Meet the Canning Town singer-songwriter praising music's ability to lift Covid-19 blues


Navina was named as one to watch by DJ Yasser from BBC Radio 1 Xtra. - Credit: Sara Lincoln Photography

An indie pop-folk singer songwriter has praised music's ability to lift listeners' moods in lockdown.

The work of multi-instrumentalist Navina - who lives in Canning Town - is infused with messages aimed at raising listeners' spirits.

For this artist, who is a resident at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, giving people hope through music matters.

The 26-year-old said: "In my work, I always try to bring a deeper message that uplifts.

"Given these times, it has been more important than ever to address issues that people go through, but also to point them to something that gives hope.

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"When I feel overwhelmed or anxious, like the world has turned upside down, having music to go to is paramount. Over the last year, it's got me through a lot. It's the same for a lot of people.

"It takes your mind off things."

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During the country's lockdowns, Navina sought escape in the music of artists including electronic duo HONNE, the band Maverick City and singer Izzy Bizu.

Cat Stevens, Norah Jones, Brooke Fraser and Vampire Weekend are among her own musical influences.

And her home in Newham has even made an impression with its mix of cultures and diverse artists.

"I really love east London. It's definitely brought more of an eclectic vibe to what I'm used to listening to," Navina said.

Though as yet unsigned, Navina's work has won a number of plaudits. Her debut release, 27 Hearts, was track of the month on BBC Radio London.

It was also playlisted on Apple Music's best of the week and songs of summer. A single, Circles, was top voted track on BBC Radio 6 Music.

As for many performers, things slowed in the pandemic, but undeterred, Navina developed a side-hustle, starting a hand-drawn printed goods business.

That's not to say the music stopped as the artist - who was best unsigned female nominee at the Best of British Unsigned Music Awards - continued to produce, write and perform online.

Despite the pace of her career progress slowing due to Covid-19, Navina's optimism about the future remains.

She said: "Everyone wants to grow and do things, but I'm grateful for everything that has happened. I've learned to be more patient!"

Visit Spotify to listen to Navina.

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