Canadian R&B singer/songwriter Naika Oko touches our hearts with her recent soulful single “I See Only You.” Moving from Moncton NB to Vancouver BC, Naika Oko has seen it all with her diverse artistic background in the industry. She’s allowed her vocals to support the likes of notable artists like RÜFÜS DU SOL, Michelle Sweeney, Bobby Bazini, Kim Burell, and many others. Her latest single “I See Only You” allows Naika Oko’s vocals to stand gracefully alone around a modern and sensual R&B beat. She sings with pure passion from the heart and explains how she has eyes for none other than one.
As “I See Only You” begins, Naika Oko starts with nothing but her soulful and filtered vocals letting us know that she wants nobody else. As she moves into the first verse, making her vocals stand naturally, we can’t help but compare Naika Oko’s vocal stylings to Melii, while also bringing in the same soulful delivery as H.E.R. The production exudes a sort of sultry atmosphere through the minimal appearance of a growling bassline and Naika Oko’s heavenly ghost vocals. Bringing a modern feel but a timeless approach to emotional songwriting, Naika Oko sings her honest and compelling message full of genuine desire. We’re impressed by how she translates these emotions into “I See Only You.”
Discover "I See Only You" here.
Hey Naika Oko, welcome to BuzzMusic! We’re loving each note you sing within your recent single “I See Only You”. Could you take us through your lyrical process, and how you approached writing this incredibly soulful song?
I wrote “I See Only You” in a couple of hours. I was in the studio with producer/artist Meaku as the track was being created. Listening to the feeling of the song before writing is how I normally get my inspiration. Sometimes I come up with the name of the song before writing anything at all! It’s really a freeness you have to feel, let go, and just ride the wave and see where the vibe takes you. With this particular track, I wrote the same time as the best was being made. I was going through a lot at the time, a bad relationship, and really couldn’t write about anything else. Everyone deals with everything differently and for me, music has always been my outlet.
Speaking on the production within “I See Only You”, Naika Oko was accompanied by producers Andrew Pete Ugalde and Chibuike Omeaku. What was that collaboration like, and how did they help get the track to where you wanted it?
It’s always a pleasure working with Meaku. He’s incredibly talented and always has my best interest in my creative directions. We’ve worked on many tracks together like “Get it started” and a couple of unreleased songs. For this song, I felt there was more needed so he brought in another producer Andrew to bring the bass alive and really move the track more. I have to shot out my mixing/ mastering engineer Stereo Mixtrumental on this track as well. He really brought the energy I was looking for in the mix. I’m kinda a pain in the a** when it comes to sounds because I’m a perfectionist and audiophile. So I’m grateful for him taking this track to the next level, I appreciate his incredible patience.
We’ve heard that Naiko Oko has sung background for a variety of artists, walked many runways and opened an array of shows. What experience throughout your journey has had the greatest impact on you and your career as an artist?
Keep positive energy around you and always keep going. Many doors will be shut in your face before someone lets you in, but once you're in, you're in. I’ve always had that mentality throughout this journey. It started with music and I also left my doors of opportunity open by trying new things as well. The modeling happened because a friend suggested I auditioned for la fashion week, and with no expectations, I booked ten designers my first time. Many times you will have to give in order to receive back. I have done countless shows for free before I started booking paid gigs. An industry songwriter personally told me “ You can’t give or receive with a closed palm”. I keep this quote with me everywhere I go.
Going back to the beginning of your career, Naika Oko was singing covers on YouTube that landed you in Canada’s top 10 most-watched. Why do you think so many people were naturally drawn to your sound from the very beginning, and how do you maintain your fanbase?
I was serious about my music but I didn’t really know what I was capable of at the time. I think people enjoyed that I was raw and still learning and growing. It was fun for me as well because I challenged myself to put myself out there more. I used to be an introvert and I believe it gave me balance and confidence. I think that seeing people push themselves to be better motivates and helps you feel good as well. I think they feel that energy and positivity.
What can we expect to see from you next?
I am always working on something. Right now I am currently finishing up singles and music videos that will be released throughout the next couple of months. Following that will be the full album, which I am extremely excited about and can’t wait to share with everyone.