FOR many artistes, live performances have been stalled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. For singer/songwriter Naomi Cowan, it has been the opposite, and she looks forward to continuing on that momentum at the California Vibe Festival.
“My last official stage performance wasn't that long ago, actually; it was in November 2021. I performed in Toronto at a historical concert venue called the El Mocambo where several rock & roll acts have performed, including The Rolling Stones. I also had a listening party for my StarGirl Mixtape there in Toronto as well — and I sang live with a deejay — was a big vibe. After that, in December 2021, a few of us briefly shared the stage with Jesse Royal for a Christmas edition of Dubwise — a lot of artistes passed through, including Popcaan and Skillibeng,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
“This will be my first time performing and even visiting California all together; I've never been. Grateful for the opportunity,” she continued.
The event is slated for the Marina Green Park, Long Beach, California, between February 4 and 6, 2022. Other Jamaican acts billed for the show include Amanyea, Barrington Levy, Blvk H3ro, Jesse Royal, Koffee, Lila Iké, Mr Vegas, and Tessellated.
Cowan released her StarGirl Mixtape last July, and is excited to perform tracks from the project.
“Myself and Walshy (Fire) will be onstage together. The last time we performed together was in Brooklyn, New York, during Memorial Weekend. So, this will be special,” she said.
Cowan, who is in her 20s, launched her recording career in 2015 with the songs Naked and Prepare (Ye The Way). In 2017, she covered Things You Say You Love, the original being a big hit in 1967 for The Jamaicans, a rocksteady group, in which her father, Tommy Cowan, was a member. Her hit single Paradise Plum (2018) formed part of the 2019 Reggae Gold Album.
She further noted that she has been busy balancing her professional life with recreational activities since the onslaught on the pandemic.
“Ironically, I don't find that I have any more free time than I usually would. I guess because I enjoy my work and the process of creating music. The only thing that's different is that I'm not necessarily travelling as often. However, in general, I like to spend my free time in beautiful spaces or being active — whether it's the beach, up in the mountains, a river, and I go roller skating quite often. No matter what it is I just ensure that I am connecting with the beauty of creation. Often times, I do this alone or with a small group of friends. Solitude is really nourishing for my creativity,” she said.
The entertainer is currently busy working on an album. However, she is tight-lipped about the details.
“Not able to share the name just yet but the new album material has been underway since 2020. So, I'm really excited for that; it's been a beautiful journey,” she told the Observer.