Naim Records


Independent. Uncompromising. Eclectic.

“...leave in mistakes, provided the intention is good... I want the people, the human beings. I want the smell of cigarette smoke in the atmosphere and I want the feel of hot bodies. The last thing I want is a perfectly made-up corpse. It’s a different philosophy, and I know it sometimes frustrates reviewers.”

“You can certainly call our catalog eclectic... I want variety in my life. I can’t listen to one type of music again and again. I don’t see why a label should stick to one sort of music."

”We will always continue trying to capture that special feeling that only a performance can bring”

“To me, music is a language, and musicians are reading the story a composer has written. I want our listeners to understand what the composer was trying to say and to hear it in a very natural and non-sterile way.“

Julian Vereker - Founder, Naim Records

Yazz Ahmed 'La Saboteuse'

Yazz Ahmed has been making serious waves in the Jazz world after storming onto the scene with a commanding performance at Ronnie Scott’s with her quintet in 2010. With her next release ‘La Saboteuse’ Yazz looks set to join a pioneering group of artists such as The Comet is Coming (Leaf Label), Kamasi Washington (BRAINFEEDER), Yussef Kamaal (Brownswood) and Naim Records’ Sons Of Kemet who are flipping the jazz world on its head and breaking through to the forefront of the UK music scene with a vibrant and exciting approach to their art.
Yazz has performed with creative goliaths including Lee "Scratch" Perry and MAX ROMEO as well as touring worldwide with THESE NEW PURITANS and laying down the Flugelhorn on Radiohead’s ground-breaking ‘King of Limbs’. Her second full length release ‘La Saboteuse’ explores the creative process and the demons that can exist within. Yazz’s transformation of this into a unique blend of psychedelic Arabic jazz is intoxicating, compelling and sonically outstanding.

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The Last Dinosaur 'The Nothing'

At 16, Jamie had met kindred spirit James Macdonald at music college and recorded the 2004 album Good Morning Sunshine… and Goodnight with him under the name When I Was a Little Girl, a well-received debut through the independent label Where It’s At Is Where You Are. But a year later, Jamie was in a car crash that tragically claimed the life of his best friend. Out for the day with one of Jamie’s sisters and another friend, the car aquaplaned and hit another car at a junction. James’ injuries were the worst among the passengers, and when he passed away, Jamie was in a state of shock. “I’d had a pretty idyllic life until then, nothing particularly bad had happened,” Jamie says. “That was a difficult experience to comprehend. Despite how harrowing it was, I thought came out of it relatively mentally unscathed, although in hindsight that’s a trick you tell yourself.”

The Nothing is uplifting, life-affirming. Its lyrics may tackle the subject of mortality, but the gorgeous, overlapping, interlacing melodies are like drifting in a blissful reverie. ‘We’ll Greet Death’, with its strings, piano, saxophone and acoustic guitar is defiant, possessed of an emotional complexity. On ‘Grow’, Jamie’s lovely acoustic plucking forms the basis for a song about the fragility of life, while ‘The Sea’ is a meditative post-rock movement that begins in a hushed place and concludes over five minutes later in a gorgeous string-laden denouement. Although Jamie professes to a childhood love for R.E.M and most of all, Talk Talk, the music here is very much his own, self-penned and performed with close friend Rachel Lanskey providing viola on most of the songs. “I’ve had a very strong sense of never wanting to copy anyone else’s music, I just want to sound like me,” Jamie says.

Created between over a seven year period, The Nothing is a stunning, affecting album that is also a touching tribute to Jamie’s late friend. Following the summer release, The Last Dinosaur has received critical acclaim from the leading industry influencers.

"An extended meditation on life, death and memory." The Independent ★★★★ 

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Sons Of Kemet 'Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do'

After the blistering success of their debut album 'Burn' in 2013, Sons of Kemet return with their highly anticipated follow up 'Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do.' 'Burn' is a hard act to follow - not only did it garner the band fans such as Gilles Peterson (who included the album in his Worldwide Awards shortlist) and stunning reviews, including The Arts Desk (who pronounced it Album Of The Year) and The Quietus, but they also scooped the MOBO Best Jazz Award. The bar has indeed been set high for the second album, but yet again Sons of Kemet have surpassed themselves, delivering an album stuffed to the rafters with the euphoric, danceable grooves and riffs that made 'Burn' such an unprecedented success and audiences go crazy.
Sons of Kemet boasts a line-up that comprises some of the most progressive 21st-century talents in British jazz and beyond. Band-leader, composer and sax and clarinet player Shabaka Hutchings continues his fiery vision alongside London-based band mates Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford (a dynamo duo on drums) and latest addition, Theon Cross (taking over from Oren Marshall) on tuba.

"Two years ago, Sons of Kemet were already blowing live audiences away and fascinating listeners on record – they do it even better now." THE GUARDIAN ★★★★

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Daudi Matsiko 'A Brief Introduction to Failure'

Daudi has been making massive waves in the live scene with a recent national tour of the UK with GoGo Penguin. Now he’s one of a select few UK acts chosen for the Red Bull Academy Class of 2016 in Montreal. Fans of his music range from Huw Stephens, Gilles Peterson, Nadine Shah, Ghostpoet, Booka Shade, Lone, Jamie Woon, Portico amongst many many more. 
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Ugandan singer-songwriter and guitarist Daudi Matsiko carefully crafts modern albeit reverent folk. Deft, melancholic picking reminiscent of Nick Drake is tempered by contemporary percussion and instrumentation, and Matsiko’s vocals derive their strength from their seeming fragility, a warble in notes that may or may not be intentional. With every song, his confessional lyrics cut to the marrow. After releasing two independent EPs, A Brief Introduction to Failure and The Lingering Effects of Disconnection, he signed to Naim Records and spent the beginning of 2016 touring with Blue Note trio GoGo Penguin.

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Stuart McCallum 'CITY'

From jazz beginnings to DJ culture, Stuart McCallum's music is 'alternative jazz' - a distillation of influences, creating a sound that is concentrated and distinctive. Not wanting to hide behind over complicated harmonic and rhythmical structures, angular and forgettable melodies, Stuart's music is a new hybrid of composition, production and performance. It embraces simple, memorable melodies, bass lines and drum beats, with electronica and improvisation enriched by elegant orchestral writing.
For his new album, City, McCallum steps even further into the world of electronica, shilst still maintaining that magical combination of both acoustic and electronic instruments that gives his music such a distinctive sound. However, two things make City stand out from his previous work. First, the addition of vocals and second, the decision to bring in London based drummer and producer, Richard Spaven, who he met during his time playing with Cinematic Orchestra, not only to perform, but to co-write and produce the album. 

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Harry Jay-Steele 'Reach You'

Musician, guitarist and producer Harry Jay-Steele presents his debut single ‘Reach You’. The track has been co-produced by Harry and Alex Burey (Loyle Carner/Sundara Karma/Matt Maltese) and was mastered by the legendary John Dent (PJ Harvey/Massive Attack/Tom Vek).
Harry’s music carves out a genre all of it’s own. Combining an eclectic range of influences from Soul, African Rhythm and Contemporary classical arrangements to modern pop, he has created an emotive and grand sound that encompasses an array of genres.
Harry has been honing his craft for over a decade, moving to London at the age of 19 to study music at Goldsmiths University. Having formed bands that never took the musical direction he was striving for, Harry began to concentrate more on his own sound. This isolation creatively has allowed him to hone his distinct voice and guitar work, citing African originating artist Lionel Loueke, and Tinariwen as major influences in the process.
Describing ‘Reach You’ Harry says: "I wrote ‘Reach You’ on a loop pedal with my guitar initially but it really evolved into a song on the computer. It’s a song about a journey, the fears, joy and sorrow that can create in someone - I'll leave it there for other people to take away what they get from it lyrically. Musically the song is inspired by a mix of things – electronic pop, house, early disco, afro-beat. The rhythm guitar is central to the songs character, the syncopation of it creates a push and pull affect which can make the song sound like its varying in tempo or rushing at times and I think that feeling of uncertainty really plays on an emotional level when in conjunction with the lyrics.”

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guns 'Ricochet'

guns (Gunhild Jarwson Tekle) is a 24 year old singer-songwriter hailing from Trondheim, Norway. Her dream-pop production will no doubt draw comparisons to artists such as Tei ShiThe Knife and Solange, yet her sound is very much her own.

She perfected her sound and song craft in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she initially attended art-school, but was quickly distracted by her love of music and began working on a collection of songs, which she plans to release later this year as an EP. 

guns cites Kate BushBlood OrangeDavid Lynch and Abba as key influences, some of which can be heard in her debut track ‘Ricochet’ a dreamy synth soaked ethereal dream-pop ballad which lyrically explores the temporary and transient nature of life.

‘Ricochet’ (written by guns in Berlin and recorded in Copenhagen) is a super-catchy slice of alternative pop and will be the track, which introduces guns to the masses. ‘Ricochet’s laid back drums, Anders Bach Pedersen production and earworm chorus hook will no doubt make it a hype machine hit by the end of the summer.

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Seward 'Second Two: Chapter Home'

Spanish band ‘Seward’ are a pleasure and a challenge for the senses. The latest signing to Naim Records and hailing from Barcelona, the band consists of members Pablo (synths, effects and guitar), Adriano (vocals), Jordi (bass) and Juan (drums), yet they are most definitely not your normal four piece ensemble.
Their music is delightfully unexpected and utterly engaging, creating a sense of tension, complex layers of sound and a delicate beauty that refuses to fit into a particular genre; instead the band have dubbed their music ‘free song’. 

The first single from their upcoming third album and first on Naim Records, ‘Sweet Kick’, will be available for high definition download from the 13th May, with the thrilling full album released on the 3rd June via Naim Records.
If ever there was a time to expect the unexpected, this is it.

"blending intelligence, theatricality and grandiose eloquence in a package that defines why alternative art can be so thrilling" THE LINE OF BEST FIT

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When ESKA’s self-titled debut album was released in April 2015 on Naim Label, the BBC Radio 6Music tastemaker Gilles Peterson proclaimed ESKA “the finest UK singer”, The Guardian dubbed her “enchanting… inventive” and The Independent called her “one of the most idiosyncratic and original talents”. The Zimbabwe-born, London-raised musician and songwriter took five years to make her album - “a mind-bending gem” (The Observer) - it was worth the wait.
A singer whose unique voice has adorned the albums of such original acts as Nitin Sawhney, Courtney Pine and Tony Allen, ESKA’s been in high demand in recent years. But her own music is something else; imagine the psyche soul of Minnie Riperton, unexpected, whimsical melodic twists of Kate Bush and ornate detail of folk legends Pentangle arranged in an intoxicating meld, and you’re only getting close. ESKA has been compared to Joni Mitchell, earned plaudits from influential radio DJs Lauren Laverne and Don Letts, and performed live sessions for Jamie Cullum's Radio 2 show, Radio X and Radio 3’s Late Junction. Her debut album is a 2015 Mercury Prize 'Album of the Year' and she had everyone from The Times to hip dance music site Boiler Room in a lather.
It's time to discover one of music's best kept secrets.

“I can’t remember when I last heard anything this enchanting or inventive. Her array of reggae, jazz, soul, choral, electronica, folk and classical influences collide to create a sound that is hers alone.” THE GUARDIAN



Get The Blessing 'Astronautilus'

The romantic rumours that the BBC Jazz Award-winning contemporary quartet Get The Blessing met at an Ornette Coleman Appreciation Society in Bristol, could easily be true. Get The Blessing's unique performances hark of the rich Bristolian melancholy that revolutionised British pop music in the 90s, yet reflecting esoteric variations on where jazz as-we-know-it has come from and is heading.
Astronautilus is Get The Blessing's fifth album (and third for Naim Records) and comes blazing out of Bristol chasing the tail of its predecessor, 2014's Lope and Antilope. While Lope and Antilope saw the band dip their toe in mellower waters, Astronautilus was literally composed between crashing waves and deserted estuary sands, producing an album of pounding rhythms, spacious atmospheres and strongly-crafted melodies - plus, of course, the unpredictability and musical mischievousness that have made the band so exciting and successful.

"Get the Blessing is back for its fifth album and the momentum of creativity is undipped." BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE ★★★★★

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Naim Records News

The Last Dinosaur - The Nothing
July 2017
Connection Magazine

Embracing all of life’s ups and downs, the new album by The Last Dinosaur is a poignant and...

La Saboteuse - Yazz Ahmed
May 2017
Connection Magazine

Part of an exciting movement revitalising jazz, trumpeter Yazz Ahmed has a singular, Arabic-...

April 2017
Connection Magazine

Konfesyjne, folkowe brzmienie gitarzysty Daudi Matsiko, po jego współpracy z “elektrycznymi”...