NAO Orbits through Metro Chicago

Last Friday the British born R&B singer, NAO’s Orbit tour made a stop at Chicago’s Metro. She opened her show with an unexpected entrance. Before she came out, her band gracefully made their way onto the stage to begin playing keyboards, synths, drums, bass, and electric guitar. Immediately after the crowd’s energy shifted from the suspense of a curtain fall moment, they turned their attention to the back of the house where NAO emerged from the sound booth. The singer’s donned bright wide-legged yellow pants, powerful and poised hair, and along with a light hearted soprano voice, she held us in place for the first four minutes of the show. 

 

Neo Jessica Joshua, better known as NAO, hails from the east London and along with her Jamaican and English heritage, she’s combined sound systems and soul to deliver what she calls “wonky funky” music. This tour followed her sophomore album Saturn, which summed up a complete 27 year revolution through life and its trials, and she performed this to a colorful room full of people chanting her electric wonky soul filled tunes. 

Partly throughout the show the overwhelming embrace Chicago yelled and passionately sang prompted her to thank her audience for finding the time to listen to a dark skinned woman from a continent away and simply hearing the music. And that night will last for its transcendence and revelation of the power in dance, the power of love, and the intensity of music.

Her debut album, For All We Know, kicked off her ascendence. Earlier this year Saturn was nominated for a Mercury Award, an award celebrating the Best U.K. Album of the Year. She’s only beginning to leave ever mark in the music community and more importantly inspire all people of the power we share when we collectively come together. 

Throughout the show the overwhelming embrace from Chicago had the crowd yelling and passionately singing which prompted her to thank her audience for finding the time to listen to a dark skinned woman from a continent away and simply hearing the music. That night will last for its transcendence and revelation of the power in dance, the power of love, and the intensity of music.

Contributing Writer: Lela Gaye
Photo Credits: Rachel Zyzda

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