NAKAYA Emerges From the Ashes on "Fire Becomes Me" [Premiere]
The last few years have given many of us the ability to redirect, to undo some chafing feelings and deposit ourselves into a meditative state, to extinguish one raging fire and supplant it with one more warming and comforting.
For NAKAYA, the exquisite Los Angeles-based singer of Philippine-Panamanian descent, being an outsider has long been a familiar state. However, the pandemic enhanced that feeling into a physical one, which created a bridge to pivot upon, emerging as a rejuvenated artist, more powerful and confident. While her prior work was notable for its vulnerable recounting of the interpersonal dilemmas that arise from being a queer woman of color, her more recent work is an affirmation of self-belief.
All that renovated expression is more than evident on "Fire Becomes Me," a sublime single with waves of subdued guitars that NAKAYA layers with a soft, near quavering energy. The song builds, with her voice becoming more firm, her tone strengthening, slowly crescendoing into an echoing chorus championing femininity strength.
That contrast is deliberate and a message of triumph as she explains, "'Fire Becomes Me’ is a back and forth perspective between my current and past selves. I wrote this as part of a series I ran in 2020 when I felt galvanized by the world's eyes on Black issues. I attended protests several times a week and wrote what arose within me. I shared the demos on Bandcamp and picked causes to donate proceeds to. To me, this song is about the resilience of the Black community and how in constant adversity, we take the fire and rise like a Phoenix from the ashes."
All fires burn bright at first, but the real heat comes when the flame dies down and the coals gain a steady heat. For NAKAYA, time has allowed the fire to become her, has made her efforts smolder, and I trust that it will give you warmth as well.
Watch the "Fire Becomes Me" video below: