Born in Toronto, Ontario, NDAI is making a name for herself. The R&B artist’s distinct, soothing and ethereal voice is amplified with her writing style focusing on cadence, paired with the desire to fill the spaces in between the music. She gives the listener a raw and genuine take on the many anecdotes she shares about her life and the lessons she’s had to learn and overcome.
NDAI /ˈnedā/ aims to create art true to herself and her music is no exception, as she explains:
“Great art has a certain truth to it. As artists, we hold up a mirror to society and weave the words into songs that are simply too difficult to articulate otherwise. It’s a combination of skill, inspiration, and vulnerability, which is the key to honesty. Honesty can only come from a vulnerable place where the ego cannot coexist, it is unpretentious, unadulterated and raw.”
Rather than filling an archetype that is somewhat dictated by the industry, the Toronto- born singer/songwriter definitely has a style of her own. A multi-disciplinary artist whose artistic expression spans across music, art and film, NDAI has been gaining the attention of some of the Music Industry’s heavyweights like Noah Shebib, Teddy Riley and Andre Harrell with her distinct, soothing and ethereal voice, as they continue to follow her career and have shared their thoughts and appreciation for her sound
When did you first discover your love for music?
I think I was about 4 years old when I discovered my love for music. I had always been exposed to all kinds of music growing up but when I was able to sing songs from my favorite Disney movies, I think that was a favorite past time as a little girl. I would perform them with a pretend mic and everything.
What musical influences did you listen to growing up that helped to mold you into the artist you are today?
I listened to everything from classic oldies to hip hop. I was very lucky to have a family that also loved good music and always played it at home. I would hear classic oldies and country from my Grandmothers like Etta James, Connie Francis, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Shania Twain. My Father used to scratch records back in the day and had a huge record collection that featured some New Jack Swing, Funk and Hip Hop like Sugar Hill Gang, Kool & The Gang, Public Enemy, N.W.A. Michael Jackson (his favorite). My Mother loved the R&B greats Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Kelly Price, Toni Braxton. So I’m influenced by a lot this only a small list, I really love all music genres.
What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical career?
I’ve been performing in some amazing showcases that have given me the opportunity to expand my audience as well as improve my setlist and show. My single Nobody’s Ting hit 30K streams a few weeks after it’s release, people have been really enjoying it which makes me excited to write more music!
Today’s music seems to be about collaborations with the “hottest” artist out. Who would you want to work with on a project? And why?
I really want to work with a few people but one of the main artists is Daniel Caesar, I think we could make something really dope together. I would also love to write for Mariah Carey, there’s a lot of songwriters and producers I want to collaborate with. The Weeknd would also be an interesting collaboration I think our sounds would go well together, I also really like Kendrick Lamar and ASAP Rocky.
What impression would you like listeners to be left with after hearing your music? what will people be able to say about you as an artist?
I hope my music leaves listeners with a feeling of being seen, I think when someone finds a song that speaks to how they feel it’s a beautiful thing. Music is so healing and I just hope that it resonates with someone out there and possibly help them through something or provide a sound to their life.
What image do you think your music conveys and why did you choose this type of image for your music?
With my music, I just aim to convey the different aspects of myself, strength & transparency. Because people are so complex and sometimes we simplify things in society, you can only be this or that. Rather than being all the things you are and sometimes those things can be contradictory because we are complex beings. Art is also meant to ignite or reflect different things in our society so I like to convey things that provoke thought or spark a change in perspective.
What projects do you have in the making currently and what are your plans for the near future?
Currently, I’m working on the finishing touches of my EP The Lovers. It’s set to release this spring, so I’m excited about that and I can’t wait to perform it all over. I’m also working on putting a female showcase together in Toronto to support all the local talent we have in this city.
What is your ultimate goal at the end of your career?
My goal is to have a career and catalog that stands the test of time. I want to be timeless and prolific, I’m always learning and growing along the way but I hope to be respected as a songwriter and artist. I hope I can look bad and be proud that I achieved what I set out to do.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Put in the work. Get really good at understanding how you can use social media platforms to promote your music and brand as well as how the music industry operates in this digital age. Always think of yourself as a brand and try to write your own music. All the money to be made is in songwriting so make sure you own your masters.
How can potential fans find you?
You can find me anywhere you listen to music under NDAI and you can find me on social media as @ndaiart.