Apr 21st, 2022
Born in Osaka, Japan, progressive soul singer Nao Yoshioka releases her new single “Tokyo 2020” inspired by her life in Tokyo from 2020 to 2021. Her album Undeniable was released in August 2019 but at the time of her world tour and appearances, Nao returned to Japan right before the pandemic and the lockdown began.
Finding that the pandemic had shattered her U.S. dreams, Nao spent her days watching the endless media coverage of a divided and chaotic world. Not only was she deprived of the opportunity to perform live on stage, but she also wasn’t even able to sing due to a damaged throat. Her days were filled with questions on the meaning of her existence and the fundamental reasons why she became a singer.
Amid the despair that many people faced, Nao wondered how many people could still believe that the world is a beautiful and wonderful place. The answer she found was that she, as an artist, should maintain a positive outlook on the future and pursue her ideals once again. It’s precisely because we as people are in a difficult situation that we need to sublimate into music.
Even the Tokyo Olympics, which is supposed to be a symbol of peace, caused division and reinforced to Nao that each of us has different values and different beliefs.
“In the midst of this helplessness, I thought about the plight of so many people just like myself and wondered if I could somehow sublimate the situation into music, and “Tokyo 2020” is the result.”, says Nao.
The song begins with an exotic introduction on the sitar, and Nao Yoshioka’s soulful vocal work shines through with beautiful strings, creating a mid-tune that combines the nostalgic atmosphere of the 70’s with a modern R&B sound.