English singer-songwriter Nao will host a new BBC meditation podcast, using music to help listeners deal with the stress of everyday life.
The east London-born R&B artist – whose real name is Neo Jessica Joshua – will present The Music & Meditation Podcast, which will combine music and meditation to create an accessible gateway into meditation for young people.
The show will be available on BBC Sounds and will broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 3.
Grammy-nominated Nao will use her own personal wellness journey to inform the podcast, as well as inviting a variety of meditation experts to join her on the show.
The guests will include body-positivity influencer Megan Jayne Crabbe, clinical psychologist Dr Julie Smith and mindfulness project founder Michael James Wong.
Each episode of The Music & Meditation Podcast will explore a different theme, from burnout to body positivity, through to dealing with loneliness and trusting your instincts, and will take listeners through a specially created 10-minute guided meditation.
The eight-part series, which will be available as a boxset on BBC Sounds, will feature a curated classical soundtrack with new music from a variety of up-and-coming composers recorded especially for the podcast by the BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Singers.
The composers and performers include composer and pianist Kristina Arakelyan and saxophonist and clarinetist Sam Rapley.
The guided meditations will also be available to access separately on BBC Sounds as part of an easy-to-access mental health resource, which listeners can tune into whenever they need to.
Ahead of the show’s launch, Nao said: “I discovered meditation a couple of years back having struggled with stress and chronic fatigue syndrome after years of touring.
“It switched a light on in my brain while also calming my nervous system and now I meditate every day. With more and more noise in our lives it’s just so key that we take some time for ourselves and find at least a few minutes every day to focus on our mental wellness.
“Finding the right guide and the right music is key to accessing the benefits of meditation so I hope this podcast helps people who don’t know where to start.”
BBC Radio 3’s commissioning editor Philip Raperport added: “We wanted to zone in on the immersive power and benefits of combining music and meditation and we are thrilled to have Nao lead on this important new commission.
“With such a dynamic range of experts focusing on the challenges facing so many young people, we hope that the podcast creates a space for listeners to reflect, find strength and feel inspired.”
The Music & Meditation Podcast launches on BBC Sounds on May 9 and will broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 3.