Arca, Grimes, NAVA, MØ
Arca, Grimes, NAVA, MØ

Interview with Persian influenced future pop musician NAVA

An act that is eager to step out of her comfort zone for her art, NAVA has incorporated her Persian heritage into her sound with latest song ‘Gaz’ via  Oyez!. We are revived by this percussion fuelled track that takes our minds to picturesque and distant lands throughout its entire duration. Known to be a lover of putting on an extensive show for her audience, we have no doubts that this rich and detail-orientated pop track will be just as exciting to watch live as much as it is engrossing just to hear alone. We asked NAVA a few questions about her art and the meaning behind the word ‘Gaz’ in this exclusive Q&A with her.

Stream / Download: ‘Gaz’

What does the song’s title ‘Gaz’ mean?

Gaz is a typical Persian pastry. It is very chewy almost like a jawbreaker, but the taste is so good that you can’t resist it! Life was like that for me most days, it’s not easy being an artist but at the same time it’s worth it!

Tell us about your year so far, are there any highlights?

It has been quite crazy! I’ve been working nonstop on three of the four tracks for my EP, and I’m quite happy with them! I just can’t wait for them to be out so I can perform them live.

You previously mentioned that the beat of ‘Gaz’ had a Persian flair to it, in what other ways does your heritage inspire this song?

I remember starting our first session with Gadi. We had very few elements of the track, but I remember the chorus had to be in Farsi! It felt as if it all came together! This doesn’t happen often if I’m not writing in English. We even ended up keeping the vocals we recorded then and there! Also, almost all of the percussions you hear in the track were recorded in the studio. I think the cherry on top of it all was when Gadi came across Italian percussionist Lorenzo D’erasmo who played all these different rhythms that I could have only dreamed of if I were back in Iran. I’m super grateful to have real Persian instruments on this track! 

Describe your latest release.

With ‘Gaz’ I was able to explore my Persian roots on a whole new level. I was really thrilled that Gadi was always as excited as I was to explore this distant Persian world and I think that’s what kept us experimenting with different elements and coming across new dimensions that excited us because they sounded fresh. ‘Gaz’ talks about how our struggles are endless. In the chorus, I talk about each year we were struggling as if we live in a world made of Gaz. Sometimes it’s sweet but a lot of times it’s a struggle. The cherry on top of it all was all the rhythmic sections that were recorded live in the studio. I’d like to think that it all came together kind of by faith when Gadi came across Lorenzo D’erasmo.

What does success look like to you?

Sold out world tours!

Do you allow current events to impact your creativity or do you prefer to focus on the abstract?

Absolutely yes! My music is born through current events. Maybe not necessarily when the song is released but the flicker of the idea starts from a current event.

What does an ideal day look like to you?

I’d say a sunny spring day, where I can go to the park in the morning and have a moment of peace with nature. I think that’s the only place where I have a clear mind and I can think properly and elaborate on ideas.

What is the boldest thing that you have ever done?

Well, I have risked a lot for my visuals. I remember for ‘Mah’ we wanted to shoot the video on a frozen lake with a handmade raft. It was about -2 degrees outside and I got on the raft literally risking it all for that shot at 5 o’clock in the morning! It’s insane because in that instant a swan landed right next to me as if it was my emotional support animal!

Describe your relationship with your fans.

I still get quite shocked when  I receive messages or when people ask me for autographs. I remember after one concert a fan asked for my setlist that was taped to the stage floor and the next day she sent me photos of it hung up in her room! It’s so emotional for me when I live in these moments!

What can we expect from you in the months to come?

Hopefully a lot of concerts! And I’m already inspired to start working on new tracks.

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