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The first live show Dutch musician Naaz ever saw was Tove Lo, and along with Lorde she remain a big influence on her work. On this year’s release compilation Bits Of Naaz she pulls on the atypical quirky pop of those influences, with eight tracks that sit comfortably outside the commercial norm.
Her minimalist structures have an unusual base. “I think Kanye West taught me how you can do so much with so little,” she tells us. “When I listened to his music I just thought – I need to learn how to produce.” Now Naaz is the full creative package, recording and producing her own music.
Born in Holland to Kurdish parents, Naaz faced some challenges in the early days from people who questioned her decision to pursue career in music, yet to her it only drove her forward, finding a creative space in her own home. Bits Of Naaz was written almost entirely in her bedroom; the cover was shot by her brother interrupting one of her lengthy writing sessions. It’s an empowering blend of tender odes to growing up and self-discovery, and a simultaneous celebration of following a dream.
On Pretty Naaz addresses her own insecurities, ultimately coming to the conclusion that they are beatable. It’s an understated power she demonstrates across the record’s twenty minutes. Her music is borne out of her eventual self-empowerment. Yet Naaz’s favourite song to play live is Can’t. “I just get so emo on stage when I sing that song,” she told our friends at Ticketweb when they met her at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton earlier this year. Check out the full video below:
With Bits Of Naaz under her belt and recent recognition by major national magazines, the tides have turned for Naaz. Celebrating her Middle Eastern roots she has made amends with her former naysayers. Her parents in particular have come round to her ways, undoubtedly persuaded by her tenacity, fire and her ability to pen massive songs. Having already appeared at a handful of festivals across the first half of the year, it’s testament to the power of setting creativity free.
Check out Naaz’ minimalist pop sound in the massive As Fun.
Up To Something is a huge self-empowering anthem.
And here’s Naaz’s self-proclaimed favourite, the emotionally charged Can’t.
Check out Ticketmaster.co.uk for Naaz live dates and tickets.