Following the release of her new EP, Female First got the opportunity to chat to Naomi all about her creativity, being in the music industry and more - read on to find out what she had to say.
For those who haven't yet heard your music, how best would you describe yourself as an artist?
I first and foremost see myself as a songwriter. I love taking inspiration from all areas of life and creating melodies and lyrics that present people's stories and emotions and experiences. In terms of the sound of my music, I love big drums and crisp vocals at the moment. I love a fusion between the originality and energy of the 80s with the modern, exciting, electronic sound of today.
Your new EP 'Take Back The Power' was released on April 22 - what should fans expect from that record?
One of my most empowering songs to write was 'Take Back The Power'. It was a song about me taking full control of my music career and directing my sound exactly how I wanted it. The EP has the original version plus two remixes of the song. The remixes are hugely different and create a totally different feeling to the lyrics, ranging from laid back to powerful. There are two other new songs on the EP. 'My Mistake' and 'Didn't Make The Grade' were extremely personal to write and have some of my favourite backing vocals I've ever recorded.
Can you tell us a little bit about the creative process behind the songs on that EP?
The creation of this EP was so much fun because there was so much collaboration involved. Working with incredible people such as John McLaughlin, Jud Mahoney, Dave Thomas and Natalie DeLucia was a blast and the ideas were just flying around the studio. I feel the lyrical theme throughout the EP was that of taking control of a situation whether it be in terms of a career or a relationship with somebody. I wanted to make sure the instrumentation was powerful and assertive just like the ideas behind the lyrics.
What does a typical day in the recording studio look like for you?
We tend to start and finish late on a typical day. We usually grab coffee and head up to the studio before starting bouncing around a few sound ideas. Usually I'll take some melodic and lyric ideas into the studio in advance recorded on my phone and we'll build on each other's ideas, adding more depth as we go on. After a few hours there will be a general idea of how the song is going to sound and it'll be time to record vocals. This is usually when we'll get some food and then I'll warm up for a while before properly starting to record. This part usually takes us until late in the evening and the backing vocals and ad libs would probably added the following day after having the night to listen to a rough mix and deciding on any adjustments. Studio days are some of the most exciting days and the hearing the final mix of a song that you created from nothing is so rewarding.
How difficult would you say this industry is to get people listening to your music and to make a name for yourself?
The music industry is a tough place but so rewarding. The existence of social media makes it so much easier to get music out there to the world and to communicate with thousands of people. It also means that you need to ensure you can find a way to stand out and make your sound noticeable and unique which is what I strive to do.
What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced in your career to-date?
It was tough to get any initial attention when I was completely on my own. Being told frequently that what I'd created wasn't right or that I wasn't ready was difficult. I kept writing and working though and eventually built an incredible team of people around me which I feel so grateful for. After this, touring for the first time in 2013 was an exhilarating, exhausting experience. Some days I'd do four shows in one day and I don't think I was fully prepared for the energy that required. But I was ready for this come my second tour and made sure I could put every ounce of my energy into it.
If you could work with anybody going forward on new material, who would you choose and why?
Max Martin is arguably the best producer on the planet right now and is responsible for the creation of so many incredible songs that working with him would be amazing. I'd also love to write a song with Paul McCartney, just because he's such a legend and has written some of my all time favourite songs.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
Anything and everything. Whether it's an overheard conversation in the street or an argument I've had with a friend. It might be a particular place that just felt inspiring or something I'm going through in my life. In terms of musical inspiration I've loved listening to Fleetwood Mac, Haim, Coldplay and Taylor Swift while creating this EP.
Do you have any definitive aims or goals for your career?
I want to finish and release my album. I'm so proud of every single song on there so far and feel like this EP is just a snippet of what's to come. I would love to keep playing live to bigger and bigger audiences because singing my songs to a crowd of excited people is just the most incredible experience that I will never stop loving.
What should we expect from you aside from the EP release in the coming weeks and months?
My EP is out so soon! There may just be another video coming shortly after that. Then I want to just perform and get back in the studio to finish the album which I'm so excited to share. It's been such a big part of my life for so long and I just can't wait to finally get it out there for the world to hear.
Naomi's new EP 'Take Back The Power' is available now.