This week, I was compelled to commemorate a badass woman, a desire to give thanks to one of the most talented female singers that I have had the pleasure of listening to. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Nai Palm offered sacred sounds from her golden pipes and silver strings in the neo soul group Hiatus Kaiyote. From their hit 2012 single Nakamarra on Tawk Tomahawk, to the 2015 album Choose Your Weapon Nai Palm’s vocals propelled the energy of the band. With Choose Your Weapon the group gave the world a musical gift, Jekyll and Molasses being some of my all time favorites from the album, which reached #127 on the US Billboard
After the success of Choose Your Weapon, the band members went their separate ways to play and grow musically. Last October, though, Nai Palm was struck with a breast cancer diagnosis. However, this disease has not prevented her from touring and performing solo. In 2017 Nai Palm released Needle Paw, her debut solo album. Filled to the brim with soul, she done did it again and gave us a slice of her heart in the form of music. From Nai Palm’s lips leak lyrical poems in varying rhythms, fully charged with soul. The album features more of her guitar work and vocals in contrast to the futuristic, R&B and soul vibe of Hiatus Kaiyote. Listening to her vocals either in her band or solo, it is clear her journey through sound has been so diverse, being influenced by soul, rock, flamenco, and even Northwest African music at a young age. If you’re looking for a Nai Palm introduction, check out her live performance of When the Knife at the Sydney Opera House. Her passion is absolutely electric.
In dedication to breast cancer awareness month, I wish to bring light to this incredible artist also battling the disease. In the Instagram post on October 18th, 2018 she expressed her emotions and thoughts on her diagnosis.
After a surgery last December, Nai Palm was joined by Hiatus Kaiyote bassist Paul Bender performing Curtis Mayfield’s The Makings of You from her hospital bed at sunset. See the empowering performance below, and if you’d like, check out the links for breast cancer foundations in the US and Australia.
Breast Cancer Foundation Links