Words by Phoebe Nadorp
Naiyah guides the listener through a meditative and spiritual journey with her debut single “Blue Dream”. Accompanied by her soothing vocals, her lyrical messaging acts as a reminder to the listener to stay grounded; slowing down to enjoy the simple pleasures that life can offer. Ahead of her upcoming EP, Naiyah proves her ability to transform one’s challenges into a hidden opportunity for growth, by crafting music that resonates with the soul.
Her soulful approach is likely to be rooted in her upbringing in the Midlands where she, like many of the successful vocalists we know and love today, grew up singing in church. It was while singing as a Soprano in her church choir that she actually made the discovery of her passion and talent of storytelling through music. After attaining her first residency at the young age of 16, Naiyah would go on to pursue a career as an artist by releasing music alongside DownTown Records.
After a brief 3 year break from her pursuit of music, Naiyah made her mark returning to the industry in 2020, joining the artist collect Steamdown in South-East London as a resident vocalist. It is perhaps in this hiatus from creating where she was able to personally connect with the messaging of self-development and growth that we hear in her newly released music.
“Blue Dream” starts with a delicate piano melody to set the color of the song’s orphic aura. However, aside from the complementary instrumentation, Naiyah’s vocals are the true heart of the track. Her voice could be described as nothing short of entrancing, keeping the listeners spellbound into her spiritual journey from her first note. From the opening verse, Naiyah’s sultry tone transports listers to a bygone era, to the likes of neo-soul and R&B icons Erykah Badu, Jasmine Sullivan, and Sadé.
She maintains a sense of warmth throughout the emotive atmosphere of the song, highlighting a shared sense of authenticity and intimacy that isn’t too commonly found in today’s music landscape.
The name ‘Naiyah’ carries the meaning ‘flowing water’, carefully chosen by the artist to encapsulate her understanding of the ever-evolving space that she finds herself in as an individual as well as a musician. Naiyah feels as though she is “constantly shifting and growing and creating as a response”. This sentiment is reflected in the songwriting of “Blue Dream”, where she speaks on writing a note to her younger self, telling that childlike version that “she’s more than the cards she was dealt”.
Such themes of hopeful longing and nostalgia, paint a vivid picture of transformative healing. Naiyah’s poetic storytelling urges healing of one’s inner child by finding calm amidst the storm.
“Blue Dream” adequately sets up a teaser for her as an artist to keep an eye on, at the brink of her upcoming EP’s release. Naiyah’s calling card is clear-eyed storytelling that, like the wise soothsayer, leads us hand-in-hand toward a melodic space of dream-like serenity.
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