The Toronto-based artist impresses with his ability to unite different musical influences to breathtaking effect.
With his honest lyricism and willingness to talk about vulnerability, personal growth, and struggles, Toronto’s Naol has always worn his heart on his sleeves. Having first established himself with the release of his acclaimed “Health” EP, Naol has since raised his profile with a string of quality releases, catching the industry’s notice with singles like “Beside You” and “Life Always Got To Hit Me Hard.” Undoubtedly, this talented musician seems positioned to make waves in 2024.
Part of what’s always made Naol stand out is his near reverence for authenticity, whether in music or otherwise. Having had to deal with the loss of his father from an early age, music became his refuge, as well as an outlet for the massive wealth of artistic talent he had built up.
Fittingly, Naol’s hard to put into a box, drawing from genres like pop, rock/grunge, electronic/house, and hip-hop at different times when it suits him. By all accounts, he is one of the most intriguing talents to come out of Toronto lately. His musical creations have been featured on CBC Radio 1 “Big City, Small World,” PopCanRadio, and Ones To Watch Now “Watching,” among others.
In many ways, “Remember You Must Die” feels like a masterclass in creating genre-bending, emotion-evoking narratives through music. Right off the bat, Naol’s distorted vocals on the opening track, “Can’t You See,” fuse with instrumentals that feel like they borrow from electronic, grunge, and R&B influences, among others. The result is a gripping, emotional release that feels like Naol is baring his soul. This kind of emotional honesty is a recurring theme in “Remember You Must Die,” although Naol portrays his feelings skillfully in different ways. On releases like the 6th track “Pretend,” Naol’s intro and narration provide a window into his psyche and set the tone with lines like “I’ve been stepped on / I’ve been lied to…..”. They might be relatively small details, but this attention to detail makes “Remember You Must Die” feel so well-fleshed out from an artistic standpoint. Naol flexes his versatility on “Remember You Must Die” as well, channeling grunge and alternative R&B one moment on “My Mind Can Never Stay Stagnant” before channeling some liquid DnB on “They Wanna See Me Fall.” Naol simply refuses to be boxed into any concept or sound. Still, he manages to weave the threads he’s painstakingly gathered into one cohesive, appealing sound.
Naol’s latest EP, “Remember You Must Die,” is a breathtaking new release that impresses with its attention to detail and Naol’s ability to unite different influences into a unique and compelling cohesive sound. Whenever you’re ready, tap in and stream Naol’s latest EP, “Remember You Must Die,” now on all majour streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuuzzMusic Noal. We loved "Remember You Must Die;" what a unique release! We liked how you incorporated so many musical influences on this EP; we wanted to ask! How easy was it to pull? Is drawing from so many different genres part of your natural artistic process?
Thank you! Honestly, from the beginning of my music career, I always wanted to be known as eclectic or different, but in a good way. My last album didn't fully conceptualize it compared to this one, and my being able to explore genres like pop, grunge, electronic, etc., allowed me to be fully immersed in my mission of being an Alternative/Indie artist. Being within this genre is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and being able to create music that is uniquely yours.
What was the inspiration behind "Remember You Must Die," and what was your favorite part of seeing the vision behind this release come to life?
The inspiration stemmed from the Latin phrase Memento Mori," which is translated into English as "Remember That You Must Die," is the album's title. This allowed me to formulate the idea behind the album, which was to talk about the finiteness of life and how we rarely internalize every day that the life we live here has an expiration date. We often try to ignore it and be oblivious, but that's the reality of it. We all have our beliefs, and I know I do. Sometimes, we lean on them to provide purpose for our lives. Within the album, I talk about love, reclusiveness, deceptiveness, etc. All these themes under my lens portray the image of struggles one goes through, including myself, in the transient life. Seeing each song coming to life and allowing this album to be compiled to make an exciting sound was inspiring. "Can't You See" was my favorite part/song in this album, as it resonated with my personal life, and creating it was fun. I recorded in my sister's room since she was studying in my room (I have a desk, lol).
What has been the favorite part of your musical journey so far?
My music journey has been rough, but my favorite part was performing at an Open Mic in Toronto for the first time last year. My two closest friends made it there and watched me perform. I always feared performing but practiced intensely and prepared for the event. It wasn't an excellent performance, but I finally did something I always feared, which meant a lot. Having my friends supporting me and rooting for me was great, too.
What do you believe is the most essential quality for a musician to have?
Uniqueness. Every artist needs a competitive advantage in this industry. What makes you different from the millions or even billions of artists worldwide? You need to be able to stand out and create a sound that you connect to but also that others can, too, to a certain extent. Music will always be subjective; my family doesn't support my music as much, even a couple of friends, compared to people I find on a Discord server or elsewhere. Create a unique sound, find your people through various channels, and be creative. Music also rewards creativity and quality, but being unique is the most critical aspect/quality for any musician to explore early or at any stage in their career.
What's next for Naol? Do you have anything significant coming up, and is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
I'm not sure yet, but I'm considering performing at a few Open mics again this year to get more comfortable. Besides that, I am taking a hiatus from releasing music to focus on school and other work, but I look forward to seeing the success of this project. Hopefully, people can hear the eclectic sound I provide with my music.