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 and powerful new album titled Undeniable, which is out now.
In her bid to be one of the most exciting new names in R&B and Soul, Nao has been working with some of the most accomplished R&B musicians and producers on her new album. On Undeniable, Nao worked with Musicman Ty (Alicia Keys), Khari Mateen (Jill Scott, The Roots) and Eric Robertson, all of which added to the rich, authentic soul charm of the album.
It’s a release that effortlessly flows between traditional soul instrumentation on tracks such as “Liberation” or “Love Me”, to deep modern R&B production on “Up and Away”. The consistent is an accomplished sense of groove and Nao’s outstanding vocal talent.
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&B via old Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston and she 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, living 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. Since then, her output has led to three album releases and 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 Dauphine in The Netherlands.
Listen to her new Undeniable album below: