Review: Nao @ Green Door Store, 8/12/15

Sitting outside the venue, we waited impatiently for London bred singer-songwriter Nao to serenade us with her velvet like voice. Anticipation was high and the atmosphere was buoyant. The crowd seemed to show no hesitation that Nao would not disappoint, and that she didn’t.

Having toured with one of the most distinctive bands, Little Dragon, Nao entered the stage with her fiery aura that spread unto the audience. The excitement was penetrating throughout the show, making us yearn for more by the end of it.

Green Door Store was the perfect venue to see the ’90s inspired artist. With its petite bohemian styled rooms, her faultless voice surrounded the brick embedded walls inside the intimate setting. The lights soon faded and the multi-coloured gaze of the spotlights followed Nao towards the microphone. She humbly greeted the audience and proceeded to allure us with her first performance of the night.

With continuous breaks between songs, Nao familiarised us with her bubbly disposition and inspirations and with that came the revelation that she is soon to be releasing her upcoming album ‘Bad Blood’. The crowd were in raptures by this point, and she captivated us further by introducing her single In The Morning, which she disclosed was not on any of her previous EPs. To this came the insinuation that this was one for the album.

Her voice was effortless which coincided with her welcoming nature. It’s very rare you see an artist exceed their vocal range presented within their own music. Nao’s voice went several pitches higher and lower than that I have ever heard an artist achieve. Although a low key event, she gave a spectacular performance, really showed the audience that she will persist to surpass herself throughout her musical career.

She has previously collaborated with the likes of A.K Paul and Mura Masa, so as anticipated, the reception when she performed both So Good and Firefly was exhilarating. She went onto perform Inhale Exhale and Zillionaire. Her optimistic energy and interaction between her and the audience engulfed the room. She went onto to reveal that Zillionaire was about how her best friend was worthy of much more than the materialistic obsessions in life. To know her innermost thoughts behind her music acquainted us more so with Nao not only as an artist but as an individual.

The main appeal of the whole experience was the elusiveness of her voice. Nao knew exactly when and how to astonish the audience with the use of her upper and lower vocal tones. When she sang In The Morning she perfectly induced us with her vehement intonations. The strength and passion of her vocals corresponded well alongside her feel good music. I feel that Nao is an authentic representative of RnB music today. Her performance was utterly flawless, proving that she does not need the helping hands from behind the scenes.

Nao is a rare talent and great addition within music today. She will be returning to Brighton in the new year and I would definitely recommend seeing a talent so bold as her. Find tickets here.

By Simi Manik

The Verse Staff

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