Japanese Soul Singer Nao Yoshioka Treks to Philly for New Single, "All in Me" (premiere)

Photo: Christopher Parsons

High-energy single "All in Me" sees Japanese soul singer Nao Yoshioka get funky in the heart of Philly.

Since her debut album The Light, Nao Yoshioka's star in the Japanese soul music scene has burned brightly, but national recognition was never her end goal. Coupled with a powerful work ethic - she released three albums in Japan between 2013 and 2016 - Nao's effortlessly strong voice and refreshingly sincere delivery have propelled her from home country hero to intercontinental contender. A 2018 U.S. release of 2016 album The Truth brought Nao to the attention of a new audience, easily breaking the top 40 on the Urban Adult Contemporary Billboard chart, no easy feat for an R&B artist so far from the States.

Fittingly enough, upcoming album Undeniable finds Nao in the heart of Philly, laying down tracks at Salsoul cellist Larry Gold's MilkBoy the Studio and working with the legends behind the legends who have made the soul scene what it is today. New, high-energy single "All in Me" is a perfect example of Nao's utterly hip aesthetic, a mixture of classic beats and fresh funk produced by none other than Grammy nominee and Emmy winner Khari Mateen, perhaps best known for his work with the Roots and Jill Scott.

"This one was a hard one to conquer pronunciation and attitude-wise," says Nao of the unstoppable track, and it's easy to hear why. Driving beats and a bold vocal performance make "All in Me" a hard-hitting ride from start to finish, constantly moving forward of its own accord.

As difficult as it may have been for Nao to nail, she ultimately finds the track to be "a fun song… I look forward to performing it live."

If new single "All in Me" is any indicator, a live performance with Nao Yoshioka in the spotlight is bound to be nothing less than phenomenal. Nao is putting in the work to blaze trails for herself, and her infectious soul-pop style adds a new punch of sonic color to the global R&B scene.

Undeniable comes out 16 August on Sweet Soul Records.





Learning to Take a Picture: An Interview With Inara George

Inara George is unafraid to explore life's more difficult and tender moments. Discussion of her latest music, The Youth of Angst, leads to stories of working with Van Dyke Parks and getting David Lee Roth's musical approval.


Country Westerns Bask in an Unparalleled Sound and Energy on Their Debut

Country Westerns are intent on rejecting assumptions about a band from Nashville while basking in an unparalleled sound and energy.


Rediscovering Japanese Director Tomu Uchida

A world-class filmmaker of diverse styles, we take a look at Tomu Uchida's very different Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji and The Mad Fox.


The Charlatans' 'Between 10th and 11th' Gets a Deluxe Edition

Not even a "deluxe" version of Between 10th and 11th from the Charlatans can quite set the record straight about the maligned-but-brilliant 1992 sophomore album.


'High Cotton' Is Culturally Astute and Progressive

Kristie Robin Johnson's collection of essays in High Cotton dismantle linear thinking with shrewdness and empathy.


Lianne La Havas Is Reborn After a Long Layoff

British soul artist Lianne La Havas rediscovers herself on her self-titled new album. It's a mesmerizing mix of spirituality and sensuality.


PC Nackt Deconstructs the Classics with 'Plunderphonia'

PC Nackt kicks off a unique series of recordings dedicated to creating new music by "plundering" unexpected historical sources such as classical piano pieces or chamber orchestra music.


Counterbalance 24: The Doors - 'The Doors'

Before you slip into unconsciousness, Counterbalance has put together a few thoughts on the Doors' 1967 debut album. It's number 24 on the Big List.

Reading Pandemics

Parable Pandemics: Octavia E. Butler and Racialized Labor

Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower, informed by a deep understanding of the intersectionality of dying ecologies, disease, and structural racism, exposes the ways capitalism's insatiable hunger for profit eclipses humanitarian responses to pandemics.


'Tiger King' and the Post-Truth Culture War

Tiger King -- released during and dominating the streaming-in-lockdown era -- exemplifies in real-time the feedback loop between entertainment and ideology.


GOD's 'God IV - Revelation' Is a Towering Feat of Theologically-Tinged Prog Metal (album stream)

GOD's God IV - Revelation is beautiful and brutal in equal measure. It's a masterful series of compositions. Hear it in full today before tomorrow's release.


Ivy Mix's 'Spirits of Latin America' Evokes the Ancestors

A common thread unites Ivy Mix's engaging Spirits of Latin America; "the chaotic intermixture between indigenous and European traditions" is still an inextricable facet of life for everyone who inhabits the "New World".

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.