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2017 was an amazing year for music. Many milestone achievements can be noted from throughout the year, and the recent BRIT nominations are a great reflection of some of the musical highlights. Stormzy broke all of the rules with his number 1 album as an independent artist, leading to multiple awards and accolades. J Hus released his certified gold and Mercury Prize nominated album ‘Common Sense’ to critical acclaim. Ragnbone Man had the fastest selling male debut of the decade, newcomers such as Sigrid made her mark with ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ as well as being crowned the winner of The BBC Sound of 2018. Billie Eilish continued to wow tastemakers alike with her unique take on pop. SZA created her own lane last year as she released her highly anticipated debut album Ctrl, which is expected to sweep the upcoming Grammy Awards. And who can forget the mesmerising vocals from talented Jorja Smith who independently took home the Brits Critic’s Choice Award.

It is time to look to the future and the musicians who we predict could break this kind of ground for this year. PAUSE Magazine has got together with an exciting line up of artists and musicians who have been bubbling and making waves recently, who we think you should keep your eyes on. Some of them had serious breakthroughs in 2017, from already gaining millions of YouTube views and Spotify streams all the way down to selling out headline shows to producing gold albums, and are now ready to take it up a level. In collaboration with Imran Malik Publicity, allow us to introduce to you to our PAUSE Class of 2018, featuring JGrrey, Ebenezer, Desta French, Louis VI, Kamille, Bassette, IAMDDB, Empara Mi, Jelani Blackman, Au/Ra, Pearl De Luna, JAE5, NSG and Poppy Ajudha.

Photographer: Eva Pentel //@evapentel
Stylist (Girls): Jen Eleto  // @jenelectro
Stylist (Boys): Taija Leorelle // @taija_leorelle
Stylist for IAMDDB: Daisy Deane // @daisydeane
Stylist for Ebenezer: Kirubel Belay // @kay_belay
Assistant Stylist: Aidan Rana //@axydn
Interviewer: Novar FLIP //@novarflip
Artists: JGrrey, Ebenezer, Desta French, Louis VI, Kamille, Bassette, IAMDDB, Empara Mi, Jelani Blackman, Au/Ra, Pearl De Luna, JAE5, NSG, Poppy Ajudha
Creative: PM Creative
Talent from: Imran Malik Publicity // @imranmalikpublicity

JGrrey

Fenty x Puma Tracksuit @ Flannels

 

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

JGRREY: Does it have to do with music? I built a dining table by myself [Laughs]. It looks sick. It took me two days.

Novar FLIP: [Laughs] That’s dope. Do you have a musical moment though?

JGRREY: Radio play. Having some heavy radio play on my songs, like Radio One and 1Xtra… But mainly the dining table [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

JGRREY: I guess just more visuals, more music. I’ve got some cool stuff lined up. Live shows.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

JGRREY: Probably a song that’s not released. I’ve got a song with a guy called Kadiata.

Novar FLIP: Ahh, I’m a big fan.

JGRREY: Shut up. Yeah, so I’ve got this crazy song he produced for me. It’s crazy because I’m Kadiata’s biggest fan, and he’s super underrated, he doesn’t even know how sick he is. He didn’t even know I think highly of him, and one day he just sent me a tune and was like: Try pattern this. He sent me a voice note and was like: Oh, I was thinking maybe. he did this crazy melody. I literally did exactly what he did, but I sung it, and then he patterned it so sick.

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

JGRREY: Ronnie Scott’s or somewhere. Yeah, Ronnie Scott’s.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

JGRREY: Kojey Radical. I’ve been meaning to work with him for a minute now, and he’s just getting better and better. We just need to link up and finally do it.

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

JGRREY: Probably the sessions, the writing. Yeah definitely. The actual process of getting in the studio with someone who you may not know, and being able to figure them out musically.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

JGRREY: Grey with two r’s. I hate these sorts of questions. botanical, grey and moody.

Novar FLIP: What does that first one mean? [Laughs].

JGRREY: Botanical just means you’re into plants and s**t. I’ve got an insane amount at my house. I got like forty, bonsai, and lots of cacti.

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

JGRREY: Not in England, with bare money in my bank. I don’t even care what I’m doing. I know I’ve got money, so I can do whatever I want to do.

JGrrey’s ‘Don’t Fade’ out now via Stripes Records.

Click Here To Check Out Her Instagram

Ebenezer

Prior to launching his own music career in 2017, Ebenezer had been active behind the scenes writing and producing for Craig David, Ty Dolla Sign, Lyrica Anderson, Eric Bellinger and more. This work lead to labels falling across his artist project and a number of offers on the table. As a UK, based artist with a sound that has universal appeal, Ebenezer managed to land a deal with Virgin EMI in the UK, and another with Interscope Records in the US. He released a number of songs in 2017, starting with a feature along-side ADP and Jeremih, and then leading to his first official solo single ‘Cliché’. Ask Around and ‘Survival’ followed, and the momentum can only indicate a very promising 2018 for the talented singer, song-writer and producer.

Ebenezer’s recent single ‘F**k It’ is out now via Virgin EMI.

Click Here To Check Out His Instagram

Desta French

Bra – Urban Outfitters
Coat – Felder Felder

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Desta French: Just feeling really self-sufficient this year. I just finished a music video that I self-directed with the music producer I work with called Jamal Hadaway. I’m just super excited about that.

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

Desta French: Definitely making more music because I feel like I’ve been quite focused on releasing stuff and doing the videos, because I’m so involved in it. I’m just looking forward to thinking about a proper body of work.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

Desta French: I would say the one I’ve just shot a video for called Mention. Just because that’s what’s fresh to me right now, and that’s where I am, I guess.

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

Desta French: I’m doing a support slot at the Jazz Café for Roy Ayers. I’m from Camden, so that’s kind of gassy (exciting) for me.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Desta French: I want to work with CASisDEAD.

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

Desta French: Whenever you’re in the stream of something really impulsive, in the studio writing something, and you’re in that proper moment. Or doing a video and everyone’s vibing together. Just any moment that feels really magical. That’s my favourite moment.

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

Desta French: I just hope [being] self-improved, really. To look on this year and be like yeah, you’re better.

Desta’s recent single ‘Needing U’ is out now.

Click Here To Check Out Her Instagram

Louis VI

Denim – KSUBI x Travis Scott @ Browns
Jumper – Oliver Spencer
Shorts – Oliver Spencer
Trainers – Nike
Sunglasses – Vintage Trap

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Louis VI: Probably two of my proudest moment were performing at a sold-out show at the Jazz Café for Souls of Mischief. I performed two tracks form this upcoming project that no one has ever heard before. The whole crowd was just chanting along: ‘Free Your Mind’, which is the whole vibe for the next project. It was just surreal. The music was off, and there was six-hundred people chanting my s**t that they’d never even heard. And then, when I got invited to go to the States, to record some of this next project. Meeting Erykah Badu was crazy. That was like: My music’s got me to meet one of my idols. She was so humble. I was humbled that everything that had happened up to that point had got me there.

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

Louis VI: Dropping this next project. Putting out singles, visuals, and showing people the progression. The last project was really introspective, and was talking about me coming out of a really dark time and depression. This ones much more ‘outrospective’ and talks about how I came out of that. Its kind of like this elevation of mind and body, but its also then coming back to the reality, and dealing with the background entity of darkness that’s going on around the world, but also in myself.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

Louis VI: I’d probably play you ‘Space Dust’ first. It’s the most of my one side- the trippy, weird, ethereal, experimental s**t. And the most digestible and energising at the same time. So, my two ying and yangs meeting in the middle the most.

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

Louis VI: I’d like to perform on a good size Glastonbury stage. That would be nice. Every time I’ve performed at a festival, it’s been amazing. I performed at a KOKO show before, but having it as a solo, sold out would be amazing aswell. Those kind of masses where everyone’s in a zone already, and you can just turn this metaphorical meter where everyone goes into a weird kind ‘of-trance’. Any kind of stage that allows that.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Louis VI: I’m a huge fan of Divine Council and they had Andre 3000 feature on their s**t, and I mean Andre 3000 is the dream collaboration always. I’d love to collaborate with man like Skepta out here as well. Just because I think he’s always been so unique in his approach. I’d love to see how he approaches a song that’s in my style. Nao would be dope as well, and James Blake.

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

Louis VI: Performing. I always wish I could re-record everything once I’ve performed it. Because you suddenly understand the song in a whole different way, and what parts react with what people. And it also reacts totally differently to you when you’re on stage because it’s almost like… You’re so unaware of anything else but what the song feels [like] for you. And it’s so raw what it makes you feel on that stage, it really dictates how you perform it. I think that’s my favourite part.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

Louis VI: Honest, dark and light.

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

Louis VI: I hope it’s somewhere hot, first of all. I hope it’s around people I love, and my peers, where we’ve all risen to a point where we’re able todo what we can, so we’re celebrating it by doing a massive show, with everyone that I’ve always made music with. I think that would be a vibe.

Louis VI is set to release a string of new music next month from his upcoming project.

Click Here To Check Out His Instagram

Kamille

Jacket – Yeezy  @ Browns

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Kamille: Putting out my first single ‘Body’. For me, that was a massive moment, I’ve been waiting to do that for years. About five years I’ve been waiting for that moment.

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

Kamille: More music, creating more. I’ve got loads of songs coming with other artists that I’m excited about. Just getting loads of music out is the main thing that excites me.

Novar FLIP: Any of them specifically more than others?

Kamille: No, because I love all of them as much as I love my own music. My thrill is just getting music out. It’s all I care about.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, and you write music for loads of people [Laughs], so you can answer this however you want. What song would you play first?

Kamille: That’s a hard one. You always ask such good questions. I’d probably play ‘Body’, actually. I think that was the first song where I was extremely creative and I had no brief. I had no plans going into it and that’s just what came out that day. It means a lot, because the people I wrote it with are really special to me.

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

Kamille: Do you know what? I just want to perform anywhere, where people really, really want to see me, so I don’t really mind. I’m happy to perform anywhere, I’m just really excited about it.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Kamille: Pharrell. For me, he is a dream. If I can get there one day, that would make me so happy.

Novar FLIP: What is it about him?

Kamille: He taught me how to create, to produce and to play instruments. I learned that from him. I think we all did.

Novar FLIP: How do you think your styles will work together?

Kamille: He works with everyone. I think I’m similar to him, in the way that he wants to create music from a chord perspective, and from a musicality that he’s learned from when he was really young. I think we would create something amazing together. If it ever happens, I pray, that would be a dream collab.

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

Kamille: I think the favourite part is the freedom of expression. For me as an artist, I can say whatever the hell I want, and no one is going to say: That’s a bit too much, or: Are you sure about that? I think when I’m writing for other artists I have to be aware of them, I have to be aware of the label, and make sure I’m doing something that fits them. But for me, as an artist, I can just do whatever the f**k I want and it’s really amazing.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

Kamille: Silly, childish, clumsy [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

Kamille: With friends and family.

Kamilles’ ‘My Heads A Mess’ EP is out now via Virgin EMI.

Click Here To Check Out Her Instagram

Bassette

Crop Top – Fendi @ Flannels
Bomber – Stand @ Flannels
Bum Bag – Urban Outfitter

 

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Bassette: Probably performing in Paris. That was my first show away and I loved it. The audience loved it too and it was a sold out, so it was really cool

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

Bassette: My next single. It’s going to be dropping in January, so that’s pretty exciting. I’m going to have visuals for the first time.

Novar FLIP: That’s pretty early in the year. What’s next after that?

Bassette: Hopefully, a lot more shows. Lots of travelling, and an EP hopefully, early on in the year.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

Bassette: I would play ‘Playing For You’ because that’s the closest to where I want my sound to be. [It’s] a good reflection of me.

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

Bassette: Probably Bermuda, which is where I’m from. Every year they organise an ‘America’s Cup’, and everyone on the island just gets together, watches the boats race and the sports. They also have musical acts performing.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Bassette: Probably Cardi B [Laughs]. I just love her. She’s so cool, she’s so funny [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: What do you think it would sound like?

Bassette: It would sound pretty lit [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

Bassette: Probably writing at home by myself [Laughs]. That’s the most fun part.

Novar FLIP: I think you get the best work done when you’re by yourself.

Bassette: Yeah 100%, when I’m by myself. I’ll work with a producer in the studio, we’ll make a beat together, go home, I’ll write that night and the next day I’ll record it.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

Bassette: Funny [Laughs]. I think I’m funny. I’m quite quiet. [And] relaxed.

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of2018?

Bassette: I want to be at an all-white party with Beyoncé and Jay Z, and Ed Sheeran as well [Laughs]. And we’re just gonna be celebrating the new year. And talking about my collaboration with Beyoncé.

Novar FLIP: I thought it was Cardi B? [Laughs].

Bassette: Cardi B is this year [Laughs]. For 2019, I’m reaching for Beyoncé.

Bassette’s new single ‘Bermuda’ is out now.

Click Here To Check Out Her Instagram

IAMDDB

IAMDDB created some serious waves in music through 2017. The third instalment of her ‘Hoodrich’ EP series resulted in break through progress in her journey. Videos for her songs ‘Trophy’ and ‘Shade’ lit up the internet, with the latter receiving over 5 million views on YouTube. In 2017 she even toured with SZA & Bryson Tiller, while also making the covers of Notion and Push Magazine. Going forward into the next year, she came in 3rd for the BBC Sound of 2018 list, as well as Vevo’s Ones To Watch. We couldn’t have made our own list and not included her. IAMDDB is set to be one of the most promising stars of 2018.

IAMDDB’s ‘Hoodrich Vol.3’ is out now via Union IV Recordings.

Click Here To Check Out Her Instagram

Empara Mi

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Empara Mi: I have to say the video I just shot to my song ‘Alabi’. I had a surgery about two weeks before the video, and I didn’t want to change the date. And it was a little bit crazy because I was suspended by ropes. It was very, very challenging, and they recommended I didn’t do it at all

Novar FLIP: Dedication!

Empara Mi: Yeah. I did actually pass out [Laughs], but it was worth it. I really loved the way it came out, and I was proud of myself, because it was something I wouldn’t usually do [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

Empara Mi: I have quite a few things I’m working on that I’m quite excited about. I have this single that I’m putting out after this one, that I did with a guy called New Machine… I think it could be the one, possibly.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

Empara Mi: I would play you ‘No More’. Which nobody’s really heard. It’s a bit mental, but I’d say that it has everything that I think of being me. It’s got a very Tarantino vibe to it and the lyrics are very dark. It’s vocally mental. I go really, really low, then really, really high. And there’s lots of screaming and stuff. Lots of samples. I use samples in everything. I did it with a guy in LA who works a lot with Kanye. That’s the one that I show people to be like: This is me, and then they’re like: What the f**k?. Then I show them the rest and they’re like: Ok, you can do normal stuff [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

Empara Mi: I’d love to perform in New York. To a small audience, but [in] New York. Like a secret venue somewhere underground that’s very, very loud and nobody really knows what they’re coming to see.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Empara Mi: I’d love to say Kanye. I have done a lot with a lot of people who’ve worked with him, and that was kind of in my head like: if he hears it.

Novar FLIP: What isit about him?

Empara Mi: It’s the vibe. I think he has been, without knowing it really, a big influence in the way I construct a lot of stuff. I definitely start with a lot of samples and build stuff, and a lot of old hip-hop beats. I think he’s probably number one on my list.

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

Empara Mi: Writing. I enjoy that more than anything. I spend 90% of my life in my bedroom writing and producing. I sit there with a little piano and I just try stuff.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

Empara Mi: An introverted extrovert.

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

Empara Mi: I hope I’m having a f*****g good party. Somewhere, where everyone’s there to see me.

Empara Mi’s new single ‘Alibi’ is out now.

Click Here To Check Out Her Instagram

Jelani Blackman

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Jelani Blackman: That I got [my EP] 5-8 done. That felt like a massive step for me in terms of being an artist, and I know it sounds bait (obvious) but [of being] a person as well. I feel like, now that I’ve done that, I know myself [and] I can move on.

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

Jelani Blackman: Music that is just me all over, that I’m proud to put out. Not that I’ve never been proud, but [that] I know definitively is me.

Novar FLIP: And what does that mean, that it’s you?

Jelani Blackman: That if I look back in twenty years, I’d be like: Yeah, that’s the moment when I made music that represented me as an artist. It wasn’t like- lots of different things that I was interested in. I mean, that was the channelling of me as a person.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

Jelani Blackman: I’ll play you T’wenty//Three’ because it was the first tune and it still encapsulates all the things that are a part of my zone and music.

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

Jelani Blackman: That’s a good question. The States again. Yeah.

Novar FLIP: So you’ve performed there already?

Jelani Blackman: Yeah, a couple of years ago, or last year. It was a good vibe. In L.A. I’d like to play there again.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Jelani Blackman: I like IAMDDB. It’s been something that I’ve almost avoided because I didn’t want to make it a point that I was trying to be a part of it, but there are some grime artists that I’ve had a lot of respect for, for a long time, that I would like to do some stuff [with]. Like, Ghetts I’d like to work with.

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

Jelani Blackman: Performing. I love performing. That feels like I’m making music, with people in the same space as me. Imagine- I spent all of this time in the studio, working on tracks and getting them to a certain point, and I put them out in the world, and I know people are listening, but I’m not there when they hear them. I don’t know the gas that they feel, or the emotions that they’re feeling. But when you’re performing live with someone, they’re going through it at the same time. It’s almost like writing the tune again, but with the person there. All the excitement that you had the first time around, and all those feelings- it’s the same.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

Jelani Blackman: Cynical, reckless, focused.

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

Jelani Blackman: I hope to be celebrating the feeling that I have now about ‘5-8’, but with more around it.

Novar FLIP: Is it going to be around 9-12 or something else [Laughs].

Jelani Blackman: Nah, something else [Laughs]. F**k it, I don’t want to be celebrating nothing. I want to be working towards the next year. Ask me at New Year’s in three years. That’s when I need to be celebrating.

Jelani Blackman’s ‘5-8’ EP is out now via AMF Records.

Click Here To Check Out His Instagram

Au/Ra

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Au/Ra: Probably being part of Vevo dscvr 2018, which I’m super excited about and super grateful to have been a part of. They pick twenty artist from all across the globe, call them their artists to watch for in 2018, promote them and help them in any way that they can.

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for this year?

Au/Ra: I am most excited about performing more, hopefully growing a fan base and those two go hand-in-hand. I think that would be amazing. Also, releasing more music, making more music videos and developing my creative.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

Au/Ra: I’d probably play you a song that isn’t released yet. I think I would probably play ‘Kicks’. I feel like ‘Concrete Jungle’ is softer than ‘Kicks’, but Kicks is softer than ‘Outsiders’. ‘Outsiders’ is kind of like the extreme, and then ‘Concrete Jungle’ feels a lot softer compared to it, as a song. I’d probably choose the medium, which would be ‘Kicks’.

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

Au/Ra: I personally would love to perform in Japan. Even if it’s in a small, fifty people venue. I would love to just go to Japan. I love Japanese culture and that part of the world. I’m really into anime as well and I have a huge respect for the illustrators that come out of Japan. That whole art style that they have there in general. I think just going there would be cool.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Au/Ra: I really don’t know who would want to collaborate with me. I personally would love to collaborate with Nash. I think that would be really cool, and that might happen. I love The Neighbourhood, but they’re up here, and I’m on the floor, underground. So I don’t think that would happen anytime soon, but hey, I’m up for it [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

Au/Ra: Probably writing the lyrics. I’m a big lyric person. I love getting really deep into the lyrics and looking at them as if they are a story. It is a song, but really you’re telling a story through it. I’m really into creative writing, too. I started creative writing before songwriting, so I like fusing those two together.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

Au/Ra: Awkward, weird, quirky.

Novar FLIP: They’re all in one area but that’s fine [Laughs].

Au/Ra: They’re all in one area, but I don’t know what else to say [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: Lastly, how do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

Au/Ra: I would love to be celebrating with a small headlining tour, or an opening act tour. I would hope for headlining, but [I’ll take] one of the two.

Novar FLIP: How about releases? Probably by then, I would have already released a mini-album or another EP [Laughs], or something along those lines. It all depends on what happens in the next few months, which is pretty exciting.

Au/Ra’s recent single ‘Outsiders’ is out now via RCA Records. She will be supporting Lewis Capaldi on his upcoming European Tour.

Click Here To Check Out Her Instagram

Pearl De Luna

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Pearl de Luna: I think just finally getting my project together and being able to put it out. It will be nice to have some music out.

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

Pearl de Luna: Working on new things, finally having music out, and being able to work with different people that I would have not been able to work with before.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

Pearl de Luna: I would play you my tune ‘London Lullaby’. I think it’s the song that most people are drawn to first, and it’s about London, so I feel like most people connect to it.

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

Pearl de Luna: I’d love to perform in America. I love it out there. I’ve been going to L.A. a lot, and I really love it. A lot of the music that I’m really into is from over there as well, so it would be really cool to do a show out there.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Pearl de Luna: Does it have to be realistic?

Novar FLIP: That’s up to you.

Pearl de Luna: I’m the biggest Andre 3000 fan, so that would be crazy. I’m [also] really into Flying Lotus, Thundercat, the whole Brainfeeder sound. I’m really into Jazz, [and] I guess they incorporate a lot of Jazz into their music, and my stuff’s kind of trippy, bassy Jazz, I guess. Also, Kendrick. I think he’s just a genius. Everything from his concepts to his visuals. I feel like he’s the only person, recent anyway, that I can imagine being remembered in a long time. I feel like people are going to study ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

Pearl de Luna: I can be quite outgoing. I’m a very chilled person, actually, but that just contradicts the last one [Laughs]. I’m one of those people that don’t go out a lot, and when I do, I’m the last one out, but most of the time I’m down to just chill. So yeah, chilled, outgoing… I feel like I’m kind of awkward [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

Pearl de Luna: To celebrate another year. I survived another year. Got another year to come… I just hope that people like the project. This is my first project so just that in itself really is something to celebrate. I’m finally putting a project out. It’s been kind of a long journey, so it will be nice to finally have something out, and just celebrate that.

Pearl De Luna’s ‘Synesthesia’ EP is out this Friday via Cosanostra Music.

Click Here To Check Out Her Instagram

JAE5

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

JAE5: [An] album going gold. J Hus’ album went gold. I didn’t expect that.

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

JAE5: Trying to top [2017]. I’ve had a good year, so I’m most excited about having time to try and beat the year I’ve had. That’s what I’m looking forward to.

Novar FLIP: How do you think you’re going to pull that off?

JAE5: By working my bloody a**e off and getting some good sessions [Laughs]. Obviously, now I can get bigger artists in the studio, and trying to get most of those artists to come onto our vibe. More times before, I’d have to fold and do a pop song. Now they’re like: Do what you do. I’m looking forward to getting in with big artists and actually being able to just do what I do, instead of having to work to a brief.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

JAE5: I’d play you ‘Common Sense’, the title track of the [J Hus] album, because it’s probably the most aggressive and musical piece of music I’ve made. It’s musical, and it’s beautiful instrumentation-wise, but then what [Hus] has done on it is very aggressive and cocky, and it’s a blend that kind of shows me.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to work with this year?

JAE5: I don’t even have anyone on my list to be honest. I’m not excited by getting a huge session any more like that. There isn’t anyone that I’m dying to get in the studio with.

Novar FLIP: What about musically, rather than because they’re a name?

JAE5: It would be sick to get in with Travis Scott, you know. I think he produces as well, but his vibe is trippy. If I could make that trippy vibe my style, it would be sick.

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

JAE5: When you’re in the studio and you’re vibing with an artist and you don’t feel like you’re working. Sometimes you get waved, have people around, and it’s more of a party than a job. Then the end result pays you. That process of producing a track with an artist that’s your friend, is the best part of it.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

JAE5: How do I word it? I’m very confident in my ability, but I don’t know how to say it. I’m not cocky about it.

Novar FLIP: Confident can be one?

JAE5: But I’m not a confident person. I’m confident in my production skills. See, it’s different. Second word… I’m very driven. I’m f*****g on it. Need this s**t to happen. Nowadays, I’m very patient.

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

JAE5: I hope to be celebrating at least two, three number 1 singles. Hopefully more. I want for Hus’ next album to be a number one album, and to go platinum by the end of the year, because we did gold this year. Next album we want platinum.

Novar FLIP: Are you working on that already?

JAE5: We just started.

Novar FLIP: Have you got a vision for it?

JAE5: Nah, we’re just vibing man. He’s got a vision. He’s told me his vision, but me- I’m just vibing. His vision is always concepts, it’s necessarily how he wants the music to sound, so it doesn’t really affect me.

JAE5’s Brit Award nominated ‘Common Sense’ album for J Hus is out right now.

Click Here To Check Out His Instagram

NSG

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Mojo: Let’s go top 3. I’m going to say one out of the top 3. I’d say, the Liam Payne remix, and seeing Liam Payne in the studio, to vibes with the mandem. That was a serious moment.

Kruddz: One of my moments is dropping ‘Yo Darlin’. It did numbers when it first came out. I expected it slightly, but not the numbers it did. That’s a proud moment.

Papii Abz: I’d say number three would be announcing a support on J Hus tour. Knowing who J Hus is in this urban scene at the moment, just getting on that tour alone, it’s just good for the mandem.

Dope Boy: I want to add an extra one. For me it was Wireless, I can’t lie.

Papii Abz: Aahh, we got bare to say.

Kruddz: There’s a lot man, carnival, Wireless.

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about going into the new year?

Papii Abz: New music, baby.

Kruddz: New music, that’s it.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

Kruddz: I would play ‘Dreaming’. I feel like that is an emotional song. It touched me. That’s why I’ll play that.

Dope Boy: It [represents], what’s happening now, our growth. Us wanting to grow and inspire people.

Papii Abz: Let’s be real, the song was made four, five years ago, and now if you listen to the song, everything we’re saying in [it] is coming to reality. We could even drop it in like five, ten years and it would still bang.

Kruddz: We’re probably gonna do that.

Papii Abz: That’s what we’re gonna do. We’ll drop it again. We haven’t done a video. I’m telling you it’s gonna work. Remember, I said it. PAUSE magazine, ‘Dreaming’ [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

OGD: O2 Arena. Any performance, just O2 Arena.

Kruddz: Probably Wireless again, because this time Geko brought us out. Big up Geko ten times, [but] we’re trying to get our own slot.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Papii Abz: Rihanna, baby.

Dope Boy: Post Malone.

Kruddz: This is the main one, get it clear… Sean Paul. I just want that to happen.

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

Kruddz: I feel like [it’s] performing. Performing is basically bringing your work to reality.

Mojo: The energy the crowd gives you when you’re performing, it makes you feel everything you’ve recorded so much more.

Dope Boy: And when you get recognised for your stuff as well. It feels good, I swear down.

Papii Abz: I know what he means. Especially ‘Yo Darlin’ as an example. It was basically bigger than us. So when you perform it, and they see you live.

Dope Boy: They recognise you.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

Mxjib: Magical. Dope Boy: Rockstars.

OGD: Vibey.

Kruddz: That’s it. Magical, Vibey rockstars.

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

OGD: Just get yached. [Laughs]

Kruddz: I’m gonna pray into the new year, for protection and that stuff. After that… get yached.

NSG’s ‘Yo Darlin’ is out now.

Click Here To Check Out Their Instagram

Poppy Ajudha

Novar FLIP: What is your proudest moment from 2017?

Poppy Ajudha: My proudest moment up to now is selling out my headline show. Something that I never really would have dreamed of. It’s really fun.

Novar FLIP: What are you most excited about for 2018?

Poppy Ajudha: I guess just getting on the road with my music. My full EP will be coming out. Creatively doing music videos. I love doing that, I love having a lot of art direction in the videos. Touring, I haven’t yet done a tour. I can’t wait to do that. Tour my own music, support tours, UK tours, European tours. And play some festivals, I love playing festivals. Firstly, because you get a free ticket to the festival [Laughs]. It’s just so much fun. Often loads of my friends are on the same circuits, so, we end up just all hanging out together. It’s nice.

Novar FLIP: Imagine we’ve never heard your music before, what song would you play first?

Poppy Ajudha: ‘Spilling into You’. That’s kind of the start of the new vibe I’m going into. I think, prior to ‘Spilling into You’, it was very Jazz centred, and- although I love Jazz and get a lot of influence from Jazz- it isn’t the direction that I think is sold for me. ‘Spilling into You’ mediates Jazz and electronics, and that’s kind of what I want todo more [of]. I’m totally in love with synths. I’ve gotten completely obsessed. All of my music now has about a million different types of synth init [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: Where would you most like to perform this year?

Poppy Ajudha: I’m not someone who really recognises particular venues. It used to be Jazz Café two years ago, and I’ve played there three or four times since then. I guess somewhere like KOKO would be amazing.

Novar FLIP: Who would you most like to collaborate with this year?

Poppy Ajudha: I have loads of dream collaborations. I’d love to work with Kamasi Washington, I’ve met him a couple of times, just doing shows and stuff. Someone like Princess Nokia could be sick to have feature. I’d love to work with more female artists. Someone Like Flying Lotus- can he produce my album? [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: What is your favourite part of the artistic process?

Poppy Ajudha: It’s all difficult, and I think there isn’t one part that is my favourite. Every single part, there are points where I’m like, “F**k this, I hate all of it”. Every part from the writing, to the recording, to the playing it through with the band, to producing it, to getting it out. There’s always parts that are so difficult. And the mixing, I hate mixing. It’s so long, but I have to be there, because otherwise I can’t be happy with it at the end. I think, it goes for all happiness in general, that it comes in fleeting moments. For example, the best bits will be when you write a song and you’re so excited about it because you’ve finished it, there’s so many prospects. And then, it gets horrible when you have to make it into something and that lasts like five months [Laughs]. The happiness is fleeting, but it reminds you of why you do what you do.

Novar FLIP: Can you give me 3 words that describe you?

Poppy Ajudha: Loud is the first one that came to my head. I don’t know what word [could describe the fact] that I have a lot to say. Because it’s not just talkative.

Novar FLIP: Outspoken?

Poppy Ajudha: Yeah, I guess outspoken. Loud, outspoken [Laughs]. Doing well here… Smiley, I would say. Something less offensive [Laughs].

Novar FLIP: How do you hope to be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018?

Poppy Ajudha: I haven’t really thought that far ahead, but I know how I’d like to feel. It’s content and settled, and completely sure of what I’m doing and what I want to do. I think at the moment, it’s the beginning, so everything is a bit all over the place. But by [then] I will really be set in what I’m doing. I will have had another EP or an album in the making or done, and just be ready to go. It will probably take that long to get my s**t together.

Poppy Ajudha’s ‘Tepid Soul’ is out now.

Click Here To Check Out Her Instagram