Busola Martins: “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes – You can hear the passion and her intention

“He turns my life around”, with these words, Busola Martins whets our appetite as we are led with bated breath into her new release “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes.  With her ingenious use of simple questions and quotable phrases, she challenges us on a mid-tempo cliff hanger to re-access our relationship with Jesus. Precisely because Gospel thrives on its spontaneity, it has often traded lyrical sophistication for its immediacy.  This is not so with this track. Saved without being sanctimonious, and heaven-aspiring while remaining down-to-earth, when it comes to conveying ministry within her music, Busola Martins handles the load with passion

Weston Simonis set to release “Yoga Pants” video on Thanksgiving

For those who’re still unfamiliar with Weston Simonis and his wide range of musical styles, this is a very special talent. A native of the Grande Ronde Valley, Weston is difficult to pin down to one or two genres. Some might say he’s all over the place. I say he has the special ability to play Blues, Rock, Funk, Metal, Punk and any progressive thinking crossover music at will. Listening to his award winning album “Moments Of Intoxication” has reminded me that there was a time when you could hear all types of artists on the same radio station. Now

Jay Felicite: “758 Stories 2” features killer hooks and irresistible melodies

When thinking of England as a musical landscape, Dancehall may not be the first genre that pops to mind for people not in the know, but it’s there, under the surface of the streets, the thump of the drum and pop of the bass reverberating into walls, and spilling out under the doorways from dub clubs and roots bars. One of the current underground stars of the UK’s indie circuit is probably Jay Felicite (pronounced; Fay-Lee-See-Tay) is a Saint Lucian born and raised singer, songwriter, sound engineer. The resilient firebrand is making a big noise with the release of his new

Cris Marshall’s music will ensure he hooks as wide an audience as possible

Cris Marshall is an American Country Music Artist raised in a musical home, the small town of Haslet, Texas. He received his first drum set from his father at the age of two and by 8 he was playing his first guitar. In his teens, and alongside his dad, Cris began performing at some of Dallas/Fort Worth’s most well-known music venues. A singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Cris also launched his very own home studio when he was 18, recording artists and bands all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. However his passion for writing and performing never subsided during this time,

Midnight Watchman: “Liquid Universe” – an extremely focused record

A guitarist and keyboard player who began as a street musician in UK before touring the US and then returning home, Andy Jones AKA Midnight Watchman, is a composer and producer of ambient music. Influenced by an extremely wide spectrum of music and musicians, that go from Vangelis to Chopin, ad Ryan Adams to Tycho, Midnight Watchman has released his 12 track instrumental album, entitled “Liquid Universe”. In the hands of a lesser artist, the varying song structures of this album would likely become tiresome, but every one of the album’s twelve tracks is a testament to the Midnight Watchman’s

Joey Britton: “Edmonton Sessions” – fluorescent, acoustic-centric ambient atmospheres

Joey Britton started his journey in music at an early age. He joined the band ISO and played lead guitar helping to launch the Torn and Tethered Album. After ISO, Joey decided to move to California to expand his skills in the music industry while writing, recording, and producing his own records.  “I try to write songs that tell stories, relate to people, so that when you listen to them – you realize you’re not alone,” says Joey Britton. Exploring is an experience not easily replicated. Associated with it is equal parts thrill, anxiety, and apprehension. Exploring a new artist

Daryl Yahudy: “Soulful Life Within” – a perfect calling card

Indeed, you could say that Darrell McClover aka Daryl Yahudy, a former professional athlete, is a soul singer with a warm timbre and a penchant for sublime, emotional arrangements, defining what the neo-soul genre should sound like in 2017. He is a singer with a fine voice weaving a spell on songs which are full of distinctive takes on universal topics. The album “Soulful Life Within” is almost looking at how he was, how he is and how he will be in life. The warm, evocative, impeccable playing around Daryl here ensures a timeless listen. The album is overflowing with lush, lilting

John J: “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters” – strap yourself in and enjoy this vibrantly orchestrated roller coaster

I have always been eager to pick up every piece of music John J issues because of the lyrical expertise he demonstrates in every song, and the attention to the music production and features he provides. John J has just dropped a 5 track bonus EP, entitled “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which comes hot on the heels of his latest release, “Pain To Power”. Like his previous recordings, each song on this EP carries a different succinct feel and hook while the flow stays swift and acrobatic. The beats, features and subject matter again excel well above average.

Chaz Hearne: “Rise of the Voluminous” – sneakily inventive and massively engaging

The very first thing I learned while listening to the album “Rise of the Voluminous” by eclectic folk artist, Chaz Hearne, is that the defining question regarding any Hearne song is which Chaz Hearne he’ll be. Will it be the introspective, contemplative Hearne of slow-burning masterpieces like “Falling For Reason” and “Hount The Jab”? Or will the party-starter behind “Fun In ‘82” poke his head out, armed with flash phrases and funky beats? Or maybe he will just activate his progressive art-rock mode, as on “Voluminous Man” and “Spicy In The Dim Halls” – catchy, complex, yet ultimately armed with a sort

The Gibb Collective: “Please Don’t Turn Out the Lights” – perfectly cut gems!

October marks the 45th anniversary of the Bee Gees song “Please Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” and fans of the musical super group of the 1970s, have reason to be excited. The Gibb Collective is a musical tribute, and a family legacy.  On the input of Maurice’s daughter, Samantha, the children of Andy, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb have found a way to honor their fathers by infusing new lymph  into the more than memorable Bee Gee classics of the 60’s and 70’s. And what better title for the 10-track album, than “Please Don’t Turn Out The Lights”. Though I

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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