Naia Izumi Shares New Video and Playlist of Songs that Inspired Forthcoming Album

June 17, 2021
Naia Izumi Shares New Video and Playlist of Songs that Inspired Forthcoming Album

photo credit: Svet Jacqueline

On July 30, Sony Music Masterworks will release Naia Izumi’s major label debut, A Residency in the Los Angeles Area. Izumi, the winner of NPR’s prestigious Tiny Desk Contest in 2018 has received numerous accolades for his expressive vocals and dexterous guitarwork. Tony Berg (Peter Gabriel, Phoebe Bridgers) served as producer of A Residency in the Los Angeles Area, which also finds Izumi on bass, drums, Japanese Koto, mandolin, cittern, and other instruments.

Izumi has created a special Spotify playlist for Relix that reflects some of the artists and sounds that influenced the new record from King Crimson to Musiq Soulchild to Shakti. The playlist and his accompanying commentary appears below our premiere of the official video forNatural Disaster” from A Residency in the Los Angeles Area. Ozumi explains that the song is about “the randomness of life. You could lose everything in one swoop without even realizing it. There’s no reason to take anything personally. If you don’t embrace the randomness of life, you’re going to be destroyed.”


Songs that influence the sound of A Residency in Los Angeles 

“Frame By Frame” –  King Crimson

What a vibe this song has!  You can tell Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Bill Bruford and Adrian Belew have a full spiritual relationship and scientific relationship with music.

“They Won’t Go When I Go” –  Stevie Wonder  Probably one of Stevie’s darkest songs, [my producer] Tony Berg intro’d me to it,  it’s got a minor harmonic vibe to it which I dig. You can feel how real it is, it’s true honesty.

“Everything is Everything“ –  Lauryn Hill  “Everything is everything.” Great song, honest philosophy.

“On and On” – Erykah Badu  I dig the vibe.  It has a reflective nature, almost hypnotic, and the style is a refrain, something you don’t hear a lot of in neo-soul.

“Love” –  Musiq Soulchild  In this song, he personifies love, and describes his and also the world’s relationship with love .

“Yarabi” –  Lamine Konte  The kora is beautiful instrument.  The playing and building is passed down from generation to generation, and the temperatures its played in lend to the sound of the instrument. “Yarabi” is raw and beautiful, and comes from having a relationship with the music.

“Joy” – Shakti  That whole live recording is everything, and John McLaughlin’s greatest period of work.  I would’ve loved to have been there for this.