Nao: ‘I think we are taught that happiness is a destination’

Nao joins Elton John on Apple Music 1 this weekend to discuss her latest album “And Then Life Was Beautiful.” During the discussion, Elton lauds her as “one of the greatest vocalists of our time in Britain”, plus Nao discusses the writing process behind the record, sharing that music was a key outlet for her after giving birth during lockdown. She also discusses what inspired the album’s title, and reflects on her decision not to tour.

Elton John Tells Nao That She Is One Of “The Greatest Vocalists Of Our Time”…
Well, I love you, as you know, and the new album is really beautiful, “And Then Life Was Beautiful”. It’s a beautiful record. I mean, absolutely stunning, and you have to be one of the greatest vocalists of our time in Britain.

Nao Tells Apple Music About Writing Her Album “And Then Life Was Beautiful”…

I was pregnant during that time, and I had my daughter early on in lockdown. So it was a time where people couldn’t see families indoors, and it was only one walk a day. So, it was a really tough time to have a new-born baby with no family around or community. And the only thing that kind of made me feel sane was getting back to writing music. I mean, it was in that time that the album came together mostly.

Nao Tells Apple Music About The Inspiration Behind The Album’s Title…

Elton John: Is that how the title came to be? Because life was beautiful after you had your daughter?

Nao: Yeah, and well you know, actually, the title came to be more so from kind of just looking back on life as a whole and just sort of seeing how all the rough times, all the really tough times that you have to dig into. And I guess all the beautiful moments as well. Just realising that it was all one big, incredible painting. I think we are taught that happiness is a destination, but rather realising that happiness just visits us in moments throughout the day or every other day or for 10 seconds here. And I just thought, “Hang on, even though life can be incredibly tough, it’s also strangely beautiful in all of its glory.”

Nao Tells Apple Music About Managing Her Chronic Fatigue And Deciding Not To Tour…

I’ve had it for three years. It’s a condition called ME or chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with it, basically, but in writing this album and just realising what it means to go on tour and what it will mean for my body and my health and my recovery, I realised that actually it’s going to be really important for me to not tour, even though it’s a really big part of how my albums kind of find their way. It was really scary to say no, but definitely the best decision I could have made.

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