• Victoria Applegarth

Naomi Lareine: “I Just Want People To Relate With Their Own Stories”


© Photograph shot by Lukas Maeder / In frame Naomi Lareine


Meet Naomi Lareine, a Swiss musician who has garnered attention for her unique notes and genre-blending melodies that you just can’t help but dance to.


Naomi’s early hits ‘Limitless’ and ‘SAVE YOU’ struck a chord with their sensitive, relatable lyrics about her romantic relationships. Couple that with nostalgic instrumentals, homages to her African roots, silky smooth beats and playfulness and you have yourself the ideal Naomi recipe. We had the pleasure of chatting with her online about her past as a professional footballer, her transition into the music industry and the release of her latest EP: Girl Next Door.


Though Naomi has always been interested in singing, pursuing music was not her go-to, at least at first. In fact, up until the age of 19 she was a professional footballer for Grasshopper Club Zurich and in the Swiss national under-19 football team. Whilst football was an effective way to release her energy during her teenage years, she soon realised that her career path was meant to change. As she puts it; "I always knew what I visualised my life to be in the future. I never saw myself kicking a football, it was always me with a microphone, it was always me on stage.”


Whilst her transition into the music industry hasn’t always been steady, “There were a lot of situations that I was put in that made me really uncomfortable but I always went with my gut feeling,” she continues to craft her own distinctive style of music and credits her football years for teaching her discipline and hard work.


Gone are the days of obsessing over one single genre; Naomi presents a wake of more genre-fluid creativity that is gloriously uninhibited. Drawing on a wide range of musical inspirations, she flawlessly creates tracks that shift stylistically whilst still blending in upbeat rhythms meshed with seductive lyrics. “I am Swiss and African and there are so many genres, so many cool vibes and instruments - why not mix things together? This is what I love to do.”


There is no denying that there is something indisputably joyful about Naomi’s energy and excellent sense of intriguing tracks. She remains unapologetically herself as her music continues to be an intimate exploration of her identity and personal experiences. “I take a lot of pride with my stories… When I write lyrics, these are things that I feel really confident to say.”



© Photograph shot by Lukas Maeder / In frame Naomi Lareine


This is no different in her latest EP Girl Next Door. Whilst Naomi’s debut EP, Unchained, was typified by the chaotic complications surrounding a break up, Girl Next Door flourishes in a more settled space as she explores the journey meeting her current girlfriend.


“I first met my girlfriend as my neighbour and we were friends for a long time and then our relationship took another path and we started dating and then I realised that I am seeing this other side of the person that I hadn’t seen previously.”


The EP reveals a side to Naomi that is both vulnerable and introspective and amounts to a major transitional phase for her - an assertive shift in maturity as her lyrics delve deeper into her emotions. It comes as no surprise, then, that her process of writing the songs was not set but rather evolved through time. “I didn't have a concept right away. I was just writing music about things that I felt at that moment. ”


Crucially, what the stories behind the songs reveal is that Girl Next Door is a relatable project. As she puts it; “These are my stories but if you can make it your own, this is where it gets really beautiful.” Her advocacy in wanting to help others is also apparent through her social platforms. She stands up for human rights, women’s rights and social acceptance of all and acknowledges her platform as a vocalisation and celebration of differences and individualism.


“I grew up with racist and homophobic comments and I think when you experience stuff like that, it would be wrong not to help people out who are experiencing something like this. If you have a platform, why not just use it!”

For her, listening to Jessie J talk openly about her bisexuality in an interview in 2011, which she explains was a rare media occurrence at the time, was a turning point and gave her the confidence to come out as queer. As she comments “that was the first time that I felt connected to someone.” There is no denying that she will help many with her songs too, just as Jessie J did for her.



To end, we delved into some juicy quick fire questions:


What's your go - to outfit?


Hoodie and tracksuit - all black 100%.


Three words to describe ‘Girl Next Door.’


I would say honest, vibey and sexy.


If you could collaborate with one artist right now, who would it be?


I would love to collaborate with Kehlani


Who do you think will win the World Cup?


Switzerland - I have to say that!


How will you be celebrating the release of your new EP?


I guess I will have some champagne! I will also probably have some friends over and we will have a little house party.



Having generated a buzz among the Swiss community, Naomi’s tracks have been gaining traction in the UK and are catching our attention more than ever. Listen to Girl Next Door here and follow Naomi on her Instagram and Tiktok.