Beautiful, magical, scenic, are words that cannot do the state of Minnesota justice. While during the hot summer days people travel to the lakes and glisten in the throbbing sunlight, night time is a different story. Minnesota has been a music hub for multiple legendary artists and venues. Some of the most high quality venues are right where you wouldn’t expect them to be, and with those venues comes next level artists. Brooklyn Park native, Finding Novyon is that next level artist for Minnesota. His music tells a story of trials and tribulations that he has had to overcome while throwing in a beautiful dose of uplifting party tunes. His music is difficult to explain, I like to call it “Minnesota-esque” because no one sounds like him and the people he affiliates with. He associates with Minnesota star, Allan Kingdom and newly introduced artist, Drelli. They have big plans for their careers and plan to do it together. Their first plan of action is to leave Minnesota in hopes for more opportunity in Los Angeles. We speak with him to discuss it all, his new album That’s My Dawg, the move to LA, his come up, and plenty more. Check it out.
What is the meaning behind your name?
So, Novyon is my birth name. It’s funny because people don’t believe that it’s my real name. Recently a lot of people have been coming up to me and asking what my real name is, they’re shocked when I tell them it’s Novyon. The “Finding” part is all about the journey of life and “finding” yourself. When I came up with the name I was going through a major transition in my life, where it felt like I was living for other people and holding onto friendships that weren’t healthy for me and it was that time of coming days where I was realizing that your friends aren’t really your friends. So again, it’s all about “finding yourself”, I am finding who Novyon is, with all of you.
Do you think there will be a moment to where you feel like you have “found yourself” and you change your name to just Novyon?
Yeah, I actually I feel like that might be coming soon. Maybe from moving to LA or something. When I get to LA everyone will know me as just Novyon.
So, who was Blaze and Sweezer B?
[Laughs] Blaze was my first name! Way back to when I was 12 until I was around 15 or 16. Then I changed my name to Sweezer B because Blaze was the most generic name you could think of. Sweezer B was when I developed my work ethic and sound. The name was an ode to my biological family’s name, they’re known as the Sweezers. When I got older I thought it was a handful of a name. I really wanted to use my real name and my whole life people have told me that my rapper name should have Novyon in it.
Like many before you, artists have created and molded their careers without ever leaving Minnesota. What makes you want to move to LA and what do you find to be a problem with Minnesota musically.
With LA, there is just so much more room for opportunity. I debated a lot on where I really wanted to go like Atlanta and New York, where there is just as much opportunity but for the velocity on where I want my career to go, LA is where the actual industry is. Opposed to New York and Atlanta where it’s specifically hip-hop and becoming a rapper. But I feel like mission control is in LA. For the second part of the question, I don’t want anybody to think that I think there is anything wrong with Minnesota because I feel like I have advocated hard for this state. I don’t find anything wrong with Minnesota, I just feel that staying here would hinder my growth as an artist. This industry is built so that there are very small windows for artists to shine and grow, this is my window.
Greatest piece of advice Allan Kingdom has ever given you?
Allan has given me a lot of great advice, more so recently but I would say the one that helped me the most was him telling me to make beats, way back in 2011.
You have a very strong relationship with Sonny Digital, how has he influenced and what’s it like working with a trailblazer like Sonny?
When we met we clicked right away. Out of all the stars i’ve met he’s been the coolest. He hits me up just to see what I am doing, not even in the same city, he’ll just text me to see what’s up. That’s real. His music influenced me a lot even before I met him. Back when I had a job, I would watch all of his interviews. He was someone I respected in the industry, he knows how to make hits, there’s a certain formula to his sound. Working with him has brought my music to such a higher profile and quality. I always needed to have my shit on point with him.
What’s the story behind That’s My Dawg?
This album is just a depiction of the era of time. It’s really just a bookmark in my career and what’s going on in my life. Burberry Terry which is the dog on the cover, I no longer have. We went to this thrift store when I was on tour with Prof in Durango, Colorado. He was just sitting outside with a Chanel strap and Burberry print paws, it was perfect. I knew I wanted to find something to use as a draw for an audience. You know how these Soundlcoud rappers have Goyard bags and all that? I was trying to clown that. It really became a theme though like at shows and on my instagram. I would say at shows “If you’re fucking with me, my set, and Burberry Terry let me hear you say ‘that’s my dawg!'” It was awesome. He’s somewhere at my ex girlfriend’s house and I don’t know if he’s burned alive or ripped up into pieces. So again, it’s just a collection of songs about what’s going on in my career right now.
Do you see yourself, Drelli, and Allan making a project together in the future?
Yeah there’s always a possibility. I know me and Drelli are working hard on growing our solo audience and music, like Allan already has. We just need a little more time establishing ourselves in the industry. I’m known in Minnesota but Allan is known in Minnesota and across the country, I just need to make more shit that sticks. The platform that we have right now with So Cold Records is set up so that any of us could blow up over night.
Why did the Lines tour get cancelled?
It was unfortunate but we decided that moving to LA now would be the wisest decision, save our money and work smarter. There’s a formula here in Minnesota where people will go on tour for years and years be 30 or 40 years old and draw a 30 person crowd every time. You can do the same shit over and over again until it drives you crazy or you can work smarter and do something different. Us cancelling the tour was the best thing that happened to us. A lot of good shit happened that wouldn’t have happened if we never cancelled it, so we are thankful.
What’s next for you?
Well we got our move to LA coming up very soon. With my music, I am currently working on my 11th and 12th project. Get ready for those, you’re gonna hear a new me.