Rising R&B singer Nao unveiled a romantic new song, “If You Ever,” featuring rapper 6lack. The track will appear on Nao’s forthcoming album, Saturn, which arrives October 26th via Little Tokyo/Sony. Nao’s frequent collaborator Mura Masa co-produced and co-wrote the track, which boasts an atmospheric mix of synths and strings that are anchored by skipping percussion. Nao injects her vocals with a potent sense of wanderlust, while 6lack strides over the beat, spitting punchlines like, “Angelic halo on tilt, it’s a look/ Stairway to heaven, got the elevator shook.”
“If You Ever” follows previously-released Saturn tracks “Curiosity,” “Make It Out Alive” and “Another Lifetime.” Saturn marks Nao’s second full-length record and follows her 2016 breakout debut, For All We Know.
In a statement, Nao explained that Saturn was inspired by the concept of “Saturn return,” which she kept hearing about from her friends. “It’s this idea that Saturn takes 29 years to orbit from when you’re born and it is the planet of blessings and growth,” Nao said. “So by the time you’re around 29, between 27 and 32, something big happens in your life. It’s like waking up and coming of age, like: ‘I’ve been going through my twenties and what have I been doing in this relationship? What have I been doing in this job?’ You start to rethink everything – old stuff that your parents taught you or ideas that you believed in. It’s like a complete shedding of skin and it can be painful.”
Nao is set to embark on a North American tour in support of Saturn next year. The trek kicks off January 12th at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, Canada.