Naomi Cowan is set to release StarGirl, her debut mixtape — and first full-length project — on Thursday. The singer announced the set, presented by mixtape don Walshy Fire (who provided A&R direction and overall musical guidance), via the arresting, IzyBeats-produced lead single “Energy” this Spring, and recently followed up with the Runkus and Wixard collaboration, “Lucky Me.”
With StarGirl ready for takeoff, Naomi reached out to LargeUp to give listeners a taste of what’s to come and premiere two new tracks off the set: “Gunshot” and “Holiday.” The former is a meditation on Jamaica’s ever-present gun violence, driven by church-y organ tones and a soulful sample from producer JusBus. “Holiday” is a great counterpoint to the heaviness of “Gunshot,” a sunny, feelgood track with some heavy, bass-driven production from U.K. sound boss Jamie Rodigan.
Listen to both tracks here, and see what Naomi has to say about each:
“Gunshot is a song about gun violence in Jamaica. It tells the story from both sides of the bullet, from the perspective of the victim and from the perspective of the gunman. Every Jamaican has had an experience with gun violence whether directly or indirectly. The first time I was robbed, I was 14 and, when I was 12, my mom was held up at gunpoint in front of our house on her way back from church on a Sunday morning. So it’s a very real thing to me.”
“This was a song that was birthed because of the beat, when Jamie Rodigan sent it to me. I felt a lightness inside, like a deep breath released almost – as if you were on the kind of vacation where there’s no agenda, no schedule — just existing. So that’s why I decided to sing about the kind of love where every day feels like a Holiday.”
No newcomer to music, the daughter of Jamaican music legends Tommy Cowan and Carlene Davis has been steadily releasing tracks since 2016. Things took a turn way up for Naomi in 2018 with the release of “Paradise Plum,” which set her up as one of Jamaica’s most highly-rated new acts with its blend of vintage reggae vibes and Alicia-esque R&B vocals.
StarGirl continues that path, with its sample-driven riddims and inter-generational style, but with some new directions thrown in, like “Energy” with its spacious and instantly memorable beat. Tune into “Gunshot” and “Holiday” above, and check the StarGirl tracklist below.
Naomi Cowan – StarGirl Tracklist
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