Home #Hwoodtimes Fourteen-year-old songstress Naima shows off mature musical chops beyond her years at...

Fourteen-year-old songstress Naima shows off mature musical chops beyond her years at 2024 BottleRock

By Valerie Milano

Napa Valley, CA (The Hollywood Times) 5/24/2024 – Imagine, if you will, the following two scenarios:

First, you’re a 10-year-old girl and the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery inspire you to write and perform a song to help you process the traumatic events. The song, titled “BLM,” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, gets more than 1 million views on social media.

Naima performs Friday afternoon from the JaMPad stage at 2024 BottleRock

Second, you’re a 14-year-old girl and you are standing on stage at the 2024 BottleRock music, food, wine and brew festival in Napa Valley, performing to the growing crowd of people attending the three-day event. You perform two sets, on two different stages, within 90 minutes of each other.

Her first set on Friday, from the Prudential Stage, helped Naima kick off 2024 BottleRock

If you’re Naima Nacimento, you don’t have to imagine. She has lived both scenarios, the first one leading to the second one. Naima, who is known professionally only by her first name, took the stage twice on Friday’s opening day of the festival, and the young songstress showed off the singing and performing chops that have made her a household name in the Bay Area. It’s a name that the world likely will soon know.

In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Times, Naima said the success of “BLM” was a total surprise to her.

“I had no idea,” she said following her second set of the day. “I had very intense feelings about the whole situation, and I didn’t feel like there was anything I could do about it.”

“So writing the song seemed like a natural thing to do,” she said.

“I was at my grandma’s house for the summer, so instead of sitting around and crying about it, I decided to write the song,” Naima said.

Like a seasoned pro, Naima took the the stage Friday at 2024 BottleRock

The lyrics she wrote show a maturity beyond her years.

I can’t change you/You gotta change yourself/I’d like to help you/See I’m just like everyone else,” she wrote. As the song progresses, the 10-year-old Naima celebrates her own life as a young black woman and her “right to fight.”

Here is our interview at BottleRock:

Sequoia Chappellet-Volpini, Naima’s mother, posted the video Naima sent of her  singing and playing a ukulele on Instagram and Facebook, and the video has gained nearly 1 million views on Facebook alone.

“She called me the next day and said, ‘you have so many views and likes,’ ” she said. “It was really cool for it to reach so many people and touch so many people.”

Naima was booked for 2024 BottleRock with the help of Bay Area group Follow The Music, a music education and emerging artists program developed in partnership with leading arts, entertainment, media and sports organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Follow The Music was born of the belief that young people are inheriting a world in crisis, and music is one of the few forces that can help them navigate the road ahead. The organization partners with events such as 2024 BottleRock to ensure talented young Bay Area artists are performing on premier stages throughout the region.

Showcasing music from her debut five-sone EP Inbetween, Friday also marked the release of the first single from that EP, “Blood Sweat and Tears.”

“I am grateful to (Follow The Music)  … and super-lucky that we were able to contact them and have them help me with my career,” she said.

In addition to her first set Friday from the Prudential State that kicked off the festival, and her second set on the stage at JaMPad, Naima will perform again on the festival’s second day, doing one set on the Village Stage by Rakuten, a half-hour set starting at 12:45 p.m.

The 2024 BottleRock festival continues through Sunday.

Photos by Ana Maria Gill for The Hollywood Times