We have a ton of incredible artists on Songtradr so what better way to celebrate them than to spotlight a few of our favorites with a series of interviews! Our first interview is with an up-and-coming rapper out of Minneapolis, Finding Novyon. This Minnesotan has broken through the rap game with his hit banger, “Lots”, and more recently, “Been On My Job”. For this explosive word wizard, the future is looking bright.
Kyle Warner: Tell us a little about yourself, how’d you get the dream to be a hip hop artist?
Finding Novyon: Well, I’m Finding Novyon. Novyon being my real government name. I’m a 25 year old rapper/producer hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s strange. Growing up, I never had the desire to pursue music until I was about 13 or 14, when I formed a hip-hop group in middle school with some friends. From there I was enrolled into “I Self Devine’s [of Rhymesayers Entertainment] Hope Community”, where I learned the simple fundamentals of recording and song writing. I performed my first show at First Avenue. From that age I knew that I wanted to pursue music and be an artist. It was my drive to actually become something important in music that further carried my passion and dedication leading up until now, almost 11 years later.
KW: So you’re from Minnesota, you generally don’t see a lot of hip-hop out of that area, what/who are some of your inspirations in the rap game?
FN: Of course, typicals like: Kanye, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Pharrell Williams, Drake, and Cudi. But, I also draw a lot of perspective and influence from artists outside of rap like Aaliyah, Amy Winehouse, the “Off the Wall” and “Thriller” eras of Michael Jackson, Prince, and Daft Punk.
KW: Would you say Minnesota guys who’ve made it, like Brother Ali and Atmosphere have had an influence on you, or given you belief that a kid from Minnesota can make it?
FN: I would say their accomplishments and achievements are inspiring. I would also say that the overall picture and message that they’re trying to send has inspired my beliefs. But, ultimately one thing that I’ve noticed about both the artists you’ve mentioned is that they haven’t yet crossed over to mainstream music, may it be by choice, or being overlooked. I know that a part of the legacy I want for myself and brand includes mainstream success.
KW: I’ve got to say “Lots” is a banger, how was it working with Allan Kingdom, another Minnesota guy, who has had some mainstream success?
FN: Thanks. Allan has been one of my best friends since 2010, and continues to be. Working with him is pretty easy. He just has an ear for good music.
KW: Do you see Minnesota as an up and coming hotbed for young rappers?
FN: Well yeah, it already is…it has been for a while now. There’s tons of talent waiting to be discovered there, and Minneapolis has one of the best night life scenes in America.
KW: You’ve been blowing up, over 20k followers on Twitter, opening up for Big Sean and Vince Staples, could you talk a little bit about how that experience has been?
FN: Yeah, those opportunities were amazing. The Big Sean show was highly overwhelming. Being in front of 5,000 people who’ve never heard your music was highly nerve-wracking. But, it was a very, very big learning experience, that show literally prepared me for shows like Vince Staples, SoundSet, and now Zombie Pub Crawl. I cracked the formula to keeping a large crowd entertained and turnt up with that experience. You become a different kind of artist after things like that. You’re forced to or you get washed out.
KW: What would you say was the big break that has gotten you some exposure with these big name artists?
FN: In 2015, it was the success of “Lots” that opened doors for me. I can’t even lie about that. That would be the “big break” for me I guess. Or my very first Red Bull show with Post Malone. I utterly destroyed that set and after that Red Bull wanted to see more of me. Those are instances that I feel helped elevate my game and really put me on the radar. But, when it comes to an actual big break, I can tell you that I haven’t gotten it yet.
KW: What are some of the labels that generally sign up and coming hip hop artists like yourself?
FN: An artist like me would probably be hounded to be signed by any label you can think of that seeks a hardworking, self-sustaining, artist/songwriter/producer/brand that has a genuine cult following.
KW: And are you pro label? With guys like Chance the Rapper going the self-promotion, anti-label route, is that something you’re interested in?
FN: I mean, I know as of right now, if a label couldn’t offer me a million dollars, I wouldn’t sign a single sheet of paper. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m against being signed. It’s a tricky situation and something that would have to be thought out carefully.
KW: I see you’re very into fashion, is that something that you feel has helped define your image?
FN: I would say so, especially being influenced by Kanye and Pharrell, it’s pretty cool that now I have my own look that other artists in my city are influenced by. Thanks to local brands who helped shape my image like Mermaids & Accolades, NoFLASHYshit, Winsome, and more.
KW: You’ve tweeted over 77k times, you ever get carpal tunnel?
FN: Haha no, not yet. Imagine how many raps I’ve written on my phone, haha.
Listen to Finding Novyon here.