Trinidad-based futuristic singer Naila believes in touching hearts and changing lives with her music

What’s at the heart of music? ‘Soul’ would be the answer Naila would give. The Trinidad-based singer-songwriter was in the city recently to give music lovers a soulful encounter with her self-composed genre – Futuristic Soul. The trailblazing vocalist and her four-piece band made soul connections at the concert, organised by The Alliance Française de Bangalore, with their fusion of soul, pop and urban funk bringing together a futuristic ambience of ethereal music. Presenting an eclectic assortment of songs from her EP ‘High Girl’, Naila touched hearts and grooved the crowd with passionately rousing music.

Kicking off with ‘Walk’, Naila had the audience foot-tapping as she romped across the stage to the fiery composition. ‘Dangerous’ followed in equally vicious Trinidadian groove. Mellowing down to a slower swing, she goes on to narrate a story from her experiences with ‘I Am Alive’. Next was a audience sing-along with typical Indian synth followed by a crowd favourite ‘Oh Mama’. Pulling people from the audience onto the stage, Naila soon had the entire crowd on their feet dancing to the ebbing, hip-shaking song. Intense musical ensembles followed with ‘Over’ with Eric on the bass, David on the electric guitar, Jeoffrey on keyboards and Sebastian on drums triumphantly displaying proficient soundscapes. Soon it was time to say goodbye with ‘Bye Bye’, a slow meandering joyful composition. Coming back for a sizzling encore, Naila finished with a high ‘Run Around’ that got everyone singing along ‘tu tu tu’ with the eccentric vocalist.

Talking to Metroplus before the show, Naila shares though it’s her first visit to India, she has more of an Indian connection than what meets the eye. “My grandparents are both Indians and they moved to Trinidad before my dad was born. However, my father never brought us here. So it’s a bit of a homecoming experience for me. I am deeply moved and very excited.” On how her journey in music began, she recalls that it all started in church. “My dad is a pastor and my mother is a music teacher who plays the piano in church. They are a modern pastoral couple so we have a small church band and people there love to dance and groove to music. We are very expressive. I think the first time I sang something and it was recorded was when I was three when I sang ‘Jesus Loves Me’ in the church band.”She goes on to say the journey has being wonderful so far. “I love music and though my mother wanted me to play the piano, I always wanted to sing. It’s my thing and I knew that singing is what I always want to do.”

On the concept behind the band’s music, Nail says: “In the band, the bassist is from the Reunion Island. Two of the guys are from different parts of France. I am of Indian origin and raised in Trinidad. With so many musical influences, it’s hard to put it in a box. That’s why we came up with the name because at the heart of my music is my soul.”

Keys player and music producer Jeoffrey adds that their style of music is a mix of soul, funky groove, pop music and influences from Caribbean music.

Naila adds that they plan to tour a lot and do more recording for a full-fledged album. “After that, we will still keep doing what we’re doing and keep trying to get bigger and better.” To upcoming singers, she advises them to believe in themselves. “Work hard. People think because we are having fun its easy, but there’s a lot of hard work needed. Never give up,” she adds.