It’s a (Wo)man’s World Music Artist Feature: NAO
Once in a while, I will feature a talented female music artist who is not very well-known in the music industry. Although we have women like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift dominating the Top 40 charts, the rest of the industry is still very male dominated. This series is meant to highlight the ladies who are killing it because they are talented, beautiful, dedicated, passionate, and able to rock a crowd. If you have an artist you’d like to see highlighted, please mention them in the comments!
Sometimes you find new music from friends. Sometimes you find new music from artists you already follow. And sometimes you find new music from one of many, many streaming application’s recommendation engines (which are generally all pretty terrible). That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when Apple Music recommended I listen to NAO’s new album ‘For All We Know.’ The editor’s notes promised a ‘funky spin on electro-soul and R&B’ and being a fan of all of those things, I gave it a try.
In an age where no one makes albums anymore, but rather a collection of singles, For All We Know takes us on the journey of a love story. After a quick intro and an upbeat track to entrance us, the album quickly transports us back in time with tracks that are reminiscent of popular 90’s R&B. If you didn’t know you were listening to NAO, you might even ask yourself if Brandy is trying to revive her career. Unsurprisingly, NAO grew up in the 90’s and writing this type of music came very naturally to her, despite wanting to explore sounds in a different direction originally, as told to Billboard.
As you progress through the album, the tracks become more electronic and modern, and reminded me of AlunaGeorge, another UK electronic music sensation. Like AlunaGeorge, NAO has also collaborated with electronic superstars Disclosure. The similarities end there though. I find NAO’s sound on tracks like Trophy more raw, perfect for a more gritty mood versus the smoother house feelings provided by AlunaGeorge.
Overall, this was an album I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope NAO’s debut album For All We Know help her have a breakout year, because talent like this should not stay unknown.
Check out NAO’s tour schedule coming up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DANWEN CHEN
I am originally from China and grew up in the Greater Boston Area. After graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I spent 2 years in educational publishing then moved to NYC to pursue a career in Marketing. While doing so, I discovered my love for technology and business, and found the perfect intersection in Product Management. When I am not busy building great software for today’s marketers, I am rocking parties as Element of Chaos. Follow me to hear random news about SEO, technology, Boston sports, and music.