MNOVA New Release+ Interview

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Stateside" USA Release and "Seoulside" Korean Release (from left to right)

Attention Attention, You are about to witness a cavscorner exclusive. For the first time we talk to the man behind the beats. The Exclusive Interview of MNOVA. The brand new album, or should I say albums, "State and Soul" break it down. Then he went further and not only did he release an album in English, he spit some serious verbs in Korean* too.

*I do not speak Korean but this album made me want to go buy Rosetta Stone.


CC: What was the concept behind this album and what would you consider to be your primary influence for your vision of State and Soul? 

CC: I love daft punk, the inclusion of the samples in your songs "SOTB" and "Dream Girl" really stepped up the game for me, do you consider your music to be something to dance to, chill, or the banging beats in the background?

MNOVA: "The concept behind this album was to show how versatile I can be with both languages and at the same time, show different styles of music (i.e. some songs will be more laid back but some others will be a club feel, others more electronic, etc.). I wanted to cover all grounds. It's for everyone, whether they are Asian or American, people familiar with hip-hop or not. I wanted to make the songs very accessible, energetic, all feel good. While lacing in some mainstream pop/electro trends, I focused on making it authentic to hip-hop in the lyrics and music."

CC: Almost impossible question but, name some of your favorite bands/groups/rappers. GO

MNOVA: [In no particular order] "Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, M-Flo, Pharrell, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, (old) Eminem, and Lil Wayne"

CC: I saw that you have been in the music game since college, what would you say some of the challenges along the way have been for you?

MNOVA: "My main challenge has always been finding the right direction and creative concept of my album. For a while, I thought this would come from being active in the music scene, recording songs, and doing shows. Although these are all the right things to do, I knew I had to do something beyond that to really distinguish myself from others. That meant, I had to be active in investing my time and resources on the right things, recording songs over the right beats. and doing shows at the right venues. A lot of musicians in college all work hard, but either fall out from their projects or have the tendency to sound the same as everyone else. To avoid this, one process involves finding producers who have not only an awesome, distinguishing sound but also a similar perspective on music."

CC: follow up - How have these challenges impacted your music and how do you continue to be real to what you like to produce and not just what people want to hear?

MNOVA: "Finding the balance between what I want to produce and what people want to hear is somewhat difficult. Initially, I always make songs that I myself would like to hear and after I make a rough, I'd speak with my artistic consultants, producer, etc. and hear their ideas. I always stay open-minded with their feedback and make the necessary changes from their responses. With a creative writing background, I can apply the same things I've learned from Intro to Poetry into music: "Write for yourself, revise for others""

CC: How long have you been writing rhymes, and when did you start performing?

MNOVA: "I've been writing rhymes since I was a freshman in high school ever since my older brother started up a local hip-hop group, C4. I also did spoken word back then and even had the chance to be part of the NC Youth Slam team my junior year. I think these experiences at an early age played a big part in why I still continue doing music. I started performing seriously during senior year of high school when I formed a live hip-hop band. Once in college, I performed alone, with C4, and others, trying to find as many performance opportunities as possible."

Want to learn more? Check out his story here.

Now on to the music...
The songs have everything you are looking for, smooth rhymes to upbeat bangers. I have to put my money on the Korean set, its got a solid beat and it keeps popping in my head. "SOTB" (Sex on the Beach) makes me think of my roots in Florida, and then it brings up all those ridiculous nights in Myrtle Beach during Beach Week and finally makes me wish they had this song playing while I swung from the poles at SpeeGee. "SOTB" takes Daft Punk and puts a great spin on it, nice work. Then "Doing Alright" plays my heartstrings with a clubby beat, strong vocals with a solid female backing up. It WILL keep your head bobbing. Overall "Seoulside" has the songs for pumping up the heat.

As for the "Stateside" releases, if you are unaware of what smooth music is then this will educate you a bit. "Flow" (one of the bonus tracks you might still be able to get if you download now) features Allen Mask and Andy Stavas of Kiev who give me the Gorillaz vibe and I really dug their collaboration on this track. "Just Wanna" has a great sound to it and check out "Tonight" if you are wondering what Kanye West would sound like if he got better. jokes, Kanye is up there, but MNOVA you are blowing up, respect and good luck in your career.

Peep my favorites from the new albums

Bonus game: Find the Daft Punk sample at the end of the song and post in the comments which song, first one gets to choose next weeks feature.

Seoulside     |     Stateside

Bonus tracks and free download only until 2.28.2011, hurry the hell up.

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