Our 'ON THE SPOT ' interview series highlights individuals throughout the creative community for their contributions to art and culture. Putting these artists "on the spot" we created a space where creatives and innovators tap into the conversation to uplift and continue to inspire the creative community. Next up is...NOBA .
Noba's Latest Release "Choose U": Prioritizing Self-Love and Moving Forward; Noba, a singer-songwriter born in Mpumalanga, South Africa, and raised in Johannesburg before making her way to the U.S., has been captivated by music from a young age. She graduated from The College of Performing Arts - The New School, majoring in Jazz & Contemporary Music as a Vocalist. Her musical journey began at the age of six with piano lessons, singing in church alongside her mother, and participating in school choirs and various art programs.
Drawing from her rich heritage and diverse influences, Noba's sound blends Jazz, RnB, Neo Soul, and Pop. Her voice exudes a clear, smooth, and warm sensation. Known for her empowering and relatable lyrics, has recently debuted her latest single "Choose U". This upbeat and catchy tune encourages listeners to prioritize self-love and moving forward, rather than dwelling on past relationships. "Choose U" resonates with anyone who has struggled to let go of a previous lover. Noba's lyrics remind us that clinging to the past only leads to losses, while choosing ourselves brings about positive change. The song serves as a reminder of the importance of self-preservation. With her unique blend of Afrobeats and Soul, Noba showcases soulful vocals and honest lyrics in "Choose U", making it an instant hit. This song is sure to become a favorite among fans. "I wrote 'Choose U' as a personal reminder, as well as an inspiration for others, to focus on our own happiness," expressed Noba. "I hope this song motivates listeners to release the past and prioritize themselves, as that is what truly matters. Dedicating time and energy to the past doesn't always serve us. That was my lesson."
Take us back, do you recall the moment you told yourself "I'm going to make this my
career", describe that moment. What made you pursue this career?
I remember being quite young, I was such a fan of Destiny’s Child, Mariah Carey, Alicia
Keys and the Black Eyed Peas. All these people epitomised who I wanted to be. I remember
being super obsessed with “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. The outfits, the choreography and
the song itself were incredible. So I would say really around the age of like 8 to 10, I made
the decision that I wanted to be a singer. As I got older I was drawn into self-expression and
How would you describe your artistic style?
I would describe it as a fusion of neo-soul and subsaharan roots.
Mental health is important and the life of an artist has its ups and downs. What has
been the hardest change in your life you had to go through and what helped you get
through that time?
More recently, the pursuit of music full-time. It is so rewarding to be part of the arts but it can
also be very challenging when it comes to compensation and the fluidity of that. That has
been a challenge and what has helped me has been my amazing and supportive family, as
well as my faith in Christ.
Photographer : @visualsbydaddyque
Camera Assistant : @justjackienochan
Lighting : @shanna_granger
Prod. Company : @narrativeaesthetics
Are there any specific artists or movements that have influenced your work?
There are a ton of artists. I would highlight Jill Scott and Lauryn Hill. Neo Soul captured my
heart. It made me focus on sincere storytelling and not just the entertainment aspect that first
attracted me. It is a full scope of artists and different sounds that have played a role in the music I create. From Gospel to RnB and even Hip Hop.
If you had to title this chapter in your life, what would it be?
A Season of Woodshedding
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
I just learned how to drive and got my driver's licence. I know shocking at my big age, but no
one needs to drive in New York lol. So yeah that's been fun and frustrating.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
"Never place your value system on others" My Dad would always say this, it has been a lifesaver. It seems so simple but can be so hard to practice. But when you do, life becomes so much easier.
Has there ever been a time when you felt like giving up and starting a new path? What
keeps you focused?
Oh my gosh, yes! I am encouraged because I know that this is my purpose. I always check in
with God and have him give me the encouragement I need haha. The only way I am doing
this is because of his provision and I know that it's his plan. I reference Jeremiah 29:11 and
Jeremiah 1:5 a lot.
What has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you recently?
Recently I was booked for a small festival; Féte de la Musique Festival. They hosted a
workshop for artists before the Festival. It was a great experience and I got to meet such
In your opinion, whom do you consider to be a visionary? What about them do you
My Dad. I admire how committed he is; to everything. He sees things through.
How do you show up for yourself? As in, what’s self-care look like for you?
I am a very detailed and organized person, so that aids in the success of taking care of myself. I look at my needs and focus on ways to make my life easier. Small and simple acts like prepping outfits and hair the day before an event. Also exercising being present. I want to enjoy life and not just enjoy the content I create. So I make a conscious effort to take time from social media, or not watch a show when eating food and reading books has been a great escape.
The past years have been life-changing. What's something new you've learned or
discovered about yourself in the past 3 years? How have you applied that to your work?
I know this is so cliche but not everybody is going to like you and at times they may not even
have a reason. I tended to want to impress or people please to an extent. And that doesn't
work! Avoiding conflict to "keep the peace" doesn't work. This taught me to just do me, as best as I can and never look back. In my music, I create and express from my standpoint and empathise. But what I cannot do is cater and please everybody and their mama. It's just not possible. So to act and lead with love is what matters, but assert yourself and voice your boundaries. That's extremely important.
What was the inspiration for your new project? Can you tell us more about the meaning
behind the music?
My "ex" contacted me out of the blue and wanted to meet. This is a reflection on that
encounter and who I understand him to be. And I learnt that not everybody deserves your
time, your sympathy, your understanding and your care. So CHOOSE U.
Describe the creative process. When did you know you had the final cut?
This song was tricky, I have never had to re-write a song so much. The creative process was
lengthy, just because of the time between Justin Carter (producer) and me. We were in
different countries and there was honestly so much happening.
Usually, I create the instrumental backdrop and have lyrics in place to present. But this time
around Justin Carter came to me with this beat. We had meetings and discussed the form and what we felt was a good sweet spot. The guitar was such a beautiful element he thought to add. It truly makes the song. I wanted to make sure it was just perfect! So we went back and forth between different versions. I added a few vocal embellishments and we always checked in to see if the other was happy. And soon after we were done.
What do you feel has been your biggest growth as an artist?
My music making. I started experimenting with production and yeah I feel as if I have had so
much growth in my writing, in getting comfortable with my vocal expression and I am just so
excited about what else I'll create.
Following your dreams comes with many ups and downs. What would say is the hardest
thing about following your dreams?
I think it's the false perception of stagnation. In the world of the arts, there isn't a straight and
narrow path to follow, like someone who aspires to be a lawyer. You don't really have the
best gauge of "success". Because it is also quite personal. Is it being written about? Respected by your peers? Well known? It's not just one thing or being seen. So being easy on oneself is so important.
In your opinion, what do you think is not fair about today's music industry?
How do you hope your artwork resonates with viewers or impacts the world?
I hope it's a breath of fresh air that helps lighten the load of everyday stresses. I really want
people to exhale with me
What's next for you artistically?
More music! I would love to produce my music.
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