Here is my brand new single "Invincible Joy" which is now available to download from iTunes amazon and all digital stores.
You can listen to the original and remix here and one of the bonus beats I added. When you buy the single you get to see the other bonus track! Click HERE to download from iTunes or HERE to download it from Amazon! It is available on all other digital outlets including Google play and you even stream it on spotify!
Thanks for your support!!
Here is my latest video blog just talking about what's been going on with me and my official new single "Invincible Joy" which will be out on May 1st and will be available on itunes and all digitalstores! Check out the artwork below.
OK so I have been doing this thing where I drop a new track at the end of every month, this one came a bit late due to it being easter. This is a track which is going to be on my up coming EP which is totally produced by myself. I will announce it's name and when it is dropping very soon so stay tuned! For now move to this royal rhythm! ha!
06:22 | | 0 Comments
I said I would be doing these more frequently, well 2 weeks later...... haha
Here is another beat I did recently. There was a day I did 2 in a session back to back and this was one of them.
I wasn't feeling very happy today. I had a serious case of the blues so I started tinkering around with an idea to sample one of those songs I used to hear on a CD in my mum's house. She's catholic and it's one of those choirs that do chants. The music is so beautiful and really does seem to make you feel calm and peaceful.
So this was the outcome of my messing about. I listened to this all day after making it on repeat like for hours and hours. lol
Like I have been saying I am in beating making mode. I made this today. All I gotta say is listening to Justin Timberlake's new album has inspired me. hahaha!
I have always been saying I will video blog more. Well I am gonna try and be consistent lol.
10:48 | | 0 Comments
I am still in beat making mode. I have made enough music for two albums. In fact I have gone beyond that. The other day I counted how many beats I have made and I was shocked to find out I have made 100 beats WOW! I have decided to kick things off by dropping an EP created entirely by me BEFORE we get into the two albums proper.
Anyway more about that soon. For now I just decided to share this beat that I made. It is not going to be on the EP. I don't even think I will record on it, I just like it as it is. I sampled a track called "Hold My Hand" by the amazingly talented Rachel Kerr. In fact I will post her track below mine. Enjoy.
So here is a little net video for the 1st song I wrote and produced myself. I guess you gotta capture moments like this and this is exactly what this video and song is about. I am at a very interesting point in my journey. I will let the music do the talking.
Well the year is in full swing and as I write this snow hit London yesterday properly and it is mad cold. I am back recording stuff because I am feeling very inspired at the moment.
I have put the situation of the album that just came out "Delayed But Not Denied" (you can read about it HERE) behind me and I feel like I am starting afresh. The message of that album is still relevant even though the way it came out wasn't the way I wanted but that's cool it is all part of the journey I am on. I am thankful for all the lessons I learnt because they are very valuable lessons.
I used to try to make beats before and sometimes I've had a say in the direction producers who have worked with me went with the sound they produced for songs I have released. This is the first time I have gotten confident enough to record on beats I am making and letting anyone hear them.
When I did the first album I ever released called "just as I AM: The Prequel" I worked a lot with Rodney Rockerz who has that bounce and sound I like. He is a sampling master though which caused me to have to drop a lot of tracks we recorded from the original version of that album. I ended up giving those tracks for free with others on my "Deleted Scenes Mixtape"
I once took him a Mahalia Jackson CD because I wanted to see if he could sample her version of the popular hymn "just as I am" He didn't seem to be able to do it satisfactorily no matter how much he tried. Fast forward to the future and I have learnt how to use a drum machine to sample and I have sampled the very record Rodney was finding it hard to sample and I've made a song out of it that I've decided to simply call "Mahalia"
I remember when I was a kid I asked my mum to by me some gospel music. I expected her to buy me Kirk Franklin but she bought me a Mahalia Jackson tape. I mean WHO DOES THAT? haha. I didn't really appreciate her until later. If you don't know who Mahalia Jackson is, ask Uncle Google and he will tell you.
The new track I have produced and recorded will be out on January 27th and it will be free.
06:25 | | 2 Comments
I think this year the Christmas/new year hype ended faster for me. There is nothing wrong with some Christmas cheer and new year optimism. You have to be like a surfer and ride the wave knowing the general hype is going to end. Also you have to be able to navigate the killjoys who always seem to react negatively to the collective upbeat hype as well. Shout out to the grinches. Like I said around Christmas, no grinch won't kill my vibe, grinch won't kill my vibe haha!
I use this period to be thankful for the year, reflect on it, personally assess where I am at and get my mind right for the year. I also use this period to write things down that I want to achieve. I try to break it down into steps because as much as it is good to have a good general vision for inspiration only taking those small steps towards it will make it happen.
I think the theme for me that is developing is I need to take radical steps in my personal development and growth. I really can't be easy on myself, I have to do what I have to do and that is my mindset now more than ever before. It is evolve or be extinct, change or die, adapt or be irrelevant, grow or be stagnant. That is me generally.
To reflect how I feel this is a poem I wrote called R.I.O.T which is an acronym for Radical Invasion Of Truth. It is my whole internal attitude right now. Inside me I am feeling a sense of urgency and I want to move forward! Much success and breakthroughs to you this year. Let's get to it!
07:02 | | 2 Comments
So Lecrae got nominated for a grammy, why are some folks not happy with the category he was nominated in?
I am going to try to make this a short one and I
am probably going to fail but I will try.
Ok this has been a very interesting year for Lecrae. His journey has been very interesting and inspiring to watch.
If you are familiar with Lecrae and his moves in the music biz I don't have to repeat the story, all I will say is a shift has happened with Lecrae and personally I find the shift and growth encouraging, I know there are those who will not agree with that but to each their own.
So now for the 2nd time Lecrae is up for a Grammy, last time around he was in Best Rock Gospel Album (that was in 2011) and he didn't win it. The rock group Switchfoot took it (I like Switchfoot because I like how the lead singer Jon Foreman thinks, it is Jon who said "we are Christian by faith not by genre" but I digress), now the Grammys have discontinued that award category and now we have Best Contemporary Christian Album and Best Gospel Album.
Lecrae has been nominated in the gospel album award for his latest album "Gravity" which has been his most commercially successful album, as of September 23 it has sold 103,000 copies. For an independent Christian rap artist that is huge. So everything should be lovely and sweet. Well for some it isn't.
I saw a post on Rapzilla announcing lecrae's award nomination and when I got to the comments section I saw some fans expressing their dissatisfaction with him being nominated in this category (go and have a look at it HERE read the comments section) They said they would have preferred he was nominated in the best rap album category. Which has:
Drake: Take Care
Lupe Fiasco: Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt 1
Nas: Life is Good
The Roots: Undun
Rick Ross: God Forgives, I don't
2 Chainz: Based on a T.R.U. Story
Looking at the nominees for that category I can honestly say "Gravity" by Lecrae deserves to be there but unfortunately it isn't the case and until Lecrae is able to fully break out of the Christian/Gospel genre/market box of perception he is stuck in, it is not gonna happen. In this industry he is branded as a Christian/Gospel artist. This is how he came up as an independent Christian rapper from the sub-genre called Christian Hip Hop. He might personally be trying to change this branding and even to an extent be succeeding in shifting perception but the fact he got nominated in the gospel album category and not best rap album category shows that he is still in that box as far as the industry is concerned. Even if he was nominated in the rap album category I don't think he would win, I think that award is between "take care" by Drake and "life is good" by Nas.
This is just the problem with defining a genre primarily by it's lyrical content and not it's musical style. Lecrae has been working hard to break out of this box and be seen as a Hip Hop/Rap artist this year and not just relegated and stuck in the niche of the Christian/Gospel market but it has been a hard fight for him. Perception is everything. Let's look at this a bit closer.
Lecrae decided to drop defining himself as a "Christian rapper" as well as pushing the idea of "Christian Hip Hop" this year. He is not saying he is not a Christian anymore or even slighting the community of Christian Hip Hop Fans either but just saying that like Mos Def and Lupe Fiasco who are muslims but are regarded as Hip Hop artists and therefore have a place in the wider hip hop community/marketplace, he wants to be similar. One who is authenically a Hip Hop artist but one who is authentically a Christian reflecting a Christian worldview in his songs and lyrics to a wider audience. It is really simple but he has faced a severe backlash from some fans of Christian Hip Hop who think he is "selling out" and "watering down" Of course such comments are silly because listening to his "Church Clothes" mixtape and his album "Gravity" it is clear he isn't doing any of that. If he has changed at all it is for the better as far as I can see.
I think the main reason Lecrae got this backlash is because some christians are so invested in Christian rap/Hip Hop as a genre that they quite possibly define themselves by their attachment to it. Doing that is actually not the best because as a Christian your identity is defined by faith in Christ and not by your involvement in a genre even if it is labelled "Christian" like I say in a line "Don't get it twisted I'm defined by my faith not a genre/it's not a subculture that makes me more than conqueor"
The business of selling music in the niche market of Christian music depends on this labelling of music as "Christian" or "Gospel" so those who own "Christian" labels NEED to call what they sell Christian because it seems that is the fastest and easiest way to tap into the "Christian" market. It doesn't mean everyone who does it this way will be successful but it sure does help labeling things this way when it comes to the marketing side of things to a Christian audience and that cannot be denied. It's just the way it is, even if in some cases it makes things a bit weird. I guess the word Christian isn't always a good adjective (is it ever a good adjective?) and is a better noun.
So now we have Lecrae nominated in the best gospel album category. For most of us in the UK we would have no problem with that at all. Over here if you are a Christian and you are black and you talk about your faith in Christ in your music you are called a gospel artist period no matter what style of music you do. Even if you make the most amazing Hip Hop album or grime album or R&B album, there is no other option it seems unless you abandon calling yourself a gospel artist altogether but that might not even work, if you are "gospel by association" once you emerge from the "gospel scene" as it is called, it seems you are labelled as a gospel artist for life. In the UK we don't even use definitions like Christian Hip Hop or have a CHH community even though there are are Christians that rap. Sometimes it is hard for folks in the UK to understand how Christian Hip Hop/Rap isn't seen as part of the gospel genre by the fans in America.
The fact that some American Christian rap/hip hop fans are not happy with lecrae being nominated in the gospel category just highlights what I always tell UK folks, Christian Rap/Hip Hop isn't regarded as part of the gospel genre by the fans of the music in America but as far as industry definitions go, Gospel music is Christian music by black people and Christian rap/Hip Hop falls under that. It seems Lecrae even with his efforts to be regarded as an authentic hip hop artist will not be able to escape this. No matter how many BET Hip Hop cyphers he's in, no matter how many mainstream rap artists he features on his projects or how many mainstream hip hop co-signs he gets.
Ok I have gone on for too long, I knew it would be long one lol. What is the bottom line of all this? I dunno. I guess awareness of how genre definitions can be limiting is something I wanted to highlight. Sometimes an artist just wants to be free from all this but marketing depends on labeling and some fans seem to depend on this labeling of music genres for their identity which is not a healthy thing if you ask me. So congrats to Lecrae for being nominated for a Grammy maybe one day you might be able to be in the best rap album category and if you are a fan of Christian rap/Hip Hop or Gospel Music try to understand how industry/genre definitions work, it is hard to explain if you are not actually involved in the music industry and are just a fan. Anyway here are the full nominations for "best gospel music album" the category Lecrae is in:
Identity: James Fortune & FIYA
Jesus At The Centre Live: Israel & New Breed
I Win: Marvin Sapp
Worship Soul: Anita Wilson
Oh yeah I have to add this before somebody throws it out there, we know that it is not about awards and the accolades of men but God's reward. Yeah I know this BUT I only wrote this blog because of some comments I saw in the comments section of the Rapzilla Post about this. Hehehe
UPDATE: This blog entry was written way before the Grammy awards happened. I would like to say congratulations to Lecrae and Reach Records for his Grammy win. I have to say I was surprised but it was well deserved. This further makes me wonder how the Christian Hip Hop community will take this if some were not happy with his nomination in this category in the first place?
Since "Delayed But Not Denied" dropped I have been quiet on the blogging front. I mean I have been posting on my tumblr (http://karlnova.tumblr.com) and on my twitter: (http://www.twitter.com/karlnova) but I haven't felt like blogging here properly for a while.
I think the whole situation of how the album came out really threw me into an emotional whirlwind. (you can read about that by clicking HERE) It made me feel like quitting making albums after the next 2 projects I am cooking up. I still feel that way but I am not giving a definite decision on that.
I am glad I got to tour Paris for 10 days immediately after the album dropped. I LOVE PARIS! That was my first time there. I think the whole novelty of visiting for the first time made it a magical experience! While I was out there I made a whole song called "made in france" and even talked to some video people about shooting a video, so watch out for that!
I also have been getting reviews for the album! I even got a review on Soulculture which is a highly respected website. Here is the link to the review: http://www.soulculture.co.uk/music-blog/newmusic/karl-nova-delayed-but-not-denied-album-stream/
Here is another review by another respected website called DaSouth out in the US: http://www.dasouth.com/reviews/10473-karl-nova-delayed-but-not-denied
I also got some press! I was in The Voice newspaper. Big up Marcia Dixon for this! Unfortunately it came out when I was out in Paris but you can read the article online here: http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/hes-not-be-denied
As always my folks over at M-Brio music have backed me too, check the feature I got over there: http://m-briomusic.com/karl-nova-releases-sophomore-album-delayed-but-not-denied/
I have also been enjoying settling into being a radio presenter on Premier with my own show "The Writer's Block" I have had many great guests. It has been great! You can read a funny Q&A I did about it here: http://www.premiergospel.org.uk/presenters/25
I didn't even plan for this post to be this long, Haha. Anyway apart from all this that has been going on I have been making beats and doing a whole lot of writing. I have done so much writing I have written 2 whole new projects. The whole experience of being able to make my own beats has been so therapeutic for me. I can't wait to share these projects with you. I already have a theme that is developing. There will be more about that soon!
Here are couple of the beats I have made and believe me I have a WHOLE STASH of them!