For todays artist feature we have dark pop artist, Nova May. You may recognise her from the depths of TikTok or from her unique and arty imagery. Winner is the second track that she has released this year. She talks about the toxic person that led to her writing the track to knowing from a young age that she wanted to be an artist.
You’ve had quite the journey into music from being signed to UMG Decca Records as a child star to performing in front of the queen with your girl band. What did your journey into the music industry teach you?
Since being a young child I always knew I wanted to be a singer. The experience with the girl group took place in my early teens and it definitely gave me a taste of what could come in the future. For me, it cemented my path in my mind and truly made me realise how much I wanted to succeed in music not only as a singer but also as a songwriter and artist.
I discovered you via TikTok. How has the platform shaped your music career? Has TikTok changed the way you write music?
Honestly I've had my ups and downs with Tiktok. It’s very hit and miss but when the algorithm gives me a bit of love I'm definitely able to reach new fans that I wouldn’t have been able to without the platform. Personally I haven’t adapted my sound to fit Tiktok, I just make what feels and sounds the most like me at the time. That being said, I do hope that one of my new songs will go viral as that would be epic!
You’ve recently released your new track Winner which is a dark pop tune. I love that you describe your music as pop with bite. What led you to write Winner?
Thank you! I’ve always wanted my music to have a slight edge to it so the description ‘pop with a bite’ felt right. I actually wrote Winner about a year ago now! Around that time there was a very toxic and controlling person in my life and on my way to that writing session they were sending me texts trying to knock my confidence. In a way, writing Winner was my way of coping with that and getting back at them. Almost as if to say, “I don’t need you!”. I’m pleased to say, that person is no longer in my life and I feel more confident than ever.
You have a strong powerful look, who are your fashion inspirations?
Thank you again! I’ve always really been into bold makeup and slightly punk-inspired fashion. In the last few years I've been experimenting more with colour and accessories like chains. As far as style influences go I'd say Nava Rose and Miley Cyrus are big fashion influences for me. When I'm getting ready to go on stage I always wear the outfit that makes me feel the most confident.
You’ve also dabbled in collaborative dance tracks too. What is it about upbeat genres that you love so much?
I’ve always been a fan of dance music. A few years ago I used to release music under another name and it was a mixture of edm and dubstep combined with my pop vocals. This really helped me see that I liked darker sounding music with my voice, but I wanted to make my own music more like the music I was listening to like RAYE. When I started releasing music for my Nova May project it made sense to release a few more dance tracks to kickstart the project. I’m so happy to be releasing my solo music now but dance music still influences me heavily to this day. The fast beats and bold basslines make me feel like a powerful woman!
Who would you love to work with next?
It will always be a long-term goal of mine to write a song with RAYE. She is such a talented individual and I respect her so much. Next though? I’d like to continue working a lot with my producer Julez who produced my song ‘Hate You’. I feel like I've really found something special in him and I'm looking forward to seeing where we take my sound next.
What is your favourite gig that you’ve attended?
My music industry friend managed to get us into a Charli XCX concert a few months ago. I hadn’t actually listened to her music properly for a few years but I left the show feeling so inspired and full of life. Her care-free attitude and bosslady vibe was so fantastic to watch on stage. We actually managed to sneak into the afterparty and speak to her for a minute. I’m a HUGE fan of her now and her new album ‘Crash’ is insanely good. I’m obsessed.
What advice would you give to a woman entering the music industry?
Make sure you know what you want and go get it! In my experience with writing sessions, I've been lucky enough to work with mostly great men who show me the umost respect, but there will always be a few who don’t treat you the same as they would a man. To that I say, f*ck them. They don’t deserve to work in the music industry if they can’t show all of their fellow musicians the same respect.
How do you want the music industry to change for women and gender minorities?
I want to see more females and gender minorities everywhere but especially as producers. 98% of producers are male!
Why is it important to you to have safe spaces for marginalised genders in music?
Everyone deserves to feel safe no matter their gender, race, preferences etc. Unfortunately the music industry is still very discriminatory but we will get there. I think that’s why I respect Charli XCX so much. She’s really created a safe space for her fans, especially the LGBTQ community. I hope to do the same with my music. I want everyone to feel safe to be themselves with my music.
Listen to Nova May and the rest of our artist features on our playlist: