Sometimes you find your next favorite musician by a happy accident. This year has seen many people spend more time on Spotify, Soundcloud, and Youtube, as they look for music to suit their ever-changing moods. I was in a mellow mood one early August morning, searching through the latest music video releases when I came across a thumbnail that sparked my interest. The song "부재중" was by nov and features Crush. As a lover of Korean RnB, I quickly pushed play. The haunting voice that came through my headphones had me immediately pausing the song to jot down the singer's name before returning my focus to this hidden gem.
Her smooth voice, combined with the elegant yet straightforward keyboard and drum track, had me almost forget Crush was in the song. I was, however, quickly reminded when they began to sing together. The harmonies they shared as they sang the last twenty-five seconds of the music gave me goosebumps. Without checking the comment section, I dove into nov's SoundCloud and instantly became addicted.
A quick Google search gave me the bare minimum on this talented songstress. Who is nov, and why isn't her name on every Korean RnB lover's lips in the world? I had to change that and thankfully, nov agreed to speak with me.
"When I was younger, one of my dreams was to be a writer," nov said when asked about her moniker. "Since I've started music, I work very hard on all my lyrics. Now I call myself the singing novelist", or nov. Nice.
Since "부재중" introduced me to nov, I wanted to know more about the concept behind it. "I wanted a song that expressed gratitude and to give apologies to everyone that contacted me. I ignored their calls because I was exhausted." nov explained that since the song is simple, she wanted the video to compliment it. Putting all this thought into her music made me realize that nov is not just some rookie at the beginning of her career.
In fact, she released her first single, "Cold" in 2016 and has been consistently releasing songs on her Soundcloud and Youtube channel since then. "Before I released my first song, I was a producer for other people. I decided I wanted to make my own song but could only create the lyrics and melodies. I didn't even know how to work a sequencing program. After writing the song, I asked my brother and respected musician, Crush, to arrange the music. I didn't know much back then, so the lyrics aren't great, but you can feel the pureness of the song". Yes, you read that correctly. nov and Crush are siblings. The talent runs strong in this family.
As a music lover, I'm always curious about how an artist feels about releasing their first song. A person would be a nervous wreck, right? "At first, I was excited," nov remembers. "It was amazing that I could tell my story to people I didn't know and not just my friends." However, she did admit that there are times when she had some struggles while making music but thinks most musicians feel like this. From writing lyrics and melodies, to filming the m/v, promotions, and everything in between, the entire process must be exhausting.
nov compared the music she makes now to when she debuted. "I think I've become a little stronger in my music life after debuting and going through many things. I'm working on my music with my heart full of sincerity like I was at the beginning of my debut".
In 2020, nov has released two official songs, "Rainbow" in March and "부재중" in August. She also released a few covers. While her singles are lovely, I needed to know if there would be a full-length album soon. She laughed while saying it was a dream for all musicians to release an album and that she would do so if given a chance.
As curious as I was about nov's musical beginnings and career, I know that life isn't just about work. Being able to unwind and destress can be just as important to someone as doing what they love. When she isn't creating, nov likes to kick back and relax with her dog while watching dramas. She also enjoys listening to different types of music. "I've been listening to Lee Sora and Kwon Soon-kwan's music the most these days!"
Leading up to this interview, I had been doing nothing but listening to nov's Soundcloud and enjoying the musical experience she's created. I developed favorite songs and was curious to know if any of her songs had a special place in her heart. nov admitted that she was attached to "미세먼지" and "내게로와".
Much too soon, our interview was coming to an end. nov is extremely appreciative of her fans and wanted to say a few words directly to them. "nov friends! Thank you for being with me for a long time and for giving me a lot of time. I'll play a lot of good music to repay you! I love you!" Talking to nov was such a delight. I'm excited to see what she has in store for her fans in the future. Make sure you follow nov on all her social media to show your support!
Check out nov's "부재중 (Feat. Crush)" and "Rainbow" below!