A couple of weeks ago, I was in Portsmouth Guildhall attending a music industry careers day that my lecturer insisted my tutor group should go to. After I asked him to lend me a fiver for the train ticket, I have to say I was quite excited for a day full of insight from people who are direct lines into the great music machine. I was all the more thrilled when I discovered that there would be an ‘after party’ of networking with genuine professionals within the sound and music industry, which to me totally did not sound like a half hour of brown-nosing and sucking up to people in order to find some sort of connection to the industry. While for the most part, the day was quite a drag, it did have its moments; it was very insightful and full of interesting ideas, but the highlight of the entire day was most definitely the performance of a small band from The Isle of Wight.
The 5-piece band were formed in mid 2016, and consist of vocalist and lyricist Charlie Jones, drummer Silas Gregory, guitarists/synth players Joe Watson and Jamie Sprosen, and bassist Jacob Smith. Nakamarra label their sound as “indie-electro” pop music which is definitely reflected in their music. While me and my friends sat in the audience staring at a stage dotted with an awful lot of expensive music tech and instruments, the group wandered up from the other side of the room and introduced themselves as Nakamarra. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much; I was expecting some indie pop songs that wouldn’t appeal to me in the slightest. Maybe rock and roll with a little bit of synth thrown into the mix. But whatever Nakamarra did up on that stage, I certainly wasn’t expecting that.
From where I was sat, I could see a number of things; passion is the first thing that pops into my mind. Every one of those musicians owned that stage, and I think they knew it. Nakamarra’s performance boasted huge musical talent and radiated pure energy. Among the band was an aura of complete relaxation, yet they really seemed to bounce around up on stage. All of them, especially Jacob the bassist, swayed and danced enthusiastically as they performed which is a clear and present indication of musical euphoria. One of the things that intrigued me the most was the level of technology incorporated into their sound; as a keen music producer myself, I often find myself unravelling how a song was made, so it was very refreshing to listen to music and have absolutely no idea how it’s played or recorded.
Recently, Nakamarra released their latest single “Hide” along with a new music video which has been uploaded onto YouTube. Upon its release, I was sat in my room with my headphones plugged into my laptop, the volume was turned all the way up. Hide by Nakamarra had loaded on my Spotify.
I pressed play.
…and suddenly I was lifted into some sort of dream-like state of euphoria.
Hide is a star example of just what the band is capable of; the song is a wealth of vehemence which is demonstrated by its soothing guitar melodies lathered in the perfect amount of reverb and echo, an incredible attention to detail, and its wonderful, ambient tone. My first listen is one I like to remember, because I rarely listen to a song and become overcome with goosebumps and excitement upon first listen. Hide is the song that tells you that Nakamarra are a band with soul. The song creates a calm atmosphere in my mind which relieves you of any stress you may be feeling and replaces it with some groovy, dreamy vibes.
Admittedly, Nakamarra aren’t my usual cup of tea. My personal preference when it comes to music is much heavier than the small five-piece’s electro-indie sound. However, I will go onto say that listening to Nakamarra is a wonderfully calming experience. One could describe Nakamarra as very flexible; their music is suitable for all manner of activities ranging from dancing, to simple rest and relaxation (Hide is an easy tune to drone out to, but you could also move around to it). While all songs have their own unique personality, the mood of their music doesn’t seem to change. From the small band from the Isle of Wight, a unique sound has been tossed into this zesty broth of melodies. Nakamarra have an apt for dream-like ambience, and are definitely an incredibly gifted group of noise makers.
PS: Nakamarra if you’re reading this please tell Jacob that I love him.