Naya Shea is here to spread the love.
It’s the R&B nigga checking in once again to remind you all the genre is FAR from dead. If you look beyond the big fish, there’s a sea of upstarts with the talent, drive and vision to truly make a name for themselves in the industry. Take Naya Shea, 20-year-old out of New Jersey who just recently released her EP titled Love Is the Word.
Indeed it is, and the 12-minute listening experience has an angle for everyone who has ever experienced love before. However, she didn’t do it all alone. The EP was in fact a collaborative effort between the vocalist and her significant other, producer Apulux, originally from Antigua. Their combined music prowess, love and ability to paint a vivid picture of their experiences over the course of these four songs was remarkable.
“Just Like You” has a chilling opening, but it’s the content that really hits home. The songstress was sold a dream, caught up in love and fantasy before reality hit her in the face. She’s starting to see her man for who he really is and the fact she’s expendable to him.
The resounding “why” in the chorus is a passionate cry for help, coming from a hurt lover trying to pick up the pieces. While the vocals are impeccable, it’s the emphasis and attitude felt in her words that really pushes the message through. She’s hurt, a bit angry, and completely done with the nonsense. “I’m too good for dudes just like you.” Talk about it, sis.
“Company” is the true story of someone experiencing hot and cold emotions with someone from their past they very much so still have feelings for. She expresses her fear of commitment, but can’t shake the interest she has in this person. She’s trying to avoid him, but he’s found his way into her soul.
Though her words say “I don’t want your company,” the clear internal conflict that comes out over the course of the song says otherwise. To be so young yet so self-aware and relatable is admirable. It just goes to show that when you’re writing from a genuine place, people can tell and feel connected.
“Fall in Love” sonically is a bit more active than the previous two songs, in terms of production. It’s also a different side of Shea, more heartfelt and intentional about bringing love together with someone from her past. She’s reminiscing on older times, and that nostalgia is powerful. She’s acknowledging the process has been a stressful for them, and it’s the weekend so they should be enjoying themselves. If they can talk things out, though, they can perhaps figure it out and be on the road to bliss.
“Do you remember the time where we couldn’t get enough? You look me into my eyes, you once said I am your prize, you know I’m willing to fight.” Man, nothing like a woman determined to figure things out. Sometimes us men need that push. Naya isn’t beating around any bushes.
The closer, “Try” shows the rough side of figuring love out, though evidently it’s with someone new. “We’ve got to compromise, hard heads always collide, but I want you in my life, so I’ll try” is a sermon. She acknowledges this new guy’s differences from her ex, and she’s treated way better. She’s laughing more, and feels respected.
They argue and breaking up is always a possibility, but she’d rather figure things out with him than anyone else. This may be her strongest song, with the quicker tempo and vocal runs. I feel like she really flexes her voice her, and this is the type of song that’ll get people dancing.
I see huge potential for these two. Naya’s clearly capable of singing her heart out over production catered to her vocals, and the next step would be taking her sound to the next level. Perhaps through live instrumentation, more upbeat content, or any other way she sees fit. Regardless, there is obvious talent and Apulux has a gem of an artist to continue building with while he always expands his reach, having earned placements elsewhere.
Check out Love Is the Word below. A true treat for you on this Thursday.