As Minneapolis’ current Hip Hop landscape continues to transform from the “Rhymesayers” era into a more diverse sounding cast, the once calm Twin Cities’ streets are becoming more and more competitive. Musically, Minneapolis has always led the Twin Cities, but now St. Paul is even making a real push for national spotlight. Among a rising pool of talent, Finding Novyon is poised to make his presence known as one of the Twin Cities’ most promising up and comers.
After dropping The Food Network at the end of the summer 2015, Novyon has been quiet in regards to his new project. Years of hard work definitely haven’t gone to waste, Novy understands the importance of patience and precision when crafting artwork. The kid’s come a long way, his hunger to grow with each new effort is a part of why he has become one of Minneapolis’ youngest in charge.
With the release of The Food Network, the Twin Cities finally got a look at Novyon’s level of progression. This project marks a new chapter on his journey to be found, a solid and complete body of work that not only pushes the boundaries of Novy’s creativity, but provides the ground work for his next move forward as well. We got a chance to sit with Novyon and ask him a few questions in order to gain a little insight into the man behind the music.
Without further adieu, we’re proud to present The Food Network below. Read our Q&A for a glimpse into Finding Novyon’s mind and keep an eye out for more.
Q&A w/ Finding Novyon:
MB: Where were you born? What was your life situation growing up? (Mother, Father, siblings, economic situation?)
FN: I was born right here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Right on the northside at North Memorial hospital. Life for me growing up wasn’t bad really. I was raised in Brooklyn Park with my dad, my step mom & step sister. Although I have a older brother (from my biological mother) & two older sisters on my dad’s side. I didn’t meet them until I was about 10. And I didn’t get to meet my biological, mother until I was a Freshman in high school. She was a recovering addict at that time, which explains her absence in my life. Although that would seem like a perfect setting for me to grow up to be like most of my peers who didn’t grow up with fathers. My dad & step mom took really good care of me and really gave me a good life! I’ve been places people can only imagine to go because of them! I’m forever grateful!
MB: Who influenced you the most growing up?
FN: musically, I didn’t have much influence growing up, because in my younger years I didn’t really have much interest in music because I was into anime a lot. But in the real world, I think that my older brother Andron influenced me the most to become the person I am today. He was always a very flashy guy, drove really nice cars, always had a beautiful girl with him, and always had money to do the things he wanted to, as long as I could remember! I’ve pretty much have embodied that persona, minus the cars part.
MB: How did you find music? Specifically, how did you find Hip Hop?
FN: I remember always taking road trips to Chicago as a kid. My parents would always play songs from, The GAP Band, Earth Wind & Fire, and The Isley bros. Etc. So my knowledge & recollection of music and music history began when I was really young, I kind of had no choice not to have good taste in Music specifically R&B. My older sister Bianca was the one in my house hold who always watched BET when I was a kid and I HATED IT so much, just because I didn’t really understand it. She was into real conscious hip-hop like, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, busta Rhymes and Method Man etc. (Those are) All really credible artists that I definitely highly respect now, but as a kid I was just too young to understand that caliber of lyricism.
I believe when I actually became a real fan of rap/hip-hop is when I was 14 & I heard lil Wayne’s “The Carter 2” for the first time. That was the first album I had ever bought with my own money. And just in perfect time, at that time I was in the 8th grade and was just starting to decide I was going to be a “Rapper” maybe a few weeks, maybe a month before then.
MB: How did you land on Sweezer, B for your first name? How did Finding Novyon come about? (We briefly touched on that)
FN: Well, in the 8th & beginning of my 9th grade years. My stage name was ironically “Blaze” and entering high school and discovering for the first time that there are actually other kids out there dreaming to be rappers, I stumbled across a whole slew of artists with the same name, and I was tired of people calling me “Just Blaze” so I took my brothers last name which is Sweezer, and wanted to still keep some connection to my original stage name I decided to keep the B at the end. I kept that name until I was 19. I had this girlfriend at the time who is probably the smartest female I’ve even met besides my step mom. & upon us braking up she had told me to “Do yourself a Favor & Find yourself” that really cut deep & stuck with me. And my real name being Novyon & I Self Devine (Rhyme Sayers) telling me that he liked “Novyon” better than “Sweezer, B” a few months before that. I decided it was a perfect time to really transition and start growing up, as a individual & as an artist..this giving birth to Finding Novyon
MB: Are there any other artists that inspire your work? If so who and why?
FN: yes, of coarse…from a fan looking up to his idols stand point, artists like Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, & Lil Wayne really shaped me as an artist back in the Sweezer, B days.
I studied those guys and kind of really transformed into a lyricist that way. And during my Finding Novyon transition I was hanging out & working on a lot of Music with Allan Kingdom in those times. Us being so close kind of really opened my mind to make different music, that wasn’t just about being the “Best Rapper” and he’s also the one who directly encouraged me to start produced. He’s always produced his own work and I always admired that about him. We had a conversation one day, & I was just like “I could never be able to make my own beats it seems so hard” & he just said “but if you practice everyday it will get less hard. You should try” 6 months later I produced half of my debut album “Blunt Raps” back in 2012. I’ll forever be grateful for that.
MB: Where was your first show?
FN: My first show ever was in the First Ave Main Room, one of Minneapolis Hip-Hop festivals. I was 14 & in a program led by I self Devine (Rhyme Sayers) & Brandon Bagaason (Big Quarters), where he helped teach young kids how to record their own music & such! I was very fortunate for that opportunity.
MB: What was the name of your first project and when did it drop? (First song?)
FN: the name of the first mixtape I put together myself when I was 15 was called “The Minnesota Mixtape Massacre” …corny…I know haha.
And the first song I ever recorded was called “Twins Town” which was a remix to Yung Joc’s “it’s going down” both of these are fortunately NOT on the internet anymore. Thank god.
MB: Tits or Ass? (we ask everyone this lol)
FN: haha, I’m an Ass Man! no buns, no fun!
MB: Which artist or band would you want to work with most? (Nationally & Locally)
Nationally: BANKS, Doja Cat, Kanye West, Pharrell, & Nicki Minaj cause she’s my favorite rapper low key.
Local: Psymun & Bobby Raps, Possibly Auburn too. I’d love to get her out of her element & comfort zone.
MB: Where do you see your music in 5 years?
FN: In 5 years I see me on a world tour. I seriously believe I’ll have evolved tremendously as an artist.
MB: Who is your favorite artist in the Twin Cities?
FN: Devon Reason & Travis Gorman
MB: What are 5 essential items that you cannot live without?
FN: 1. IPhone
2. Desktop computer.
3. Mbox w/ Mic
4. Head phones
5. A pretty woman.
MB: Would you rather have 15 minutes of international fame or a life time as a local legend?
FN: I’d rather have 15 mins of international recognition, because if you go international you’re automatically considered a local legend.
MB: If you could start a new life anywhere in the world, where would you choose to go?
FN: I’d say Tokyo. I’ve always wanted to live there. Or maybe on that new earth twin planet NASA found. I’d love to see what that would be like.
MB: When selecting beats, is there a certain approach you take or does it depend on each unique track?
FN: if it’s not something I produced, I usually just take whatever beat appeals to my ears. I try not to spend much time yearning for a certain type of beat. I’m more of a versatile & spontaneous artist. I think that artists who spend a lot of time looking for certain types of beats really miss out on their own growth. It’s not challenging that way. And it prevents you from being original.
MB: Aside from music, what are a few other things that interest you?
FN: well right now I’ve been getting into the fashion industry. I am the head advisor/board member & marketing specialist for an Upcoming clothing corporation called Mermaids & Accolades. We’re preparing to launch our Spring/Summer street wear & high end collection in the coming weeks.
MB: When did you begin working on “Where’s Novyon?”
FN: I started working on Where’s Novyon?, Back in 2012 like right after I released Saiyan EP. I spent the end of that year and most of 2013 making songs off of the top of my head. And when I met Devon Reason, I decided that I needed to start writing music again. So it’s been a 2 year journey. I’ve probably recorded 60 songs for this album. Most of the songs that made the cut only date back to the middle of 2013 though. So people can expect a lot more recent material and recent stories.
MB: What is your most memorable moment as an artist? What is your most memorable in life?
FN: my most memorable moment as an artist would be Headlining a sold out show in Hayward, Wisconsin with Allan Kingdom & Beak-Nasty.
That was the first time I’ve ever got treated like a star by a whole town of people who knew my music.
And my most memorable memory in life would probably going to Miami and meeting & partying with the whole YMCMB the weekend Tune got out of Rykers. I know most artist would use that for their artist highlight but I hadn’t flourished as an artist yet & seeing that kinda money as a normal person was very inspiring. I’m very fortunate & blessed for that experience.
This is only the beginning for Finding Novyon, we hope you enjoy Where’s Novyon?, make sure to stay tuned for more from Novyon as 2016 gets moving.