Read time:2 minute, 1 seconds

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Without wishing to alienate our readers in the beautiful county of Staffordshire, it’s not often that we come across new music inspired – in part, at least – by Stoke-on-Trent, and yet the Potteries town plays a central role in the new five-track EP by Stoke resident Onyda.

The Queen of Duality EP, featuring the single of the same name, is an indie-tinged, thoughtful and beautifully performed collection which touches both the individual and the universal, reflecting the artist’s place in the world as they navigate through life as a queer person.

Digging deeper into the EP’s concept, Onyda comments, “My therapist called me the ‘Queen of Duality’ in a session we had a few years ago and it stuck with me. Nothing is black and white, there’s never just one simple answer to a question and I’m always fighting between inner chaos and inner peace. I’m an existential thinker. “

Sleeve art for “Queen of Duality”.

Onyda continues: “This EP is about that internal struggle and what that has meant for my life as a young, queer person just trying to get stable. I’m in a much better place now and this body of work is a clear reflection of how far I’ve come! It’s very personal but there’s a power that comes with being so comfortable in your vulnerabilities and being able to share that, I hope listeners can follow the story and take something from it that might help them with their own lives.”

All five tracks on the EP have something to recommend them but, for me, I loved the understated power of Queen of Duality and I Know What I Want, both of which put Onyda’s songwriting prowess centre stage, with provocative lyrics from which – frankly – other more established acts could learn a thing or two. 

Onyda is an artist who has already ruffled feathers at the BBC, with support from 6 Music, Radio 1 and 1Xtra, while BBC Introducing, the corporation’s initiative to support emerging artists, awarded the single Like a Dog – also on the EP – the coveted “Single of the Week” accolade.

I have a feeling that there’ll be several more accolades to come from this inspiring and truly talented artist.

Watch the video for Queen of Duality here.

For all things Onyda, click here.

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Rob Harkavy

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