Nakaya is the R&B artist using silence to her advantage

Published August 15, 2017

Nakaya, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from New York, sings in a seven-layer dip voice about what she knows best: the joys and tribulations of young love. “I find love to be an all-encompassing emotion that I’m most consistently drawn to writing about,” the rising artist told Interview over email.

After growing up in Los Angeles—where she composed lyrics and played acoustic guitar in the comfort of her home—Nakaya returned to New York to hone her craft at NYU’s prestigious Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. There she began introducing electronic and soul to her initially folk-leaning sound. Her newest single “Jump” is an eloquent metaphor for the uncertainty of love, encased in soft guitar riffs and rhythmic synth runs.

“Jump”, from Nakaya’s upcoming EP, arose from a personal experience of “anxiety surrounding a newfound relationship.” When composing the song, Nakaya recalls “constantly thinking about it coming from the perspective of someone standing on the edge of a precipice, unsure whether to jump or lean back into a safety net.” As the lyrics reveal emotional turmoil, the melody builds up with rising percussion and gently soaring vocals. For the self-identified “hopeless romantic,” a flush of emotions is an endless inspiration and a driving force as she continues to define and craft her music.

NAKAYA WILL PLAY ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL IN NY ON 9/5. FOR MORE INFO ON NAKAYA, VISIT HER WEBSITE.