By: Shayla Lee
There are few artists who have been catapulted into the electronic music scene like Naomi Wild. After seeing ODESZA perform at Coachella while she was a junior in high school, Naomi was moved so much by the duo that she was inspired to try her hand at songwriting. After writing “Higher Ground”, Naomi blindly sent the track to an email address she found online for ODESZA. Just 24 hours later, Naomi received an email that would change her life; the electronic duo loved the track and wanted to record it and feature Naomi.
“Higher Ground” was a standout track on ODESZA’s Grammy-nominated album “A Moment Apart” and has received over 53 million streams on Spotify alone. The collaboration led to Naomi touring with ODESZA, playing major festivals like Coachella, Ultra, and Sundara.
Although she has spent a lot of time on the road, Naomi has slowly been releasing her own music. Naomi’s music could be described as gothic R&B with an electronic twist. Her natural lyricism always shines through but her music is beautifully produced as well.
We chatted with Naomi about her music, touring with ODESZA, and what we can expect from the artist this year.
Femme Riot: To people unfamiliar with your music how would you describe your music to them?
Naomi Wild: I feel like i don’t really have a specific “sound”. I like to jump around and try different things so this question is always kind of hard for me. I like to be unpredictable– but there are usually always electronic elements in my songs.
As many people know, you were moved after seeing Odesza’s Coachella set and were inspired to try songwriting. This led to you writing “Higher Ground”, and eventually led to you touring and performing with Odesza. What was it about the duo’s performance that inspired you so much? What has it been like touring and collaborating with artists that inspired you to become a musician?
I’ll be real, when I saw that ODESZA set it was the first time I’d taken LSD. I was with a bunch of friends- maybe like 15 people who all wanted to go see different sets and we set the DoLab as the “meeting point” which was where ODESZA was djing at the time. We were all the way in the back- like not even in the tent and I remember like everything stopped for a second and I was completely captivated by the set. Getting to tour with them is a dream come true that still doesn’t feel real and I don’t know what I did to deserve it.
Aside from Odesza, who would you cite as some of your personal musical influences?
It changes often, and I feel like most of the time the artists that inspire me most are in a completely different lane than the music I make. I find lately that I’m much more attracted to an artist that is unapologetically themselves. Tierra Whack, Brockhampton, Donna Missal.
What is your creative process like? Is it a little bit different each time or do you have a system set in place that works for you?
I have absolutely no specific process and sometimes that’s frustrating for me, but the number one rule is to not overthink shit.
I love the more eerie vibe that you created with “LA LA LAND.” I read that the track was a way for you to talk about your feelings about LA. As someone who is from LA, what are the best and worst parts of living there? Can you tell us more about the track?
The best part about living here is that everyone knows everyone, the worst part about living here is that everyone knows everyone.
With “Run That” you showed the juxtaposition of codependency and freedom. Did it feel liberating to create a track that promoted self-love and independence? Can you tell us more about the song?
Yeah it felt good! I think Run That was the first track that I decided I was going to stop trying to be so perfect about everything. I started the idea alone at the kitchen table in my old apartment and I remember the vibe being really dark actually. The apartment had no natural light and I was having a really weird week so I just started a bunch of really emo demos and the lyrics stuck with me.
If you had to choose, what would your favorite lyric that you have written?
“Silly motherfucker wanna play me, snow white bunny with a nosebleed”
Mental health is really important to us at Femme Riot and we love hearing about how others maintain balance in their lives. Being a busy musician, what practices do you implement into your life to ensure your health and well-being is taken care of?
Physical exercise. Lots of water. Forcing yourself outside. I’ve been slacking on both and really feeling the effects of it lately. You really have to push yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes to keep that rhythm and it’s so important to know when to do that. If you feel good, you will make good art.
If you feel good, you will make good art.
From writing “Higher Ground” to playing huge festivals and touring around the world, has there been a “wow” moment where you have realized that your hard work has paid off?
I feel lucky to say that there have been more than one of those moments. There’s also been a lot of “why don’t I feel anything” shock value that hits after the fact- but I definitely have had the “wow” on stage (crying haha) but also off stage just watching the show with my in ear monitors in/ in my own world or walking down the street in a city I never would have found myself in otherwise. Sometimes I still feel it sitting on the plane. It’s an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and also somewhat a fear of never wanting to not have that feeling.
What songs are you currently listening to?
What can fans expect from you for the rest of this year?
Lots of music from me and a few features!