Some musicians can do that. Make time stand still. Often without intention. They sing songs straight from the soul. They hit others right in the heart. Naima Joris is such a singer. Pure.Naima Joris has had an eventful life. She’s no novice – certainly not on a human level – instead, strangely enough, she is a musician/composer. She never had the ambition to stand on a stage and only learned the basics of guitar and piano at age 27. It was enough to comfort herself at home by playing and singing cover songs that appealed to her heart.
That’s how she was picked up from her living room by Gaetan Vandewoude to serve as a backing singer at Isbells for a short time. A little later, she sang a lead song for the first time for an audience with Raymond van het Groenewoud at a Radio 1 session. Her father, jazz musician Chris Joris, pulled her onto the stage starting in 2016 as a guest singer in his band. She discovered the depths of her voice and one day took a tip from an enthusiastic listener to cover a song by Cesaria Evora. She tried this tip during the first lockdown, so she posted Sodade from Cesaria Evora. The success of that Facebook post led her into the spotlight.
While everyone’s career was on hold, Naima broke through when she was 39. This gave her the opportunity to pay tribute together with her brother, Yassinto, to their deceased sister in the form of her first EP. (“Naima Joris” 2021)After the ode came a tribute album of songs by Daniel Johnston, in whose working method and world of feelings she finds common ground. (“Tribute to Daniel Johnston” 2022)
And now, her first album-length debut: “While the Moon”. A warm bath to comfort the soul of every listener to whom it speaks. ‘Hopeful again’ and ‘Suddenly’ are further post-mortem collaborations with her deceased sister, who left the lyrics behind.
Naima’s songs don’t look away from painful subjects that affect us all. She chooses to sing about it instead of mourning it precisely because she loves life. For example, the album concludes with an ode to life in ‘This Life + Urlicht.’ The closing track is a fusion of two compositions. This Life is composed and played in a childlike way by Naima on the Celtic harp. Urlicht, the second part, is a composition by Niels Van Heertum in which you hear him breathe through his euphonium. Naima: “That brings us to the essence; because breath begins and ends life.”