Official Biography (courtesy of Nao Yoshioki)
Introducing Nao Yoshioka the Japanese soul singer who advanced to the “Top Dog” round at The Apollo Theater, and Japan’s Soul Music Representative
Japanese progressive soul singer Nao Yoshioka combines a powerful voice and New York-powered form of delivery to create a modern taste still deeply rooted in the history of soul. In the two and a half years from 2009 that she spent in New York, Nao reached the Apollo Theater Amateur Night “Top Dog” round and also made it to the final stage of the McDonald’s Gospelfest from amongst 40,000 other contestants.
Since her single “Make the Change” was released by SWEET SOUL RECORDS in 2012, she has been dubbed the Japanese Alicia Keys while also receiving praise from Grammy-winning artist Gordon Chambers.
In November 2013 when her debut album “The Light” was released, the single “Spend My Life” was featured in a TV commerical that garned national attention. The album title song “The Light” also saw heavy rotation on one of the largest radio stations in the Kansai region (Osaka) FM802.
In May 2014 Nao and Brian Owens, who is also the producer of “Spend My Life,” made their Blue Note Tokyo debut, taking their place amongst the many talented artists from around the world who have graced that sacred stage, and exceptionally early in her young career... only 6 months after her debut album release.
In addition, in August of the same year she was invited to perform at the 14,000 capacity summer festival “MEET THE WORLD BEAT” hosted by FM802, while already having her sights set on the upcoming 2014 Make the Change Tour in the USA and Europe.
The stage has been set for this talented young soul singer — Japan’s soul music representative — to spread her wings and take flight.