In Conversation With Nova

Reminding us to cherish the people in our lives, Toronto based artist Nova delivers a message of love, affection and gratitude through his latest single ‘Precious Diamond’ an infectious flow of RnB, Afrofusion beats and honest lyrics, with a Valentines release date that couldn’t be more in tune with the nature of the track. “I decided to drop the song around Valentine’s Day so everyone has some fire on that V day playlist”.

Continuing to tease the release of his forthcoming studio album ‘S.T.A.Y II”, Nova offers us a taste of what to expect with ‘Precious Diamond’, a perfect track for rainy Sundays with that special person, and one that allows us a glimpse into the mind behind the music. “I believe ‘S.T.A.Y II” captures my journey as an artist and growth as a person till this point.” 

Inspired by a relationship of Nova’s, ‘Precious Diamond’ drips with pure appreciation, encapsulating the heartfelt feelings associated with love. Across the listening experience soft, touching tones and raw lyrics coincide with resonating beats, an addictive track to relay the addictive nature of love, inducing familiar, nostalgic sentiments for listeners, and it’s one reason Nova is so compelling as an artist. “I was inspired by a relationship and I felt like showing my appreciation for her by creating a soundtrack to how she makes me feel. The pandemic has put a huge strain on a lot of people’s relationships so I created this hoping it can remind listeners of how that special person in their life makes them feel”.

Collaborating with Katasha J for the single, lush harmonies and tantalising vocals bring the dynamic pairing together, creating a truly intoxicating fusion, chemistry and connection collide as the artists bounce off one another. Katasha’s vocals are incredible. I’m a huge fan of traditional RnB music and you can hear the influences through my discography.” Produced by Toye Aru, the track explores the emotional ties, intimacy and connection between two people, relayed through a contrasting approach to RnB from the duo. “I feel Katasha and I connected well because the synergy between her traditional approach to RnB and my unorthodox style of RnB with afrobeats influences really complement each other”.

Listening to a Nova track is like meditation through music, it relaxes you, clears your mind and offers an oddly empowering energy through soothing melodies, injections of pop and an unorthodox Afrofusion soundscapes that keep you hooked. “To me, that’s what Afrofusion is all about, tapping in to your core influences and mixing in other elements that inspire you to create innovative sounds.” 

Growing up listening to the music legends of Lauryn Hill, Wyclef, Sean Paul and Kanye West, introduced by his uncle and brother, Nova’s distinctive sound can be traced back to his upbringing, leading to the creation of Nova’s divine sound. “My family background exposed me to different cultures from Nigeria, England, America and now Canada, so I have a diverse range of experience that have helped shape my sound today.”

As a millennial himself, Nova’s unique perspective and ability to tap into the millennial dating experience, has listeners relating to him across the globe. Touching on the digital age, distance, and the comings and goings of intimacy, we explore a new reality of love alongside Nova, discovering new perspectives through his lyrics, it’s a powerful listening experience and truly eye opening. “Since I started working on the ‘S.T.A.Y’ universe in 2019, I have been exploring the millennial dating experience in this new digital age where everyone is so connected through the internet but at the same time kinda distant when it comes to developing intimacy. We have access to so much info and options for partners to choose from that it gets hard to filter through the noise and identify or even focus on the people that mean the most to you. A lot of my music is inspired by conversations with friends on this topic and I use my songs to translate the different perspectives I have been exposed to” 

Tapping into his own personal moments for ‘Precious Diamond’, a distinctive feature of Nova’s music, we get a real insight into the artist, experiencing a new side to his versatility. “This song was more inspired by personal experience, but I hope other people can relate as well. No matter your race, gender or preference, love is a something we all experience in different ways.”

Building beats from the ground up, Nova’s music flows from a freedom of creativity, peeling back the emotional layers with each new release, his sound and inspirations are complex, each one stemming from an emotional journey, pulling inspiration from anywhere and everywhere, every moment in his life can influence or inspire the creation of a track. “Inspirations can come in different ways when I’m working on music. Sometimes, I have an idea that develops in my head without hearing a beat. Then I start thinking of the producer I feel can bring the idea to life with a fire beat. Other times I get beats from producers either via email or pre- COVID 19, when we link up in the studio.”

“The first song I recorded was ‘Say Yeah’ – listening back to that song, you hear similarities between that and my new release Precious Diamond, both influenced by RnB. You can also hear the evolution in my sound from then till now.” Even as Nova’s music evolves, personal sentiments rest at the core of his creative process, focused on relaying emotions and articulating feelings, each track is an emotional soundscape, ‘Precious Diamond’ offering a sense of vulnerability seen in his previous release, ‘Replay’, back in the autumn.

Accompanying the track, simplistic but atmospheric visuals, intimate and warm, compliment the nature of the single perfectly, with inspiration drawn from the Snoh Aalegras ‘Bad Things Stripped’ video. “I wanted to do something different from other visuals I have released. I linked up with the same team I worked with for the Angela music video from the first ‘S.T.A.Y’ project. We wanted to create a visual that gives viewers an intimate experience for the song. Robb directed the video and did an incredible job build a team to bring this idea to life. Shout out to UUIN Studios for letting me use their location in Scarborough. Since day one, the UUIN team welcomed me to their creative space with open arms.”

One thing we can look forward to is a third, unreleased single, ‘Can’t Complain’ dropping February 25th. ‘Can’t Complain’ will tide us over, giving us our Nova hit until the highly anticipated, unreleased album ‘Stay II’ drops. “Super hyped for that because on the first ‘S.T.A.Y’ project I didn’t collaborate with other artists. However, on this project I brought in other creatives to the ‘S.T.A.Y’ universe. Worked with Katasha J, Fasina, Esquire and Arenye, all unique talented artist and I feel they all brought something different to the project.”

Set to continue inspiring his audience, to do better, love more and care for the self, bursting with energy and creativity across every release, our eyes are set to watch Nova’s every move, alongside a rapidly growing loyal fan base that can’t keep themselves away from Nova’s addictive beats and soothing melodies. “I’m looking forward to enjoying myself as I work on new music and grow as a person. Also, looking forward to sharing my music to as many ears as possible. Can’t wait for the pandemic to end so I can connect with fans at shows and link up with more creatives here in Toronto.”

Follow Nova on Instagram

Stream Precious Diamond on Spotify

Words: Lorna May