Dan Oz: “Cave Drops” – twinkling synth sounds and thumping groovy basslines

Let me set a scene: The sun is shining, the reasonably warm air is crisp and refreshing, the cruel winds are nowhere to be found. You put your headphones in and start walking towards the beachfront with a spring in your step and a smile on your face, rejuvenated by the rare taste of enjoyable weather and a feeling of freedom. Now, what song should be the soundtrack to your unexpectedly pleasant walk? Maybe something jaunty to fit your upbeat mood. Well shake up the soundtrack to your sunny walk with “Cave Drops” by Dan Oz. Dan Oz, who started

IJK: “Dancing Shadows” – a rocking pop sensible track!

“Dancing Shadows” is the latest single by Dubai based rock artist, IJK (Imad Jack Karam). The track released on June 12th 2017 was produced in London and is supported by a video clip available for viewing on YouTube. IJK is a one-man army in the musical field. His style is very retro ’70s, mixed with ’80s guitar riffs, and edgy modern electronic, his songs are highly polished, perfectly produced tracks that defy age or genre. There is something to be said for IJK’s mix of styles, smooth vocals, and refusal to make bland, generic, contemporary music. His tracks are like a bag of pick

Nicki Kris: “Captain America” – lyrics as essential as the air we breathe

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina Nicki Kris is a singer-songwriter based who has had her songs have been featured in award-winning movies, TV shows, and on radio stations worldwide, and she has also been on the official ballot for the Grammy Awards for the past four years, since her debut album release, “I Come Alive”, in 2013. The active voting member of The Recording Academy is currently working on multiple projects, and has released her brand new 2017 single, “Captain America”, which she describes as a patriotic song asking each of us to find our inner superhero, capable of kindness,

Richy: “#RichySeason” – seething tone seals the beats together!

Upstate rap artist MBK Richy from Auburn, NY has released his album “#RichySeason”. The album starts with a bang with the lead single, which is also a video, “Talk That Shit feat. Leedreamer” it’s totally unrelenting and is a good foreshadowing of what this high energy album is going to be. Richy has a great choice in beats that separates him from the herd, and forms part of that specific trait that runs across this entire album – he will do anything to keep you interested – from the beats to the rapping. Richy has a very good vocal range for an

Mr. Flames: “Local Kingpin – EP” – mastering the role he’s developed for himself

Scartobe Galantae Flames aka Mr. Flames is of African American, Cuban, and Italian descent. Originally from the east side of Cleveland, Mr. Flames currently live in Dayton, Ohio. Growing up was rough for Mr. Flames due to being a part of the typical struggle for an African American family, so he went to the streets in search for money. As time progressed through his hustling days, Mr. Flames moved up in reputation as the local kingpin. He then decided to pick up the microphone and give rapping a shot. After losing both parents, he came up with the name ‘Scartobe

Kiki Sire: “Rutina” – exciting rhythms and smooth vocals

Kiki Sire is a Singer/Songwriter, Musician, Composer and graduate of the Matanzas School of Musica in Cuba where he studied alongside many great Cuban musicians by day and performing salsa music in the festivals and clubs of Havana, Varadero and Mantanzas by night. Kiki who has performed with many great musicians, has made regular appearances on TV and Radio and won many awards and talent contests for his singing. “Rutina” is a salsa album composed, performed and produced by Kiki Sire containing 8 original compositions. Kiki Sire is undoubtedly well versed in the art of musical conversation, as he is

Owl Company: “Horizon” carves out blistering rhythms

Owl Company is a band from São Paulo, Brazil that combines hard rock influences from the 70s to the 90s with modern rage and brutality, creating a sound that is fresh, aggressive, and engaging. Launched in 2015 the band has built a strong presence in São Paulo, playing all the premier venues in town. Their first single “Condescend,” quickly grabbed attention locally and now the band is setting its sights on crashing international borders. Owl Company’s chosen vehicle to get them where they need to be going is their full-length debut album “Horizon”, set to drop July 14th 2017. The

Harmony Drive: “Be There” – fresh, upbeat and vibrant music!

Most times you can gauge the potential quality of a creative project just by gazing through its credits. In this case, the single by Norwegian band Harmony Drive – “Be There”, was recorded in Denver, Colorado. With help of production duo Glenn Sawyer & Rich Veltrop (Tom Petty, Ozzy Osbourne, Macy Gray), and Dave Elitch (Mars Volta, Killer be killed) on drums. The music video, filmed in Norway and the Philippines, features the multi-talented Supermodel, TV-host, and Surfer Mona Lisa Neuboeck. Of course for the potential quality to transform into effective quality you need a stunning song and band. Lars

Delta Station: “An Unexpected Turn of Events” – the experience is more epic and cinematic

The little 14 year old Australian genius who goes by the moniker of Delta Station, has a new album out. And, somewhat predictably, it’s another utter and perfect treat. Before you listen to Delta Station’s latest album you really should leave all preconceptions at the door. Despite the connotations of the album’s title, “An Unexpected Turn of Events” is a joyous affair. It is an album that is warm, exhilarating, and incredibly uplifting and it is his greatest piece of work to date. Delta Station has only been in the production craft since June 2016, but has already released two EPs, previous to this album.

The Valium: “Amazing Breakdowns” – walking the high-wire intersections of visceral punk-rock expression and high art perfection

The Valium hooked me as soon as I heard the first track “Too Many Dreams Of Rock N Roll” from freshly released album, entitled “Amazing Breakdowns”. This was an album that hit me in the gut and instantly dragged me along for the ride. After listening to it, I must say that this is one of the most unique, interesting and high-energy bands I have ever heard in the alternative rock scene of late. Though taken from a myriad of influences, their sound is completely their own and every song sounds unique to their band. I can’t really imagine some

Novi Nov – The other half of Wiz Khalifa’s Pittsburgh

Jump started and driven by his sister’s belief in him, NOVI began to perform around his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After making a name for himself in the local hip hop community, alongside artist such as Wiz Khalifa, Boaz, and Mac Miller; NOVI would make his way to Atlanta, GA. Moving on faith and an undying dedication to his craft, he would rub elbows with Jermaine Dupri, T.I., Nelly, Trey Songz, Big Sean, Rick Ross, J.Cole, and many, many more.

Spending years just under the industry radar, the stage seems set for “his time”. He hopes to create a legacy in music that lasts far beyond his years and if for nothing else, to show his lone daughter, Jozi, she can do anything she sets her mind to. Often his rap style is described as “bouncy”, “explosive” and “colorful”. GO Magazine calls him “One of those all-too-rare musicians who understand the difference between playing a gig and delivering a show”.

Novi Nov

Novi Nov

  1. When and how did you get the moniker NOVI NOV?

NOVI NOV: My friends in music have always called me some form of that name. It really derived from one of my old friends Zach Kumer who I made music with as a kid, he called us NOVATRIBE, I held on to the NOVA part to pay homage, and people kept calling me Novi or Novi Nov…..so that stuck with me. Kinda represents everyone that I’ve met along the way.

  1. Who more than any other influenced your style?

NOVI NOV: LL Cool J really influenced me THE MOST. Just the epitome of cool and talented and all the girls loved him, and he could kill any MC….he really is everything hip hop to me.

  1. How do you separate yourself from other artists right now in an industry thriving with new emcees?

NOVI NOV: I think for me it’s about growing in MY place, planting MY flag, doing MY thing. I really don’t concern myself with others so much. I have spent a really LONG time just trying to understand what the fuck I’M DOING let alone try to decipher somebody else years of life. I really just enjoy other emcees and focus on being a dope musician in MY way. I don’t really get hung up on other artist TOO much. You be you. I’ll be me. We’ll be fine.

  1. 2015 was reputed to be the biggest year for two of Pittsburgh biggest Hip-hop stars, Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller, yet critics are saying that Pittsburgh hip-hop faces a cloudy future. How do you feel you can change that prediction and be embraced by the entire City?

NOVI NOV: I think one of the great things about myself and others like me in our city, is we just are non-stop grinders. We never stop going, creating, building, fighting…..we just have this incredible ability to withstand storms and challenges. Our future will always be bright. I believe right now is a great time to BE a Pittsburgh veteran artist like myself, who’s laid foundation and put in those HARD hours that goes as far back as Wiz and Mac’s infancy in our city. I think a lot of our people KNOW the importance of us getting another guy in the mix and I think it has to be someone who understands what it takes to sustain our future. I’ve been in the trenches; I think guys from all over there can tell you: I was REALLY THERE in the trenches with everyone when there was no scene and we built one together. We just need someone to stand for those people and cultivate a next generation of artist to follow what we did.

  1. According to Paradise Gray, a hip-hop aficionado who witnessed the ’80s New York rap scene firsthand before relocating to Pittsburgh in 1992, the Pittsburgh sound exists — it’s just credited to another section of the country. Would you label your sound as being representative of Pittsburgh?

NOVI NOV: I don’t think I’d say I am THE Pittsburgh “Sound”. I think I am a clear example of the diversity in Pittsburgh music. I am something of a ‘seasoning’ of Pittsburgh. I give you a piece of a person from our city.  I don’t think I’m creating a popularized ‘hey everyone THIS is the new Pittsburgh sound’ thing. I am probably the best representation of our VARIETY as a whole. Something other artist can take pride in knowing they can be creatively free and express our variety even more than I in the next generation.

  1. The title for PITTSBURGH’S NEXT WIZ KHALIFA is up for grabs. Some pundits have been pointing to emcee and political activist Jasiri X who has been building his national profile. Which path will NOVI NOV be navigating to get to the top in this title race?

NOVI NOV: Jasiri X is my BROTHER! Love him to death. I think the “Next Wiz Khalifa” thing is more of a “WE” than an “I”. There is SO MUCH left on the tree in Pittsburgh, I believe I am an extremely important part of that. I think my brothers in the city know that I am important to the “WE” aspect…just as Jasiri is important to the “WE” and a lot of others. I think time will tell the full story but I definitely think if I just focus on doing ME…..”WE” will be the next Wiz Khalifa.

Missy Elliot Tweet

Missy Elliot Tweet

  1. You had props from Missy Elliot who has been encouraging you via Twitter. You have had Mr. Porter of D-12 send you messages of love. You met with Interscope Records in Atlanta and their love for your new single “Thinkin Bout Ya”. How does this all fit into your game plan and the scheme of thing to come? 

NOVI NOV:  My new single “Thinkin Bout Ya” is one of those infectious, bouncy records I do out of habit. It’s really grown legs and I think every piece of those things you stated are important but they’ll be important along the path of work. Missy is incredible; Mr. Porter and I go back and forth. I mean, the universe is TELLING me these people are waiting. Interscope is watching the growth of my new song “Thinkin Bout Ya” VERY closely, we’ve had talks and exchanges and it all really comes down to execution on my part. That’s really the game plan right now. That song is everything.

  1. Thus far what do you consider a really successful or high point in your career so far?

NOVI NOV: I think the high point of my career is this song “Thinkin Bout Ya”. This song has changed my life so far and I can feel the energy of my career changing drastically. That is exciting that what I’m doing NOW feels like the highest I have been and I only see the sky from here.

  1. How is the music and lyrics in your songs developed? Could you explain your process?

NOVI NOV:  I kinda just go with it, I let the music guide my words and I never force anything. I let me be me and I don’t overthink ANYTHING.

  1. What do you feel your listeners should get out of your music and specifically out of your new song “Thinkin Bout Ya”?

NOVI NOV: I think listeners should just get whatever they feel they need to get from my music. I was sent here to entertain people and in doing that I have found my therapy and life coach in this music. I can only hope my music transfers what it does for ME….to anyone who listens.

"Thinkin Bout Ya" cover artwork

“Thinkin Bout Ya” cover artwork

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music so far?

NOVI NOV: I think almost losing my mother in 2015, was particularly difficult to comprehend, but also one of those powerful moments that will stick with me for a VERY long time. You find out the person you were raised to be vs. the person you are supposed to be in times of adversity like that. That was definitely a hard one.

  1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about the music business, what would that be?

NOVI NOV: The power of a gatekeeper. I think there are A LOT of very questionable powers that be and I don’t love that. I think that’s quite frustrating in fact. If I could delineate the power of the gatekeepers of music, I’d do that in a heartbeat.

  1. How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?

NOVI NOV: I work closely with allies here and there who can assist me at points, yet I actually do keep the ship afloat by myself. I have no direct manager, though there have been talks. I have no strong solid team built, though there also have been talks there. I am a one-man army still for the most part.

  1. What does your family and close friends think of your artistic aspirations and performances?

NOVI NOV: They are happy for me. They know how long I’ve been working. They understand the heart and passion behind it. I talk to them all the time, I explain to them all the time. They have HELPED ME financially handle some of it. They understand what it is I’m trying to do here on a larger scale and they love it. I’M SURE THEY FREAKING LOVE IT. Damnit!

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

NOVI NOV: Colorful, Bouncy, Intricate, vibrant, expressive, energetic…..I think those are the first words that come to mind.

  1. Besides reaching the top in Pittsburgh, which other goals have you lined up in your ongoing strategy?

NOVI NOV: Well, obviously, I wanna take this music to the next level. We are IN POSITION if you will, and it really rests on the arms of execution at a high level on my part and the support of my records such as “Thinkin Bout Ya” and other projects.

Wiz Khalifa & Novi Nov

Wiz Khalifa & Novi Nov

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

NOVI NOV: I use the different social media stuff to tell my story. Snapchat is personal. Instagram is color commentary and expression. Facebook is also personal. Twitter is my fun space. I use all the platforms to just tell my story from my angles. It’s truly important to connect as much as you can with be it 1 person or 100 people. I take advantage of that opportunity everyday. These platforms can single-handedly build a career in music. It’s been proven countless times now. But I don’t ONLY rest my hat in that space anymore, as I once did. I’ve learned you need a few other tools too, but that’s a whole other interview.

  1. What do you feel is the most pressing or important problem in our society now, and how do you feel your experiences as an artist can aid these issues?

NOVI NOV: I think self-evaluation and self-assessment might be the realest problem our society faces. How many people can look in the mirror and say “I don’t like that image, I’m gonna fix it”. I think my music and my experience as an artist can speak to the power of always reevaluating yourself and searching for betterment of yourself. That can span from finances to religion to race to anything. You have to check yourself, I think being an artist TRYING to improve every day, you have NO CHOICE but to self-evaluate and make yourself better. It’s an incredible reinforcement that being an artist affords you.

  1. If you only had five minutes on earth to perform one of your song that could leave a major impact on this world, what would that song be and why?

NOVI NOV: I don’t think I’ve made THAT song yet. I will. I can’t wait to. That drives me every day.

  1. If you had to think of a slogan that could leave a positive impact on fans, what would that slogan be?

NOVI NOV: ‘IT’S CULTURE CRAZY’ of course! I’ll explain what that means one day!

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