Music has always lived inside me. I can’t remember my first proper conversation but I remember the first time I ever sang on stage – at 6 years old bellowing out Down Came The Rain feeling terrified, exhilarated and truly seen.
Music makes me feel safe, it always has. That safety allows me to confront the things inside that I can otherwise hide from. It helps me to understand my thoughts and be vulnerable. Writing music was my first kind of therapy and always will be, it comes from the heart. It is the truest part of me and I feel blessed to be able to share it with others.
The definition of versatile, the original We Fly EP was a testament to what happens when poignant lyricism meets soulful instrumentals, these remixes are aimed more squarely at the dancefloor, whilst never losing sight of the deep emotional content of Ngaio’s song-writing.
KG, coming off the back of a massively productive 2019, flips the trip-hop indebted ‘Objectify’ into something far more upfront, finding a unique sweet spot between RnB and club music. Hagan’s signature West African influenced percussive sound strips ‘Green Eyed Queen’ back into something far more minimal than the jazzy original, whilst retaining a compulsively driven and funky edge . Meanwhile UK Funky originator LR Groove’s remix of the lead single ‘Blackbird’ is a soaring and soulful slice of funky house that serves as the perfect backdrop for Ngaio’s courageous and emotional questioning of historical notions of what it means to be a black woman. Finally, previous Durkle collaborators Boa Kusasa return with a wildly original take on ‘Hail Mary’ – equally indebted to dubstep as UK Funky, whilst also adding a strong Middle Eastern influence.
Given the complex nature of the artist behind these tracks, the ‘We Fly’ remixes are a suitably varied collection. The remixes manage to both complement the original EP, whilst also bringing new life to some of the more original song-writing to come from Bristol’s rich muti-faceted music scene in recent memory; melding Ngaio’s classic jazz vocals with the underground sound that Bristol is so well known for.
We Fly is the embodiment of Ngaio’s musical, political and spiritual influences. A versatile artist, known for her bass-heavy DJ sets to her powerhouse vocal range, she delivers an EP oozing with intricate jazz harmonies, African percussion and truth-laden spoken word. Ngaio confronts the politics of black bodies, whilst poetically unravelling her mixed-race identity, in a five-track EP housing a lifetime of lived experiences.
Green Eyed Queen receives her full jazzy blues treatment: its foot-tapping bass and piano licks delivers Afro-Cuban stabs that will inevitably make you sway. Meanwhile, full of wisdom and courage, she challenges historical notions of what it means to be a black woman in Blackbird. As the closing track released last month, it leads you on a journey through nine minutes of pure emotion and fiery passion. With strong influences from Portishead to Fela Kuti, it is an ode to the seemingly long-forgotten history of the African diaspora’s prosperity. Hail Mary has a distinct bluegrass feel, taking you from feet-stomping to hip-swinging, while Objectify is a homage to her Bristol identity with trip-hop influences from Massive Attack.
We Fly is released as part of Saffron’s PRSF-supported Artist Development Programme supported by Red Bull Studios. Buy now on Bandcamp
2016 – Self-titled, this record as a debut from NGAIO is the first step on a musical journey. With lyrics that could have come from a diary entry, the artist melds harmonies with stories in songs that pick apart the complex web of feelings that come with relationships and loss. Produced by Bailey S Brown.
2020 – Melodic drum & bass offering released on Archway Records with Cardinal Sound
2018 – Bristol vocalist, DJ, promoter, tequila aficionado and long-time Durkle Disco affiliate Ngaio returns to the label in collaboration with one of the new generation of UK Funky’s rising stars, Reprezent Radio’s Cardinal Sound. Combined, the two bring you ‘See Them’; pairing Ngaio’s empowering lyrics and flirtatious, soulful delivery with Cardinal Sound’s infectious percussive production results in a perfect feelgood summer earworm. The ‘Sunshine Mix’ is made for long summer days, with Cardinal Sound’s production harking back to the classic deep/soulful house that informed the first wave of UK funky. The ‘After Dark Mix’ is aimed squarely at nightclub dancefloors, with the vocals, stripped back and the bass ramped up. It’s been tough sitting on this one, so we’re excited to have both versions out in the world – undeniable club & festival essentials.
2018 – Collaborating with Royal Flush to put a new spin on Caramel
Currently working as musical director for Bass Choir and as a music facilitator with Bristol Beacon, Ngaio has a few strings to her musical bow.
Sharing skills and knowledge has always been something that she’s been interested in and with a background on youth work, she holds a Level 2 Certificate in safeguarding, how to work with difficult students and how to recognise warning behaviour. She is also trained in Mental Health Youth and now is able to accommodate teaching 1 on 1. Her rates match those that are suggested by the Musicians Union and to try and keep them accessible she also accepts concessions.
If you’re interested in getting lessons in:
- Singing / Vocal Work
- Songwriting / Spoken word
Do get in touch! The lessons will surround you – what you want to work on and how you want the sessions to go. Singing lessons are 50 minutes long and DJ lessons are 2 hours long – these are what’s recommended, but can be discussed based on your needs.