Bursting with warm grooves, supple basslines and glossy vocals, the divine debut single Chasing The Sun delivered recently by Gamilaroi singer-songwriter Naomi Diane is an entirely sunny affair, capturing carefree summer vibes with polished delivery.
Now based in Melbourne but originally growing up in Wollongong, Naomi Diane’s experience adapting from coastal living to city life ultimately sparked the core thematics at the heart of her debut single Chasing The Sun, with the buoyant and joyous track also drawing inspiration from Lianne La Havas, Tennis, Men I Trust and Harry Styles’ sophomore 2019 album Fine Line.
Fascinated by Naomi Diane’s story, we asked her to ponder a few questions for us.
1 What was the spark which lit your flame for music initially?
Mum put me in an early childhood music program when I was 4, I moved on to play recorder at 6 and violin at 9. I was in the choir and school band all throughout high school. Music always been a part of my life.
2 An album or song that had a huge impact on you growing up?
There is never just one! My top three were Corinne Bailey Rae’s 2006 ‘Self Titled’ album, John Mayer’s ‘Continuum’ and Arctic Monkeys ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’.
3 First concert you ever attended?
Apparently Meat Loaf when I was in my mumma’s womb! But first concert I asked to go to was Hilary Duff when I was 12 – classic!
4 Which other person has had the biggest influence on your music career?
Estelle Conley – a friend I’ve performed and recorded with for 10 years across Sydney and Melbourne. Working with Estelle on her project has built my confidence so much as a performer. And she gives me opportunities to help write bv parts for her songs too. It’s also such a brilliant way to strengthen a friendship.
5 Chasing The Sun is your new single, what’s it about, what inspired you to write it?
I was living in a musician share house in Eaglemont during lockdown, time moved slower and I was absorbing a lot of new music from the boys. One of the boys (Ben Wright Smith) has this fun tune called ‘Sand Grabber’, the chorus lyrics were stuck in my head all the time ‘we’re twisting in the sun, like a sand grabber’. With those words swirling, often day dreaming about summer and being back in my home town, and yarnin with my housemates about adventures out of Melbourne to warmer places before covid was a thing, naturally the line chasing the sun fell into my lap. And Tyler Millott and Josh Barber helped make the song come alive and feel so bright.
6 What would you like your music career to look like in 5 years time?
An EP and an album or two crafted. Lots of brilliant collaborating. A tour of Aus, performing at Victoria’s best music festivals, eg Meredith/Golden Plains, Strawberryfields, etc. Then a tour of Europe! Ah the dream.
7 What would be your dream collaboration?
Lianne La Havas – I’ve loved watching her sound grow in the last 10 years.
8 Other artists you are enjoying listening to at the moment?
This list could go on for a long time, so here are 5 albums I’ve been cycling through a lot of late:
• Could We Be More by Kokoroko
• Smiles of Earth by Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird
• Messy by Olivia Dean
• Norm by Andy Shauf
• Krystal by Matt Maltese
9 Tell us about your work as a mentor and advisor for the Indigenous internship program
I help mob who are studying at university find paid internship work that aligns with their studies. It’s an amazing, fast paced people facing role. Doing this kind of work is really important for building my community connections and helping others build connections, confidence and resilience too.
10 If money was no issue, what would a Naomi Diane concert look like?
Think Turkish rugs everywhere, an upright piano on stage next to the keyboard, a small string section, brass and reed section and at least 6 bvs along with the core band members. Don’t forget the massive disco ball!
11 An important life lesson someone gave/told you?
I’ve always been a person who appreciates the small things, with that comes an outlook of gratitude. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by lots of loving, wise women my whole life who have nurtured that in me. Find the joys in your day, no matter how tough a day it’s been.
12 What’s next for Naomi Diane?
An EP for sure! It’s swirling around in my brain right now, I’m excited to collaborate with muso friends in the new year
MORE ABOUT NAOMI DIANE’S SINGLE ‘ CHASING THE SUN’
An upbeat amalgamation of pop elements, indie hues and jangly grooves, Chasing The Sun is the ultimate summertime bop painstakingly crafted to soundtrack warm adventures, as Naomi Diane explains, “Chasing The Sun speaks to the challenge of moving to a colder city, and finding a new community and a sense of belonging. And I have terrible circulation, so I ended up on many trips north to soften that chilly blow”.
Inspired by her own personal experiences, with heightened inspiration also arriving courtesy of her housemates at the time, producer and co-writer Tyler Millott (The Terrifying Lows) and the sun-soaked stylings of fellow singer-songwriter Ben Wright Smith, Naomi Diane’s maiden solo release traces its origins far beyond its joyous release in 2023, with the irresistible earworm recorded two and a half years ago amongst Melbourne’s extensive lockdowns, as Naomi Diane elaborates, “I’m so stoked to finally release this track. It feels like the right time to put it out there. It was mostly recorded in our loungeroom in Eaglemont, after many nights around the fire listening to music and sharing hearts when Melbourne was shut down. I want to it to be pumped in car speakers as people get out of the city for adventures! I want people to dance to it under the summer sun, feeling free.”
An all-round creative with equal passions for music and nature, Naomi Diane can usually be found hanging with friends at gigs, cooking, or exploring parks and rivers. Currently also balancing her burgeoning solo musical pursuits alongside working full time as a mentor and advisor for a non-profit Indigenous internship program and singing backing vocals for The Deans of Soul, Estelle Conley, Quinny and Angus Montaigne.
Naomi Diane’s effortlessly affable and enamouring sensibilities shine as bright as the radiant tones on her brand new single; and it’s certainly a beautiful beginning for plenty of future Naomi Diane magic still to come alongside plans to grow with and foster emerging Indigenous artists like herself.
“I always thought I’d be a folky or jazzy artist, but this pop banger has taken me down a really exciting path and I can’t wait to let that flourish,” Naomi Diane concludes. “An EP and some glorious musical collaborations are on the horizon for 2024. And providing space for mentorship, workshops and yarning circles for mob who want to get their music out there.”
Chasing The Sun is out now