Neo Jessica Joshua, born on December 20, 1987, is an English singer-songwriter and record producer. Better known by her stage name NAO, she was born in East London. Her style has been described as soul music with electronic, funk, and R&B influences. To characterize her sound, she created the term “Wonky Funk.” Her first album, “For All We Know,” was released in 2016, followed by “Saturn,” in 2018. Her latest album, “And Then Life Was Beautiful,” came out in 2021. Let us toast to her on her birthday right here.
On December 20, 1987, Neo Jessica Joshua was born. Although she is an only child, her parents raised her ‘as friends’ between London and Nottingham, where her father lives. She was the youngest of five children at the home of her Jamaican mother. She pursued a career as a background singer for musicians like Kwabs and Jarvis Cocker after studying vocal jazz at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. She launched her debut E.P. “So Good,” in October 2014. The title track made the national playlists on B.B.C. Radio 1 and B.B.C. 1Xtra in the U.K. and the E.P. peaked at number four on the iTunes electronic chart.
In May 2015, Joshua released her second E.P. “15 February (II MMXV),” which received Pitchfork’s Best New Music designation. She was a candidate for best newcomer at the 2015 MOBO Awards in September of that year. Joshua featured as a vocalist and songwriter on the song ‘Superego,’ from Disclosure’s U.K. number-one album “Caracal.” She also co-wrote the song ‘Velvet / Jenny Francis (Interlude)’ on Stormzy’s debut album “Gang Signs & Prayer.”
After the release of her debut album “For All We Know,” on July 29, 2016, she was nominated for a Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist. On October 26, 2018, Joshua released her second album, “Saturn” which included the smash hit ‘Another Lifetime’ that Joshua wrote for her mother. The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2019 Mercury Prize and Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 62nd Grammy Awards in 2020. Her third album, “And Then Life Was Beautiful,” was announced on July 29, 2021, and was released on September 24, 2021. Joshua is engaged but the details of her man remain mysterious. On January 15, 2020, she announced via Instagram that she was expecting her first child. She gave birth to a girl in June 2020.
She releases her first E.P. “So Good," which reaches number four on the iTunes electronic chart.
"15 February (II MMXV)," is released and receives the Best New Music tag from "Pitchfork."
Joshua is listed as a MOBO Awards 2015 contender for Best Newcomer.
After the release of her debut album, "For All We Know," she is nominated for a Brit Award.
Her sophomore album "Saturn" is nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 62nd Grammy Awards.
Her third album "And Then Life Was Beautiful'' is released.
Why We Love NAO
She is talented
Joshua has amazing vocals on every track she releases. Her music resonates with a lot of people.
She is hardworking and consistent
The soul singer never disappoints her fans and supporters. She releases a new project almost every year.
She is a gifted songwriter
Not only is she a talented vocalist, but Joshua is also a skilled songwriter. Aside from writing her hits, the songstress has written for other artists.
5 Surprising Facts
She didn't want to be famous
In an interview, Joshua revealed that she didn’t seek fame.
She dedicated a song to her mother
Joshua devoted her hit song, 'Another Lifetime,' to her mother.
She co-wrote for Mura Masa
She is a co-writer in Mura Masa's self-titled debut album on the song 'Nothing Else!.'
She wrote for Disclosure
In the song 'Superego,' she features as a vocalist and songwriter.
She was in a band
She performed in the all-girl a cappella group 'The Boxettes' for six years until 2014.
How do you pronounce NAO?
It is pronounced, “neigh-oh.”
What is the meaning of NAO?
It means “honest.”
Is NAO independent?
No, she is signed to R.C.A. records.
NAO’s birthday dates