Who doesn’t love seeing black women transcend the glass ceiling? Since its inception, the anime community has always been an Asian dominated field. Rightfully so considering that a lot of the stories draw inspiration from Asian anecdotes. Today we are fortunate to see representation of all kinds in the anime community. Soul-singer Nai Br.XX is one of those women rising above the glass ceiling and creating new opportunities for young black women.
Nai is one of the singing voices for the new anime series ‘Carole & Tuesday’. Set in the future, Carole & Tuesday follows the adventures of two unlikely friends musical partnership on Mars. Carole voice by Miyuri Shimabukuro (speaking voice) & Nai Br.XX (singing voice) is an orphan street performer with a feisty attitude. Tuesday voiced by Kana Ichinose (speaking voice) and Celeina Ann (singing voice) is a wealthy runaway desperately trying to find her musical voice regardless of her family’s disapproval of her career choices. The series is directed by notable anime director Shinichiro Watanabe, best known for his work on Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. HAVE was fortunate enough to talk with Nai about her travels, inspirations and most importantly her music.
Nai’s journey began in 2015 with the release of her first project ‘ Wasted Callaway.’ A college student at the time, Nai had no idea that this one project would be the platform to her success around the world. The project captured the attention of Japanese record label “Sweet Soul Records” who were more than happy to help expose new people to Nai’s sweet tone. Meanwhile, Bones inc., a Japanese anime studio, was on the hunt for the voice of their new series. Sweet Soul submitted Nai for the role and the studio was happy to add Nai to the cast.
“Learning how to sing differently actually helped build my artistry and my voice in ways I wouldn’t have even thought about.”
Back and forth between Japan, Nai would spend weeks at a time working with visual artists, learning new songs, and spending countless hours in the studio helping to curate and inspire her character. While she was influencing a character her experiences were simultaneously influencing her artistry. She enjoyed the challenge of singing outside of her normal comfort zone, stating that “Learning how to sing differently actually helped build my artistry and my voice in ways I wouldn’t have even thought about.”
Her times in Japan allowed her to explore a new country, food, and culture. She said she was captivated by everyone since of style and the peaceful ambiance of this foreign land. She often enjoyed curry vegetables and sticky rice during her travels.
Aside from her accomplishments in the anime community Nai is a very popular INDEPENDENT singer. Pulling inspiration from artists like Mariah Carrey, Beyonce, and Snoh Aalegra. Looking forward to the future, Nai explained that being an independent artist can sometimes be difficult but she could allow herself to give up even if she tried.
“I don’t want to be three feet from gold and give up. Also, I just love music, and they want to be better at it. Even if I were to stop releasing music, I don’t think I would be able to stop making it.”
Nai we admire your strength and determination, not many people can handle all you have been through in the past year. We are so proud of your growth and look forward to supporting you in everything you do.
Your future is bright QUEEN keep shining.
Carole & Tuesday is now available for viewing on Netflix .