BIO

Nao Masuda

Born in Nara, Japan.

Being prompted by an encounter with African-American Music, Nao started learning snd singing in English at the age of 11, determined to become a professional singer-songwriter one day.

At age 13 she began composing and performing on stage at school events.

She bought her first multi-track recorder when she was 15, and immersed herself into writing, arranging and recording her own materials. To create all the tracks on her own she started teaching herself to play several different instruments.

In 1993 she formed a band with musicians twice her age with hundred times more experience and started performing at clubs in Tokyo.

With various guest musicians she recorded two indie albums.

As all the lyrics in both albums were written in English, major production companies and producers kept telling her to rewrite them in Japanese.

Having no intention to oblige, Nao decides to have a break from Japan and plans a trip across Europe to see musicians and discover sounds from different cultures and styles.

In February 1998 Nao arrived in London, the first of many planned destinations, where she ended up staying to this day.

For the following few years Nao sang, played bass and keyboards in bands and jam sessions, but  increasingly felt stuck in and disillusioned with music-making within the framework of existing categories such as pop, rock and blues.

In 2002, Nao joined a London-based Taiko Drumming group and extensively toured throughout Europe, Turkey, Sri Lanka, and so on.

In 2005 she becomes a solo Taiko drummer in search of her own way.

In 2007 Nao took part in her first theatre piece as a solo live musician and has since provided various types of live and recorded music and sound effects for theatre projects of diverse disciplines, as a musical director, composer, programmer, singer and multi instrumentalist.

In 2013 Nao was funded by Arts Council England to lead a project to precisely “physicalise music” and create “musical sign language” with both deaf and hearing artists (Music in Motion project) and has since continued working with deaf artists of various disciplines both as a musician and an access to music.

In 2017 Nao directed and edited a short art/music film “Way” in collaboration with Re-cycle Style.

In 2018 Nao took part in Berlin Alternative Fashion Show to direct, compose for, and open the “Colours for Green Collection” of Re-cycle Style with martial art performance.

In 2019 in collaboration with a Japanese dance company Nao composed and performed not only as a Taiko Drummer but also as a dancer for the first time in her career.

As a Taiko drummer and a percussionist, Nao performs solo and in ensemble in both national and international concerts, festivals and special events.

As a qualified martial artist (Shotokan Karate) and instructor, Nao has also assisted dancers in developing movements and choreographing stylised fight scenes in several projects.

Currently on national tour with an acrobat company as a composer/live musician/performance artist.