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Novaa

@areyounovaa / areyounovaa.tumblr.com

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#005-Novaa

Novaa Singer/Song writer

Based in Berlin

Genre:DIY Indie Pop

Instagram:@areyounovaa

Q:How did you first start doing music?

The first time I knew that music was my way of speaking truly and fully was when I was 11 and standing in my mums bed room at night time. I remember that I was home alone and felt a bit lonely and lost. Then out of nowhere I started singing some lines, they were soothing and made me feel safe. That was my first encounter with the magic I found in making music, I never stopped since.

Q:What are your hobbies?

I love pole dancing, been doing it for about 1 year with a tiny bit of a break in-between already. Painting, writing poetry, doing yoga, going to the movies, sewing, redesigning clothes, game nights with friends are also things I enjoy in my free-time. Lots of things that are rather of the quiet, relaxing kind, that help me find peace in my daily life.

Q:What is something you bought recently that you really like?

I bought a daylight lamp, and it’s really paying off. I feel less tired and worn out when sitting in front of it in the mornings. I can highly recommend to get this, especially when you have a tendency to get depressed during the winter months. 

Q:Tell us something good about your country.

Honestly right now I find it hard to say something good about Germany, the country I live in because there are so many shit things going on as well. But one good thing I can say is that there are a lot of great, very dedicated, beautiful people that are coming together during these difficult times. The community especially in the music making sphere in Berlin is wonderful.

Q:What do you do to relieve frustration and stress?

I do a lot of yoga, and it helps me a lot with finding peace when things get turbulent and feelings are running high. The body is a work of wonders, and it can do magic when it comes to things that concern the mind as well. The mind and body connection is often very underrated, I try to closely pay attention to it when I feel stressed or frustrated.

Q:What is a fashion brand you currently like?

Recently I stumbled across The House Of Aris. It’s a fashion designer that designs her clothings in Vietnam with a small team. It’s slow fashion, and I love the way she design clothings, it’s super creative, I’d love to wear a piece of hers sometime soon.

Q:What is the story behind your artist name?

Lots of people are probably familiar with the term Supernova, and that it is something that has to do with space and stars. Nova is also a space term, a Nova is happening when a star that hasn’t been visible before is suddenly appearing. It’s a burst of light and energy, I love that image as to me my project is about making room for potential to thrive and shine and to find that this potential has always been there.

Q:Any music or other art that has had an influence on you.

Tori Amos has influenced me a lot, as an artist as well as a person. Her album „Little Earthquake“ is my musical bible and the work she did with RAIIN (the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the US) is incredible.

Q:In what kind of environment and with what equipment do you make your music? (For example a guitar in a park, in a studio using an AKAI MPC2000 etc)

I have a studio in Berlin that I share with a colleague, but I also work in my bedroom from sometimes. I don’t  need a lot to write, actually I would consider myself a minimalist so I even prefer having very few equipment with me. Mostly I work in Ableton, I have an interface a mic, a midi keyboard, my flute, a guitar, and I love trashy toy or kids pianos. In general I love using instruments and sounds that people would consider as too trashy for their productions.

Q:Which of your songs do you recommend the most?

It’s hard to choose as they’re all special to me, but I would recommend listening to „Universe Lullaby“. My goal is to build some kind of home within my music, and to me that song is the most homely and Novaa.

Q:Please tell us about your latest single (or album).

My latest single is called „You Can F With Me“, it’s a very honest song with a heavy topic. It talks about being a survivor of sexual abuse. Sometimes people ask me why I talk about such heavy topics in songs, and to me there is no other way. This heaviness becomes even more depressing when there is no room to talk about it. So this song is my try to start a conversation about it, to make room for people to heal from their experiences, and also to make room for me to heal from what I experienced.

Q:What kind of music are you creating right now?

Right now I am really inspired by the discrepancy of the industry I’m working in. The music and entertainment industry is a fun one when watching it from the outside but at times pretty ugly when you’re part of it and have a look behind the facade. Making music, making art itself is the opposite, it’s a safe space but maybe might not always look like it from the outside. I’m currently writing lots of songs about being in this industry and trying to found my safe space within it.

Q:What kind of music are you creating right now?

Right now I am really inspired by the discrepancy of the industry I’m working in. The music and entertainment industry is a fun one when watching it from the outside but at times pretty ugly when you’re part of it and have a look behind the facade. Making music, making art itself is the opposite, it’s a safe space but maybe might not always look like it from the outside. I’m currently writing lots of songs about being in this industry and trying to found my safe space within it.

Q:Tell us about your next music release or other upcoming activities you have planned.

The next Novaa thing that will happen is the release of another single of my upcoming album. It’s my fourth album and will be called „She’s A Star“. The new single is called „The World’s Thing“, we also shot a video for it that I directed, it’s super fun and I can’t wait to share it.

Q:What is music to you?

To me it’s talking to others as well as to myself and a big part of my healing process. And I think it’s the one universal language there is, so to me it’s the glue thing that helps us grow stronger together and grow stronger individually.

Q:Who is a person who has influenced you?

My math teacher in high school; she had a tendency to blush easily and often, and I used to and still blush very easily as well and felt super uncomfortable with it as a teen. My math teacher always said that it’s absolutely natural and normal, that you don’t need to be ashamed of it and never seemed uncomfortable when blushing. That really stuck with me.

Q:What was the first song/album (from which artist) you bought, and why did you buy it?

The first album I bought was by Colbie Caillat with the song „Bubbly“ on it. I didn’t know what songs were on the album when buying it, but I was 11 and wanted to buy myself a CD and this was my choice back then haha

Q:Do you have another job besides working with music?

I don’t, I produce for other artists as well, but other than that I don’t have another job, and I’m super happy I can make my money only with music making things.

Q:What do you think you would be doing if you didn’t work in music?

I’d probably work with kids, so at a kindergarden or school, I think it’s a beautiful job to support others while growing up and building their own safe space. Also I can see myself working at a science research center. I absolutely don’t have the grades for it but I’m super interested in researching and experimenting in the science field. So many cool and good things you can do there.

Q:What is something that makes you feel glad that you are working with music?

That I am my own boss, that I decide who I work with, that my personal journey is part of my job. Making music helps me build a life I want to live, it might not make me rich but it gives me space to live up to my values.

Q:Any artist that have caught your interest recently, or any artist in particular you are feeling respect at the moment?

I love Yseult, she is a French artist. Her songs and voice and lyrics are otherworldly, I feel like she directly speaks with her emotion, at least to me. I learned a tiny bit of French but way too little to understand everything she’s singing about, but to me that doesn’t matter because the emotion is so strong. I can highly recommend listening to her and also watching her videos.

Q:How were you as a child?

I don’t really remember, you probably would have to ask my dad. But as far as I know from stories I was quite energetic and joyful but also scared and angry at times.

Q:What is something about you that hasn’t changed ever since you were a kid?

Curiosity is still running high, I love trying new things, discovering and exploring. That has always been like that and will probably, hopefully never change.

Q:If you could give any advice to your younger self, what would that be?

You’re not responsible for the other people’s shit and struggles. That’s something that I’m still learning, as someone that feels a lot and picks up on moods easily, it’s hard to set healthy boundaries sometimes. 

Q:What is a word you like?

Reverie, not because of the meaning of the word, I like the sound. Very often I find words and I simply like them for their sound. That’s the same with reverie.

Q:Something you have been really into recently? (For example: a game, a type of food or desert, a show on Netflix. Please share a specific example)

Lately I really enjoy watching a german TV show where the moderator asks 6 people 13 questions, and of those 6 people there are 3 that are answering with no and 3 that are answering with yes to the question. The moderator is trying to help them find a compromise, to help them meet somewhere close to the middle. It’s super interesting especially nowadays when there is so much polarizing happening in the world. 

Q:Do you think you have changed in some way recently? And if so, how?

I have changed a lot. Recently I reflected a lot on my past, and my surrounding changed a lot. I feel like I’m more of a grownup now, I know this might sound super weird to hear that from a 25 year old, but I recently discovered for myself that growing up to me also and mainly means finding a deeper and healthy connection with my body, and I’m slowly growing into that, I really enjoy it.

Q:What is the best news you’ve had recently?

I don’t remember (sadly) but every time I see Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez on my feed or screen it’s good news.

Q:What is something that has caught your interest recently, and why? (For example: NFTs, an election, climate change, or some other general topic that you have been interested in recently)

Recently I’ve been really interested in politics and debating. I always thought it was super important to discuss topics with my friends and family but more on an emotional and fun level, recently I also enjoy studying it in a more debating and serious kind of way. I try to educate myself more and better on veganism, anti-racism, feminism, and how to fight discrimination and injustice in general.

Q:Any social issues you have been paying extra attention to lately?

A lot of issues, honestly it’s hard to look away with everything going on right now. So the climate crisis, climate justice, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, so many social issues.

Q:What do you think is important when it comes to communication?

Obviously it’s important to be honest and sincere when communicating, but I also think it’s important to take a step back when you feel like you can’t offer that honesty and sincerity for the communication anymore. Not to hide or withdraw from it but to reflect for yourself and get back to it once you feel like you can have a good base again.

Q:What is your dream?

My dream is to find peace and to help others find peace. And with finding peace meaning letting go and accepting the here and now. There is a mantra that my yoga teacher told me; „Everything is the way it should be“ - I hated it the first time I heard it, it made me angry, there are so many things that need to change. But the more I thought about it the more it resonated with me. It’s not saying things should stay the same, but rather I think it means true change can only take place when you accept the things happening in the here and now.

*This interview was conducted on VI/NYL #005, which published on Dec.30th, 2021.

*All photos are courtesy of the artists.

■VI/NYL

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