NAO is “ready to put out a new sound and experiment”

The singer tells NME about getting "back in the game" and her hope for the future

NAO has spoken to NME about getting “back in the game” and plans to experiment on new music. Watch our full video interview with the singer above.

The London singer-songwriter was speaking from the red carpet of last week’s MOBO Awards, when she told us about returning to the world of music after some time away.

“I’ve been out of the game for a little while, and I feel like I’ve been out of the game for years,” she told NME. “I had a baby in that time, and I’ve been focusing on my health. I feel like this is my first time out back in the game.”


Having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, NAO spoke of how she found it hard to keep up with the high-octane lifestyle of an artist.

“I’ve just been exhausted and ‘man down’, but I’ve been putting my health first and it’s nice to be able to celebrate that by having this nomination and being back here with so many amazing artists,” she said.

Nao at the 2022 MOBO Awards. (Credit: Joseph Okpako/Wireimage)

It’s been two years since her third studio album, ‘And Then It Was Beautiful’. Reflecting on the record, she said: “Looking back, that album came out in 2020, and so much has changed. That album was about hope really. Everything is just gonna get better and, in some respect, it has. The world’s in a crazy place right now, so there’s still some way to go, but it’s nice being here.”

When asked what’s next for the 35-year-old, she said: “I reckon releasing new music. I’m just writing at the moment, ready to put out a new sound and experiment. Flirting around with the sounds is exactly what I’m doing.”

NAO was nominated for the Best R&B/Soul Act but lost out to Mahalia, along with fellow nominees Miraa May, Ella Mai, Shakka, and Tiana Major9.


This year’s MOBO Awards were held in the OVO Wembley Arena and marked the 25th anniversary of the integral award ceremony. Acts including Beenie Man, Eliza Rose, and Tion Wayne performed on the night, while Craig David and Neil Rodgers won the prestigious career achievement awards. David won the Outstanding Contribution Award, and Rodgers won the Lifetime Achievement Award.