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Nao Yoshioka

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Nao Yoshioka is a graceful vocalist who specializes in sophisticated R&B and has easily pulled off interpretations of songs popularized by Nina Simone and Jocelyn Brown. Yoshioka made her first waves in the U.S. when she traveled from her native Osaka to compete at McDonald's 2010 GospelFest. She was the first Japanese solo female singer to reach the contest's final round, and also impressed the Apollo Theater crowd when she finished as an Amateur Night runner-up. In 2013, she made her recorded debut on Japan's Sweet Soul label with "Make the Change," a track included on World Soul Collective, Vol. 1, part of the label's initiative to connect independent R&B artists from across the globe. Yoshioka's first album, The Light, was released later that year on Sweet Soul. Two years later, the set was distributed in the U.S. with support from Nia Distribution and Purpose Music Group. ~ Andy Kellman


Osaka, Japan

Years Active: