Artist: Nao Yoshioka
Release: Loyalty (25th March – SWEET SOUL RECORDS)
For Fans Of: H.E.R, Marie Dahlstrom, Oscar Jerome
“Impeccable Neo-Soul” – Rolling Stone
“A perfect example of Nao’s utterly hip aesthetic” – Popmatters
“Dynamic vocal skills […] An artist to watch in the genre” – Earmilk
If there’s ever been an artist to showcase the global appeal of modern R&B and Soul, then it’s surely rising star Nao Yoshioka. Born in Japan, now living in the U.S, Nao has been perfecting her craft and working alongside legendary musicians in the scene to create an authentic & powerful new album ‘Undeniable’, due for release in April.
Growing up in Osaka, Japan, Nao was a creative force even from a young age. Before discovering a passion for music, she inherited a passion for art from her parents, both of which were designers in her native Japan. Soon enough, her older sister introduced her to Soul and R’n’B via old Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston records. She was hooked immediately and soon took to writing and performing. A few years later, Nao’s parents divorced, causing a difficult time emotionally in her life which stopped her singing for two years. Once old enough, Nao decided to pack up and move to America, choosing to live in New York. She soon met a vocal coach who was influential in building back her passion for music and she hasn’t looked back since.
Her first single “Make The Change” dropped in 2012 to critical acclaim and recognition across the scene. Since then, her output has led to three album releases and critical support from Billboard, Rolling Stone, Earmilk and support across Spotify’s editorial playlists. Her single ‘I Love When’ also jumped to #32 on the Urban Adult Contemporary Billboard charts. Keen to also build a live audience, she’s performed at key venues worldwide including Blue Note Tokyo, Billboard Live Tokyo, Blue Note New York, Capital Jazz Fest, Highline Ballroom, NY, Hideaway Streatham UK, featured during Mamas Gun’s show at London’s Jazz Cafe and performed at Club Daphne in The Netherlands.
The new single ‘Loyalty’ previews the rich, accomplished soulful R&B that’s forthcoming on her fourth album “Undeniable”. On the album, Nao worked with some of the most accomplished musicians and producers on the scene including Musicman Ty (Alicia Keys), Khari Mateen (Jill Scott, The Roots) and Eric Robertson. ‘Loyalty’ possesses an Irresistible groove and warm Rhodes chords which form the foundation for Nao’s outstanding top-line. It’s a track that ebbs and flows between funky verse sections and an anthemic chorus line.