In every great musical biopic, there’s a moment when it’s protagonist makes themselves known to the world. Usually, It’s not in a packed arena, or on a TV talent contest. It’s in a small, stuffy bar in front of an audience that doesn’t know even know she’s there, apart from the presence of a warm smile and a curious, if perhaps a little awkward, “hello”. She could be any girl in any bar in the world. Until she sings.
Suddenly heads start to turn. Our protagonist’s nerves give way to an assured grin, a grin that quickly becomes a confident smile. This woman is now the centre of the universe, and every single person in that room will think the same exact thought when they look back on that night. They just witnessed the big bang.
It was not too long ago that I had a similar experience at, what I assumed would be, a fun but unremarkable show I ran in June 2019. Ask anyone in that room to recap the night’s events and you’ll hear the same thing repeated over and over. An unassuming girl took to the stage, picked up a microphone, and coerced us into giving up our hearts. That person was Nara.
Now I’m not saying Nara (the alter-ego of Dublin based singer Amanda Dempsey) has a biopic in the works just yet, but what I’m getting at is that there exists within Nara an explosive and undeniable potential to make people believe. And in this industry, which is often fickle and fleeting, that is so very important.
So too is the drive needed to push oneself beyond that one moment of brilliance, and not only create it on a regular basis but to learn to feed it as a songwriter. Nara possesses all these qualities and more. She knows her sound, she believes in her own capabilities and she surrounds herself with the right people to take all these ingredients and create something meaningful. Many promising young artists lose something in the jump from band-stand to record. Some people can never recreate the spark the caused the fire in the first place.
On Nara’s upcoming debut single ‘Honey Trap’ she has managed to do both. She delivers a vocal that belies her youth with confidence in her voice that usually comes after many attempts. ‘Honey Trap’ is a contemporary neo-soul track which harkens back to acts like TLC, Erikah Badu, and Lauren Hill, with its hip-hop-influenced drumming and blues-tinged guitar
sampling. The instrumental, which is both intimate and energetic, is driven by an infectious hook and a warm set of lyrics that deal’s with the inner monologue of a girl who is swiftly coming of age.
Nara is the type of act that could easily find herself sitting on top of a legacy with a few well-placed steps. ‘Honey Trap’ is a definitive step in the right direction.
‘Honey Trap’ is released on October 23rd, check it out at the link below.
Follow her on Instagram @n_a_r_a_music. Photo by @Fiona_Louise25.