Swiss songstress Naomi Lareine speaks to us about the release of her brand new EP, ‘Girl Next Door,’ her career so far, and more.
Fans of R&B and connoisseurs of the electronic and experimental will be quick to name Naomi Lareine when asked who their favorite artist is. In 2018, the now 28-year-old singer/songwriter dropped her very first single, ‘Sweet Latina,’ followed by ‘Issa Vibe,’ nine months later. Before long, the Swiss music scene was rendered a-buzz with news of a hot new artist; and since, her rise has been monumental. Having released her newest ‘Girl Next Door’ EP early this November, we spoke with the singer/songwriter about her experience creating the EP, highlights from her career so far, and insights from Naomi about the unique sphere of experimental R&B and pop music she dabbles within.
Did You Know? Naomi’s initial releases saw her write love songs about boys. However, after her first romantic relationship with a woman, the singer made the decision to come out as gay and to write only about women henceforth. ‘Sweet Latina’ is credited as her debut single and the first track to feature Naomi’s sapphic songwriting.
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On The ‘Girl Next Door’ EP and Her Sound
The ‘Girl Next Door’ EP is a 6-track-long earworm, exploring both Naomi’s sonic palette and the real-life experiences she draws influence from.
The EP kicks off with ‘Fall In,’ a groovy entry filled with Naomi’s signature vocal performance and treatment, followed by the jumpy ‘Just Met,’ which sees the singer croon to a newfound love interest against an exquisite backdrop of vocal and production samples.
‘Paris,’ crowned favorite by the singer herself, brings in the halfway point, with R&B percussion work and a hooky vocal-centered chorus.
“I was able to go to Berlin to record a few songs [for the EP]and I fell in love with the city,” Naomi reveals about the process of putting the release together. “My favorite song on the EP, ‘Paris,’ was recorded in Berlin.”
The second half of the EP drops ‘Skin’ first, and with it, the mood of the track list, so far. Bringing themes surrounding its namesake together, Naomi sings about self-doubt and confesses, “I don’t wanna be in my skin,” before picking up the pace again with ‘Up All Night,’ reminiscing a past love interest. The EP closes with the upbeat and dance-y number, ‘In Love With A Gangster,’ packed with Naomi’s signature mellowed runs.
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Naomi’s sound can’t be defined within a particular genre. With her foundation set firmly within R&B, the singer dabbles with elements from across genres, primarily pop and electronic. Having evolved her sound ferociously in a mere four years, fans know to expect the unexpected. And with the release of Naomi’s 2022 EP, ‘Girl Next Door,’ begins another era of success for the Switzerland-born talent.
“I think my music has become unpredictable, it’s what I really like.”Naomi Lareine
“I’ve always loved mixing R&B with different genres and sounds,” Naomi explains, when asked about the multi-genre approach towards her music. With upwards of twenty releases, including two EPs and nine singles, Naomi has seen success across mediums.
On Her Career Highlights
In 2019, she began frequenting the festival circuit, performing at some of Switzerland’s largest productions. She became a regular on national television and radio, bagging ‘song of the day’ on the country’s biggest radio station. 2020 was even bigger for the singer, with nominations for Swiss Music Awards 2020’s ‘SRF 3 Best Talents,’ and ‘Best Breaking Act’ from Lyrics Magazin Awards.
Naomi recalled top moments from her career so far, first noting “the nomination for a Swiss Music Award for Best Talent” in 2020. She adds, “I was able to do a TV show called ‘Sing My Song’ – that’s a big thing in Switzerland and Germany. I was also able to perform at the NRJ Star Night this year, and it was in a stadium with thirteen thousand people. I have many more highlights, but these three are the ones that stuck with me the most!“
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The switch to music wasn’t an overnight process for the R&B showstopper. Before making the decision to pursue music full-time at age 19, Naomi was active in the field of football. “I always knew that music was going to be my end goal,” she says. “I took vocal lessons at a female vocal performance school, and I started playing piano. My biggest idol is Alicia Keys.”
When asked to reveal her favorite football team, it was a pleasant surprise to get additional insight into Naomi’s interests in ice hockey – inherited from a family member. “I grew up with ice hockey because my dad was a professional hockey player. So I never really supported a football team; and now, I support multiple teams. Maybe that’s weird, now that I think about it!”
“You have to be honest with yourself, and constantly work on yourself as a human being.”Naomi Lareine
Striving for an authentic and organic career is not without hurdles. The singer notes, “The hardest thing is that you have to be honest with yourself, and constantly work on yourself as a human being. Sometimes when I’m in the studio, I have to force myself to go through difficult times of my life, and process them, in order to write lyrics.“
On What’s Next For Naomi
“I have a few cool things coming up, but I’m not allowed to share it all right now. What I can say is that I’m spending a lot of time in the studio, and we all know what that means…” the singer teases, going on to express gratitude for her fans and their support this year. She also aspires to collaborate with some top-notch artists, stating, “There are so many! From the UK, I’d love to collaborate with Stormzy, Jorja Smith, Kojey Radical and many more.“
When she’s not in the studio, Naomi prefers to kick back and get her fill of entertainment and down-time. “I really like to binge watch series on Netflix. I am a freak! Or I love to spend time with my family,” she says.
The ‘Girl Next Door’ EP marks an exciting chapter for Naomi. As an artist that strives to push forward the ideals of individuality, identity, and authenticity, the EP is a milestone for those listening, and an enticement for those who haven’t yet.
We couldn’t let the R&B songstress go just yet, not before we asked her:
What are 3 things you never go on tour without?
Naomi: My UE boom speaker, my in-ears and lots of jewelry.
What are 3 things you never leave the house without?
Naomi: My phone, headphones and lip balm.
What tracks are you feeling right now?
Naomi: Anogo – Tayc
Hrs and Hrs – Muni Long
Soundgasm – Rema
Show me what you got – JayZ
I Won’t Tell – Fat Joe, J. Holiday
And of course my new EP Girl Next Door!
This interview has been edited & condensed for clarity.
Listen to the ‘Girl Next Door’ EP: