We welcome our friend Nick Nova (born Kwaku Boateng-Farrar) to the LIFESTYLE dialogue. Nova’s creative output operates on many different levels, including music/audio, design, and information distribution. The concept of power is one of the central themes in this artist’s piece as he touches on the re-appropriation of past experiences and memories. Nova provides a dope look at this empowering nature of Reflection and Response in addition to other aspects of his creative process. Check the interview below!
The ability to reflect on personal experience, past innovations, and current affairs empowers one to respond to obstacles, criticisms and general stressors in a fashion that consciously assists their own progression, as well as that of culture and society at large.
– Nick Nova
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
NN: I’m definitely a West Coast kid. I was born and raised in Northern California, the Bay Area specifically. After high school I stuck around for a bit before moving to London, England for college. I’m now back in the U.S.and have settled in Brooklyn, NY.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
NN: Reflection and Response to me represents the two important, synergistic aspects of creating and succeeding. People often lose sight of self-importance when attempting to achieve greatness in a public space, but the willingness to consider one’s own objectives and mapping out personal checkpoints is vital to the success of projects bigger than its creator. Building on that, the ability to reflect on personal experience, past innovations, and current affairs empowers one to respond to obstacles, criticisms and general stressors in a fashion that consciously assists their own progression, as well as that of culture and society at large.
How does your project BC fit in with that definition?
NN: My latest music project ‘BC’ represents this entirely because it is me reflecting on my past, both in the content, as well as the more technical aspect of the project. Recognizing my previous musical inhibitions and seeing how much it hindered my potential, ‘BC’ finds me embracing those flaws and making the appropriate changes to better position myself for achieving my musical goals.
From my observations, it’s common for creators to bury certain aspects of their lives as a defense mechanism, but one doesn’t have a true concept of power until you embrace the most difficult of memories and utilize past pain and/or frustration into something positive and empowering for others. A personal example would be on a record I have called “Tunnel” in which I mention my experience of being bullied. Up until this project I never wanted to share that vulnerability, but upon reflecting on the experience and seeing how much the experience aided my development, I recognized that it was imperative for me to share this so that younger listeners, or even people my age who may be bullied on the job or elsewhere and feel helpless, can recognize their own power through my story and they can stand up to their detractors and even if the results aren’t instantaneous, they’ll know it’s ok to fall down as long as you keep fighting to stand on your feet again, physically and or metaphorically depending on your situation.
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?
NN: As of late I have been forming a creative agency, KID Creative, Inc. (Kwaku’s Intelligent Design), that would allow me to share my various ideas on a larger scale, as well as giving other creatives an opportunity to connect and create to make the world a smarter place. The agency will focus on design, both tech and industrial architecture based, audio and visual projects, and information distribution. The goal is to create a brand big enough to employ hundreds if not thousands, especially those who are underrepresented in these fields, while creating a tear in the continuum of what we expect from these fields.
Who or what inspires you?
NN: I’m inspired by creators. Anybody who feels like they can create change is someone I pay attention to. Painters, architects, writers, the makers of our society inspire me to create more and push towards a better tomorrow. There are far too many people to name, but in art, Jackson Pollock is a big inspiration of mine. In music, despite the opposition of my sound to theirs, The Beatles are the reason why I make music. Finally, in writing, Charles Bukowski changed my entire perspective on the art of storytelling and poetry, he was a pure genius in my eyes.
Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?
NN: My message to the collective is, keep believing, keep pushing, and keep creating, and anyone looking for an outlet to create should get in touch with KID Creative and build with us.
Shout out to…?
NN: Shout out to everyone who has had a door slammed in their face when they simply wanted to make the world a better place. Also, a very special shout out to the people who slammed the doors in our faces, you’ll be hearing from us shortly.
Hit the following links for more from Nick Nova!