Playing lean, brooding, R&B-accented pop with a strong hip-hop influence, NAWAS is a trio featuring singer and songwriter Jake Nawas, guitarist Ben McDaniel, and drummer Joey Gonzales. Originally hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the group came together when NAWAS and McDaniel were in college; more interested in music than academics, the two began writing songs, and by 2013 they were playing local shows. As the two began experimenting with home recording, they started using thick, atmospheric production and vocal processing that accentuated the moody aspects of the melodies and the androgynous side of NAWAS' vocals. Looking for greater opportunities and a more supportive creative environment, NAWAS and McDaniel pulled up stakes and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where they were soon playing local festivals and making a name for themselves. In 2016, NAWAS expanded to a trio with the addition of drummer Gonzales, and near the end of the year, the group released two tracks online, "Wrong" and "So Low." It didn't take long for "Wrong" to find an audience, and it racked up more than half-a-million streams. NAWAS struck a deal with the EMI-distributed Harvest Records, and two more tracks were released, "Make It Work" in March 2017 and "Who Are You" the following June. ~ Mark Deming
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