A sweet but understated bassline. Jazzy swaying from one direction to the next. A voice as soft and decadent as some sort of divine cloud. Nya’s “I’ll Be Okay” wastes no time in transporting us to the dreamlike environment that the critically acclaimed singer conjures up whenever she steps to the microphone, and inside the first sixty seconds that the song plays, it becomes quite clear that Nya will stop at nothing in her mission to win our hearts with this product of her latest trip to the recording studio.
With a classy sway, “I’ll Be Okay” supports a rollicking groove that clears a path for one of the most powerful lead vocals to bear an indie moniker in 2023, but make no mistake about it – this is a song that is as indebted to the contour of its arrangement as it is the performance of its crooner. The stars appear to be in alignment for this artist to finally make her way into the mainstream pop lexicon, and with a single like this one under her belt, critics are going to be required to take her more seriously than ever before this summer.
“I’ll Be Okay” was produced with a keen attention to detail, but there’s a seamlessness to the integration of Nya’s vocal with the velvety fabric of the instrumentation that is worth talking about just as much as the surgically-precise mix is. Nya becomes one with her backing band here and letting go of any inhibitions she might have been carrying with her in the last few singles that she’s released, and although most of us could have predicted that she would be nearing a breakthrough at this stage of the game, few – if any – observers could have gauged the sort of impactful content that she would be putting together in this song.
There’s nothing to stop her from blending as many influences as she wants in a signature sonic cocktail, and though there’s a case to be made that this isn’t as experimental as some of the postmodern pop that has been charting fairly well out of the east coast this season, “I’ll Be Okay” doesn’t have to push the envelope any more than it already does. With its heavenly hook and daring singer, it already has all the right pieces to sell well across the board right now.
I wasn’t listening to Nya’s music very closely before hearing a pre-release mix of “I’ll Be Okay,” but you can trust that I’ll be following her story more astutely from here on out. She’s got a talent that you just don’t find every day in this business, and while she’s still got some room for growth as a songwriter, I would be lying if I didn’t say that this is one of the most robust pop songs that I’ve encountered in the last four months. Nya is on fire right now, and if she can continue to refine her style into a lean, mean melody machine as the year comes into focus, then you can bet on her being one of her scene’s most significant figures in the next decade to come.