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INTERVIEW: Nova Hall

Hi Nova, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you, to be honest 2017 was a pretty shit year for me personally. But that’s ok. We’re not alone in this. That’s kind of the message of my debut single as well. Anyone reading this, whether you’re in a good place right now or a dark one, I hope you can feel that too.

We’re all connected. I’m with you.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “We Are Here”?

A huge part of the song is about being in the moment. I tried to incorporate that in the making of the song, to maintain a sense of presence and playfulness, but also a seriousness and reverence. I hope that is reflected in the song itself, and ultimately the listener.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I was walking through London Fields listening to a speech by Alan Watts. A british philosopher known for bringing eastern philosophy to the west. One of my favourite quotes of his is ”Life is not a game, it’s a dance”. I thought every dance needs a song.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

I had the idea of the concept, and I approached my friend Jack Charles Bushell. Mainly to ask if I could borrow his green screen at first. I never expected him to get so on board with the idea and put so much work in to it. This video would’ve been nothing without him.

How was the recording and writing process?

After coming home from my walk in London Fields with the melody and lyrics still fresh in my head I instantly started recording. The idea was to capture the moment. I used a TC Helicon Voicelive Touch 2 through a Korg Kaoss Pad. Originally the entire arrangement was acapella. I wanted to capture the vocals raw. Even though the vocal parts are heavily processed it was all recorded as live parts. All the processing was part of the tracking, and not done as an afterthought.

The song kind of decided to live it’s own life after that. I never wanted to force anything on to the track as it’d been contradictory to the message of the song. Over time I added instrumental parts as I felt they were needed, and eventually it cascaded in to the version you hear now.

I’m truly indebted to my friend and amazing producer Dennis Filatov, who mixed the track. I had so many strange vocal parts and live loop sections that were all fighting for space. Somehow Dennis managed to take this compressed piece of charcoal and turn it in to a diamond.

What aspect of electronic and grunge music do you normally look after in your music and why these two genres in particular?

Growing up I played in a rock band. Bands like Nirvana and Audioslave had a huge influence on me. I never thought I’d be making electronic music until I actually discovered music production for myself. I realized there was a whole world of sounds and possibilities I’d previously dismissed.

What role does Sweden play in your writing?

I learned playing music at the local youth centre. Sweden has always invested generously in local art and music scenes and activities for the youth. I guess the idea is that it’s easier to keep kids off the streets, so to speak, if they never went there in the first place.

I grew up in flats, sometimes my parents didn’t know where the next meal was gonna come from. I could’ve never afforded to play music as early and as seriously as I did if it wasn’t for my home country and the political conditions I grew up under.

During my teens I had a turbulent home situation. The rehearsal room and endless late night walks through the Swedish woods became my refuge.

Sweden will always be a part of me, and inevitably my music.

How has FKA Twigs and Mutemath influenced your music?

Mutemath always push the boundaries of the conventional, in their songwriting, their production and by fusing genres and creating something new. On top of that they’re some of the most skilled instrumentalists around. I think as a band they’re just fenomenal.

FKA twigs is so insanely unique and almost otherworldly, in everything she does. It takes bravery to be so truly yourself. I have a huge respect for her as an artist.

How does your acting background influence your music and the other way around?

In method acting they talk about not acting the role but rather becoming the role. In life we have to work towards becoming fully ourselves. It’s the same with music.

The world is your stage.

Does your new single mean we can expect a new album ­ how’s that coming along?

At the moment I’ll only be putting a few songs out, dipping my toes in the water. I want to find my tribe, and also give them a chance to find me. It’s more about building a community. The music is what connects us, but at the end of the day it’s just a medium. What really matters is the communion it creates.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Emphasis on tentative… but I have two more tracks to share in the next few months. One loosely inspired by the multiverse theory and the other by the idea of prefigurativism.

I’ll let you guess the titles for now.

Any plans to hit the road?

Not the road. Maybe the waterways.

What else is happening next in Nova Hall’s world?

A lot of reading, meditation, yoga, music, creating art and planting trees. Literally planting trees.

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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