.
– In the song, you speak about writing a note to your younger self. Can you share some advice or wisdom you would give to your younger self based on your experiences in the music industry and life in general?
I would tell my younger self to never give up and to ignore that little voice that’s constantly telling her “it’s too late”. I’ve realised that there will be many “no’s” and so many moments where I felt like I’d missed my chance. But there really is no limit on being able to create incredibly beautiful art. If you work hard at your craft and make great music, it will eventually speak for itself, so just start. It’s never too late to just start.
– You mentioned your three-year hiatus from music. What led you back to pursuing a career in music in 2020, during the pandemic, and how has this journey impacted your artistry?
I’ve always known that my purpose in this life is to be able to use my voice to connect with people and to create beautiful works of art. That never left me, I think I just needed to take some time to learn and to grow. I needed to experience more and perfect my craft to be able to create and share a project with the world that I am truly proud of. I think I learnt a lot during that time and I’m still learning now but it’s been an amazing process now finally being able to share what I’ve been working on.
– How would you define your unique style within the neo-soul genre?
I would define my style as a soulful blend of Rnb, Jazz and Neo-soul. I’m mostly inspired by incredible voices and so people like Rachelle Ferrell, Amel Larrieux and Jazmine Sullivan have all had an impact on the artist I am today. But also, I’m surrounded by and work with a lot of Jazz musicians and so naturally there are some Jazz influences in my music which I love too!
– Could you give us a glimpse of what’s to come in your upcoming EP? What can fans expect in terms of themes and sounds from your new music?
I’m so proud and excited for the EP. It’s entitled ‘Rebirth’ and it really encompasses the journey I’ve been on for the past few years, it’s the perfect representation of all the growth I’ve experienced and a reintroduction to me as an Artist. You can expect more dreamy production, sultry vocals and just beautifully wholesome and hopeful lyrics that I hope will touch everyone who comes into contact with it.