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WPGM Commentary: Nayana Is Overwhelmed By Her Emotions On ‘Drowning’

My name is Nayana Brathwaite, I’m a 19-year-old singer/songwriter from London. I use my music to reflect on the lessons I have learned throughout my life and process my emotions. Through sharing my art, I can let my listeners be introduced to different chapters of my life in the hope that it can either help or inspire them.

When I was 16, I lost my mother to cancer. I had a lot of trouble processing and managing my grief, causing me to act out in unhealthy ways. I spent a lot of time trying to drown out the reality of my situation by constantly keeping myself busy.

I didn’t give myself a second to stop and really feel my emotions all the way through. Eventually, it got to a point at which my feelings caught up with me and hit me like a huge tidal wave. Hence the name of the song “Drowning”.

I spent a lot of time going for late-night drives, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. But I used the drives as another way to try and escape my deeper emotions. For the video, I wanted recreate those late-night drives so that I’m able to bring listeners back in time with me to that period of my life.

Singing is something that my mum knew made me happy and she had always pushed me to do it. Shortly after she passed away, my good friend Mya-Louise introduced me to the Flames Collective Choir, from there I grew as an artist and learned how write and perform. In turn, I felt more inclined to and comfortable in writing my own music, and this was something I had always strived to do but I never really knew how to go about it.

I’m eternally grateful for the choir because in being a part of them and working with the choir director Andy Gilbert, I was able to develop as an artist and a song writer.

It was also through listening to my friends perform their original music that I was inspired and gained a much broader understanding of how to approach my own music. Shout out to the talented members of the Flames Collective and UD for everything they have done for me and continue to do.

Through writing this single I learned how to articulate my emotions into song. I initially wrote the song over a Youtube type beat but I was only able to write a small part of the song at first and left it in my files until I was able to find the rest of the words to finish writing it.

I continued practising my songwriting and developing my vocal abilities, which then lead me to enrol to BIMM London so that I could grow even further as an artist, deepen my understanding of music and connect with people who share my passion.

After taking the time to develop my craft, I came back to the song to finish it; I asked my friend Jacques Rebello to remake the beat for me and my other friends Soul AMG to play guitar to help bring the track to life. I was then able to bring all my ideas for the track to Andy Gilbert after which he helped me record my vocals and developed the harmonies with me to give the song a wider sonic variety.

The track ends with a voicemail left to me by my mum before she passed away. It’s there because she is my wake-up call, whenever I find myself drowning again, it’s through my memories of her I’m able to resurface again.

Watch the video for “I Want More” below and stream it everywhere else here.

Words by Nayana Brathwaite // Follow her on Twitter + Instagram

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