CelebMix Interview with Dominican Singer-Songwriter NAVY

Moments ago, Dominican soul, R&B, and hip-hop artist Navy released the music video for “LMK,” a smooth, lustrous soul song decorated by Navy’s crème de la crème voice.

Talking about her cool, Caribbean sound, Navy shares, “I don’t want to sound American, I don’t want to sound British, although I can, but being yourself is going to take you where you need to go. Traveling outside of the Caribbean opened my eyes as to how important it is to stand up for what I am. I’m not about to change my skin color or pretend I’m something or someone I’m not. You either accept me or you don’t, there are millions of artists out there. If you don’t like my stuff, move along.”

All about authenticity and originality, working with Caribbean label Pretty Boy Worldwide, Navy’s Island pop sound is alluring, exotic, and definitely addictive.

Lifted from her forthcoming EP, slated to drop in July, “LMK’s” velvety harmonics, crowned by Navy’s oh so smoldering timbres, drip with cashmere textures, while the visuals, shot in black and white, depict Navy going out on the town at night.

CelebMix caught up with the songstress to discover how she got started in music, what inspired “LMK,” her influences, and her songwriting process.

What three things can’t you live without?

God. I’m not big on religion, but I am very connected to a source through spirituality. I adore nature, take everything as a sign and never a coincidence, and always remember that I’m never at any one point, alone.

Music! It’s been in my life since I was in my mom’s womb. Both my parents love music so it’s safe to say that my falling in love with It was inevitable.

Writing, and by that, I mean with a pen and paper. I love calligraphy as well, so I do a lot of colors and decorations whenever I do.  I write every day. Be it a journal entry, a song, a poem, a story, affirmations, or a description of some sort.

What inspired your new single/music video “Let Me Know?”

The video was inspired by the ‘90s. The music, the fashion, the overall vibe, even the portrayal of love and courting. Culture, like music, travels and it’s altered to mesh into the environment to which it arrives, and that’s just our take on that time. I often hear stories or watch videos and movies to get an idea, but the video director actually lived it, so the video is really him bringing my love for the ‘90s to life with his visual demonstrations.

What do you hope your fans/listeners take away from the video?

I hope that the fans and viewers love it first of all and that they can connect with either the vibe or the story. Love in its truest form is pure.

How did you get started in music?

It depends on what we call “music” here. I’ve always listened to the radio. All my life. From my earliest memory a radio was always on in my parent’s house, or my grandparents’ house. My dad also plays a multitude of instruments and so there are pics of three-year-old me pounding away at the keys. I did classical piano for a few years from the age of seven, and violin. I played snare drums and cymbals in my scout troop. I sang for a few years as well in my primary school choir. I started writing and singing at the age of about 15. So, I guess it’s safe to say I was born into it.

Which musicians/vocalists influenced you the most?

I am not sure that there is any single one or a few musicians or vocalists that I can point out. There are so many artists and composers that I’ve grown and learned to respect and love, and I take something or a few things from each one. I can say that my most difficult study or vocalists would include Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner. I also had a fascination with vocalists like Chester from Linkin Park and bands like Chevelle, Godsmack, etc. because they would literally scream. The Alternative Rock Era was something else. Musicians would date all the way back to Bach and Beethoven because I did classical piano, and still listen to classical music on a regular.

What’s your songwriting process? Melody first, or lyrics?

I don’t have a process, to be honest. Anything goes when it comes to writing a song. I sometimes, even before writing the lyrics or figuring out the melody, sit with the producers and explain to them what “I’m hearing” in terms of slight changes or even vocal samples (that I sometimes record myself) to be added to the production. I can bring an acapella version of a song to the studio, to have the music built around it, or I can take a beat away and return with a song. Working with Pretty Boy was my first time writing a song while the beat was being made. Very interesting experience.

How do you keep your sound fresh?

I honestly just do me. Not sure if there is a plan or an agenda to keep it fresh. If it’s a throwback or a tribute, we go with that. If it’s a “new new,” we go with that as well. What we do try to keep is the standard of good quality music that we know our listeners will identify with and enjoy.

You have a new EP releasing in July. What can you share about it?

It’s part one of a three-part project and contains songs that I really had fun with. The range of emotions and feelings just splattered across those productions and my writing was crazy. I have the lockdown to thank for so many of those creations. I honestly can’t wait for the world to hear it.

 Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?

There a so many. Kendrick Lamar will always kill it in my opinion. Doesn’t even matter if it’s new or old material. Jasmine Sullivan is a master vocalist that I think I can learn a few things from as well. I’m really digging Lil Simz at the moment as well.  Doja Cat is blowing my mind every time I see her on a stage. She dances and sings, and she doesn’t miss a beat and looks as calm as the Caribbean Sea when she’s done. Man! She inspires me so much. I feel like, with her, performance and themes and creativity are back, and not just in videos.

Do you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure?

I guess that it can be viewed as counter-productive, but I see it as brain stimulation. I play Tetris. A lot!

Why do you make music?

Because the music chose me, and I feel that not using my talent would be a crime against humanity.

Looking ahead, what’s next for NAVY?

What’s next for Navy is lots and lots of visual releases, for the tons of songs that were written and recorded during the 2020 lockdown. I hope to tour and actually get to perform for my fans and meet and interact with some of them, but that’s all in the hands of the Universe.

Follow Navy Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.