Naomi Wachira is an artist whose talent has been on our radar since 2013, when she was awarded Best Folk Singer by alt publication Seattle Weekly. Her sophomore album Song of Lament seems almost heaven-sent, rich with a wondrous blend of raw talent and virtuous spirituality.
Naomi In A Nutshell
Naomi Wachira is an enchantress of sorts, pushing strong, impassioned words from her vocal chords as if each breath could be her last.
For years, she’s dazzled crowds across Seattle, where she now lives after moving from her native Africa, and accrued a following with the help of an ever growing YouTube population. Songs like her 2014 single “I Believe” use nothing but her guitar and angelic voice that can so gracefully penetrate even the most hardened heart.
She notes that two of her biggest influences are Miriam Makeba and Tracy Chapman, two women who blazed the trail in terms of socially conscious music spanning the entire continent of Africa. Naomi, the daughter of a Kijabe pastor, began singing gospel music as part of her family’s travelling choir when she was just 5 years old.
Doused in hearty helpings of wholesome influences, Wachira has come to create great music with a true sense of purity and passion.
Wachira sounds like that deep breath of fresh air you take after a long day spent indoors. Her music is the perfect blend of traditional African instrumentation and modern American folk. She knows exactly how to use her sugar sweet voice to take you back to Grandma’s house even though she speaks of lands as foreign as those we can only see on TV screens.
She doesn’t do it often, but there are times where her deeply rooted passion surges so strongly through her spirit that she resorts to singing in her native language. Even when you can’t understand a single word, there truly is an underlying understanding and strength behind every syllable.
In fact, her most well received song, “African Girl,” is an integrative masterpiece, combining North American and African culture in both sound and language.
Her voice is as raw and as beautiful as precious diamonds. After having forged a friendship with well-respected indie songwriter Daniel Jurado, her lyricism went from genuine and touching to moving and outright impactful.
Naomi Wachira is an artist that’s hard not to like. Check out her latest release, 2015’s I am Because You Are EP, or head over to PledgeMusic to get your hands on Songs of Lament before funding ends in 5 days.