The 00s we had Estelle and Kayne’s American Boy to lead us in the dance. Now, Nonô’s singular vocals are heading for that crown. She recently hit 2 million streams with Time to Grove (Majestic feat. Nonô) and whether you like it or not her voice is fast becoming the sound of the summer. Underscored by dance, R&B or hip-hop beats her hits have infected sound systems everywhere.
One of her most-played tracks features the hedonistic Crazy Frog rhythm transformed into a bouncing party anthem on Feel Right Now (Parx feat. Nonô). Alongside it sits Feel Good Inc. a more overt cover that replaces Gorillaz’ comparatively melancholic string section and maniacal laughing with tropical hazy beats that thrust their metaphorical hips happily across the surface of some Ibiza or LA pool to find the club-anthem within. On fashion, Nonô says “I would call my style Urban Beach.” On genres, we’d say her sound brings the same rays of sunlight into the industrial setting of her current home, London.
To start off, how would you introduce yourself to our readers? And how did you get into music?
Olá, my name is Nonô, I’m a singer and songwriter from Brazil living in London and I write bops. Growing up, my mum would always be playing music around the house. She would also create these musical quizzes to get me and my siblings to guess first the song’s titles and artist names. At 10 years old I posted my first YouTube video covering Hannah Montana, no shame (laughs), and started singing lessons so you could say that was my professional start.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and having moved to London a few years ago, what artists did you listen to growing up? What were your musical influences?
I had so many different influences because I was around a big family that showed me all music genres. However, if I had to name a few artists it would be Tim Maia, Billie Holiday, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, Motown artists etc.
Your music usually combines your powerful voice with an energetic and upbeat sound. Many of your songs have been added to Spotify playlists like The Dance List or New Dance Revolution, but what music genre do you believe fits you the most?
I try not to put one specific genre to my music. I’m lucky that I’m able to bounce and perform different styles and I do them all based on what I’m feeling and liking in the moment. I guess you could say it’s a mixture between pop, dance, R&B and hip-hop.
At only 16 years old you became a finalist on the talent show The Voice Brazil. Did you fear not knowing how to follow up from there? Did you see it as a big pressure or mainly as an opportunity?
I don’t think I worried about what was going to follow up the show because I was so young and fresh in the industry when I did it. I knew 100% that I wanted to keep doing music and I wanted to figure out my own sound for original songs. I also knew that the show was giving me a huge platform to do this, so I just wanted to make the best of every situation.
Tell us more about Deep, your latest release together with Example and Bou. How did it come about? What creative process did you follow?
I moved to London when I was 18 and back then I had no idea who I was, as an artist and as a person. My goals are still the same ones I had when I was 10 years old which is basically using my music as a platform to reach as many people as possible but my style, musically and visually has changed and matured a lot.
Most of your releases to date have been collaborations. Tell us, who do you dream of working with?
I supported Example on his UK tour in February this year and one of the nights while we were all hanging out in the tour bus, he mentioned Bou had sent him a beat and Elliot started free styling melodies and lyrics and told me to try some melodies on the spot as well! Next thing you know, we’re driving up to London on our next free day to hit the studio and finish writing and recording the song.
Most of your releases to date have been collaborations. Tell us, who do you dream of working with?
I would love to work with Diplo, Calvin Harris, Rosalía.
You are also committed to your looks, hairstyles and clothing, how would you define your style? And what is your relationship with fashion?
I would call my style Urban Beach. It’s my way of bringing together my culture from Brazil with London. I absolutely love fashion; I love how we can use it as another way to express ourself. I think it also has a huge impact on my mood or my personality for the day.
You’ve built a strong community on Instagram and Tiktok. Nowadays social media can be one of the best ways to connect with your fanbase and have your music discovered. What role has social media played for you as an artist?
Social media has always been very important to me. As I mentioned before, I posted my first cover to YouTube when I was 10 years old. After that, I was posting singing videos to many other websites that helped me reach people from my age group that liked to hear me sing and, also other aspiring singers that wanted someone to look up to. With the rise of TikTok, it feels like we are going back to the start of the internet in a way as people are more interested in the realness of it all rather than the polished version of things. It brings fans and artists closer and helps people see we’re basically feeling the same things and watching the same memes.
And having a platform, do you feel the need to use your voice for activist purposes? What are your thoughts on how music can help break taboos and spread awareness?
I think it’s very important to share your beliefs especially when you have a big platform. I also truly believe music can help spread awareness and break taboos because artists are storytellers. Most of the time, we’re sharing something personal. Music can help amplify ideas in such a huge way that people from all sides of the world can end up listening and opening their minds to stories they wouldn’t ever even have heard without music
You supported Example on tour at the beginning of the year and recently joined Example on stage at Neighbourd Weekender to perform Deep. What was has it been  like performing on stage and feeling the warmth of the public?
It all feels like a dream come true. It was the first time I’ve ever done a tour, so I was really scared of how it was going to go but the whole team, the other artists, Example, the crowds were incredibly supportive. I think this was one of the first proper tours after Covid happened that it felt like everyone just wanted to celebrate and enjoy life.
And, lastly, is there any project you’re up to soon? Any new releases we can be expecting?
I’ve got another collaboration coming in June and in July I’ll be releasing my own single, following up from my Midnight Mimosas EP that I released in 2021. I’m planning loads of shows around the UK from September onwards.
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