Berlin based, experimental pop artist, Novaa continues to enthral with her latest track ‘To Be Yang’, a minimal-pop, introspective thought piece that floats seamlessly over atmospheric electronic beats. Taken from forthcoming album, The Futurist, it follows on from recent singles, ‘Alien’, ‘Elon’, ‘Drones’ and ‘AI Am In Love’.
“So many technologies influence us profoundly, but they are barely discussed in the public,” says Novaa, who’s always been interested in futuristic topics, pestering her physicist brother to explain the world of technology, physical laws and inventions to her, devouring podcasts, documentaries, and books dealing with ideas of the future. “I wanted to break down really complicated matters into something more understandable and emotional,” she says. And this is how The Futurist was born. Its songs are more than just brilliant pop songs, they’re intended as conversation starters. “I don’t want them to evaluate the ideas expressed in them,” Novaa clarifies, “they are neutral. Just a starting point.”
As for her playlist for FMS: “Being human is weird and odd and sometimes the human self doesn’t feel like home. To be honest, I’ve been looking for a place or certain people to be my home for most of my life, but already as a kid I always felt like home is a collection of moments and not a state. And often I also find those moments in pieces of music. So, these are my Top 10 Tracks that make me feel home in my alien nature.”
1. Johann Sebastian Bach – ‘Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prélude’
“I know that adding this piece of music to any kind of essential playlist might be cliché, but I don’t care. To me this song is essential. If music was one song it would probably be this one and I can’t even tell you why, but this song says everything. It makes me feel home with every weird bit of myself.”
2. Jóhann Jóhannsson – ‘Kangaru’
“Arrival is one of my all-time favourite movies. Not only because of the story and Amy Adam’s incredible performance but also because of the music. Jóhann Jóhannsson was a genius. To me, the score of Arrival as well as the movie itself is messing with your concepts, your sense of language and time, what it means to be human. Jóhann Jóhannsson captured that perfectly in this piece of music. It gives you a sense of being safe and home even though you’re out of your comfort zone.”
3. The Cinematic Orchestra – ‘To Build A Home’
“The title of this song already says everything. When listening to this I feel home; in solitude, in being with others, in feeling lost, in being in tune with myself. I’d like to write more about this song, but I suggest you just have a listen yourself.”
4. Son Lux – ‘Change Is Everything’
“Sometimes it’s hard to believe that certain artists are human and do human things, live a daily life, etc. Especially when they make music that sounds bigger than one tiny human existence. Son Lux probably has a daily life and does human things, but his songs don’t. ‘Change Is Everything’ talks beautifully about the complexity and the weirdness of being human. I had a lot of trance dancing sessions by myself to this song haha. It takes you somewhere else. And this somewhere else is a nice place.”
5. Rufus Wainwright – ‘Poses’
“Rufus is one of my favourite artists. He had and still has a big influence on me as an artist and a person. His music is free, and it always has something child-like and raw to it. ‘Poses’ is a classic to me, it’s part of my home in music and my alien nature.”
6. Tori Amos – ‘Winter’
“When I was about 12 years old I found the album, Little Earthquakes by Tori in my mum’s CD collection. I still have it and listen to it regularly. Tori portrays being a woman on this planet in a beautiful, honest and vulnerable way with her music and especially with this album. She is a pioneer and I think she deserves way more recognition and credit. Her music is probably the foundation of my musical home, and if I would have a mother in music it would be Tori.”
7. Chet Baker – ‘My Funny Valentine’
“Chet’s voice is too fragile for this planet. When he recorded this song, his body was very weak and damaged, and he was heavily addicted to drugs. You can hear all of this in his voice. I feel like he’s telling me his life in this recording. Maybe that was not his intention, but I feel like I can catch a glimpse of his story and his vulnerable self in in this recording. In certain moments certain people are too vulnerable for this world and this human life, music is a home for those moments and those people. And so is this recording.”
8. Queens Of The Stone Age – ‘No One Knows’
“My dad owned the whole album, Songs For The Deaf by Queens Of The Stone Age and played it to my brother and me a lot when we were younger. I love QOTSA, especially this album and this song, I even recorded a cover version of ‘No One Knows’ last year. The lyrics, the energy, the outro, everything about this tune is on point. It’s heavy and light and takes me to a weird but safe space and I feel home when I listen to it.”
9. Feist – ‘The Park’
“This song is not about a park, it actually is a park. They recorded it outside, you can hear the birds and nature around. It’s peaceful and when I was a youngster, I have probably listened to it to an extent that is not healthy for a teenage mind. This song calms me down regardless of what state of mind I am in, in fact every song by Feist does. Her energy and music have something otherworldly but still natural to it.”
10. The Smiths – ‘I Know It’s Over’
“Listening to this song the first time was when I fully understood how people make a home of sadness. My dad owned the vinyl of the whole album, The Queen Is Dead and I loved every song of it but this one still means the most to me. It’s dark and heavy and fully takes you in. To me that’s also part of a home, of my home. In a home there also needs to be space for that kind of weirdness, the heavy kind of weirdness.”
Novaa’s new album, The Futurist is out on 1st May. Watch the video for ‘To Be Yang’ HERE.
You can listen to all Ask the DJ playlists on the FMS Magazine Spotify CHANNEL.
Find Novaa’s playlist below and HERE.