Nova Twins Curate New Compilation Spotlighting Rock Artists of Color
Late last year, Nova Twins pushed for the MOBO Awards (Music of Black Origin) to add a category recognizing rock and further saluting recognition. Now, continuing their desire to bring recognition for rock artists of color, the duo have signed on to compile a new collection for Dr. Martens called Nova Twins Presents Voices for the Unheard.
The set will be released as a limited edition vinyl offering with 100 percent of the proceeds going to The Black Curriculum, a social enterprise designed to help improve the teaching of Black History throughout the U.K.
The idea started with the duo's Voices of the Unheard project that they launched last June. It started as a way to add to the conversation surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, beginning as a playlist of artists, continuing as a conversation series and now taking the form of a full album.
Speaking with NME, singer-guitarist Amy Love stated, “There’s a lack of representation and understanding of POC alternative artists, particularly in the U.K. People are happy for black people to be in R&B and hip-hop because they feel like it’s safe and that’s the done thing. These are genres that black people have pioneered, but there’s a lack of education about how rock was also pioneered and helped to move forward by artists like Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The genre was carried by a lot of white men, but a lot of the POC artists got lost along the way."
She added, “People don’t think we belong here. We get loads of stereotypes. People think that we’re R&B or dancers. We just want to create an eye-opening experience for the gatekeepers to understand that this isn’t going anywhere and see what’s really going on out there. In pop music, the headliners at big festivals reflect what’s happening today. That doesn’t happen in rock music. If people want rock music and the live industry to survive then they need to diversify.”
Bassist Georgia South continues, “It’s important for us to inspire the new generation coming through, because the scene is very sparse in the U.K. If this inspires a lot of people to be creative, then that’s great. That’s why we pushed for the MOBOs to put on that category because a lot of young POC people watch it. If a rock band got to perform on there, then they might say, ‘Oh wow, I want to do that.'”
The pair also spoke on the desire to assist The Black Curriculum, helping to provide a more well-rounded educational experience. South recalls, “There are so many things that we were fed in school that were just pointless and not relevant to us as a culture. It’s the same all across the world. You start with the Roots documentary, then you learn about Martin Luther King, then you that basketball film Coach Carter. Everyone else has The Suffragettes, King Henry VIII, everything. This goes across the board – you can be 10-years-old or 50-years-old and still learn from The Black Curriculum. It’s never too late to learn.”
“Beyond their struggle, you don’t really get to see how black people fit in this society or how they’ve contributed. We’re still learning ourselves and there’s still so much history to be unpicked, but we just thought it would be great to invest in a platform that’s trying to re-educate people,” adds Love.
The Nova Twins compilation features a solid section of rock and alternative acts featuring persons of color. The OBGMs, Loathe, Oxymorrons and Big Joanie are featured alongside the band's opening number "Taxi." You can see the full track listing below.
Love says, “I’ve seen people who work in radio talking about implementing change, but then they’re still just regurgitating the same kind of acts. There’s no end of POC alt-bands and rock bands that you’ll like, but I don’t see them being put anywhere. We had to make this show and this vinyl for them. We can now give them a platform, because we don’t see it enough.”
The set is expected to arrive in May and you can get pre-order details for the Nova Twins Presents: Voices for the Unheard album here.
Nova Twins Presents: Voices for the Unheard Track Listing
Nova Twins – ‘Taxi’
The OBGMs – ‘All My Friends’
Connie Constance – ‘Monty Python’
Unity TX – ‘Cross Me’
LustSickPuppy – ‘Goatmeal’
Death Tour – ‘Scared’
Loathe – ‘Aggressive Evolution’
Oxymorrons – ‘Green Vision’
Pussycat and The Dirty Johnsons – ‘Ain’t No Pussy’
Khx05 – ‘Trouble’
Zhariah – ‘Bitch Boy’
Big Joanie – ‘Fall Asleep’ (Live at Hermitage Works Studios)