Laon Nova: Reasoning with a star
I decided to take some well-deserved timeout and catch up the with Pinky, needless to say one of his artists had popped down to see him. I have been told on numerous occasions there’s no better person to chill and reason with than Laon, so my timing was good.
This man’s on a mission.
It turns out that this colourful artist is also a deep thinker, likes Stormzy and takes making music more seriously than most. This is the first time I have been in the company of this Reggae artist so i asked him a few questions…
Laon Nova tells me he is never far from a microphone, i believe him.
So Laon, what’s with your catchy name? It is your real.
Loan is my first name spelt backwards and ‘Nova’ is the 1st 2 letters of my 1st name and surname.
Where you born here in the UK or in Jamaica.
I was born in Manchester, England but grew up in Jamaica. I left the UK in 1970 but returned in 1985.
I was raised by my Grandparents, who were strict Christians so their values are quite strong within me.
I have been singing for as long as I can remember.
My Paternal Grandmother always taught my younger brother and I gospel songs to perform in church on special occasions.
We both went on to join the church choir, then, later on, joined the church band.
Music has always been an integral part of our family life. My younger brother now plays the drums for the infamous North London group, ‘Reggae Vibes’.
When did the group form, how you met the other members of your group and when?
The group ‘Earthforce’ was first formed in 1991 but we did our first recording together as a group in 1992. I met ‘Steppa’, our Bass player back in 1985 just after I arrived from Jamaica.
We met through a mutual friend ‘Nyanjah’, who I used to play the drums for in his band called ‘New Wine’.
‘Steppa’ was in another band called ‘Triumphant’ which was based in Ladbroke Grove.
I then later met ‘Kenni Ranx’ through the same mutual friend who was based in Chalk Hill.
K.R.L.Z Kenny Ranx, Long Z A.K.A “Longsy D” & Laon Nova
We started to record together about 1991-1992. I loved ‘Kenni Ranx’ jazzy sound and simple but effective melodies on the keyboard, so much so I brought him to one of my first recording sessions. We’ve worked together ever since.
I had rehearsed with ‘Steppa’ on numerous occasions and found that we had a musical connection. He loved Robbie Shakespear and Aston ‘Familyman’ Barret and I was an avid fan of Carlton Barrett’s style of drumming.
We complimented each other so well, we were actually contemplating forming our own Drum and Bass duo like ‘Sly and Robbie’ and ‘Mafia and Fluxy’.
When did you start making music and what was the reasons behind it.
My biggest influence musically is none other than the late, great ‘Bob Marley’.
To me, he is the complete package as a musician, businessman, poet, social activist, family man, humanitarian and spiritually astute.
My other musical influence range from Marin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, James Brown, The Temptations, David Ruffin, Curtis Mayfield, Smokey Robinson, The Chilites, all of the Motown artistes (USA).
My Jamaican influences are The Wailers, Culture, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, The Mighty Diamonds, Dennis Brown, Gregory Issacs, Big Youth, U-Roy, Alton Ellis, John Holt, The Wailing Souls, Abbasinians, Jacob ‘Killa’ Miller, Beres Hammond.
I have recently released my debut single, ‘Youthman’ on the ‘Pinky Music’ label.
This track was produced by K.R.L.Z. (Kenni Ranx and Longzy) Productions and recorded at Longzy Studio.
We, as Earthforce did a few live gigs as backing musicians for the likes of Sister Carol of ‘Amaziah Foundation’ and another group called ‘Rockstone’ which featured ‘Herbtree’ who had a hit about 20 years ago.
I myself have backed the likes of the late Pat Kelly, the late Michael Prophet and Earl Sixteen at the Tudor Rose in Southall.
Who inspires you in the music industry, people you look up to, influences your work.
I would love work with ‘The Marley Brothers’.
I love their approach to music which is uninhibited, fearless, current and authentic to their roots.
I would also love to work with ‘Stormzy’, ‘Skepta’, ‘Dizzie Rascal’ because I love their love fresh UK sound. I also see myself as a UK artiste and will forward to working with other UK artistes to take our music internationally.
The track ‘Youthman’ was inspired by the gun and knife crime happening here in London and Worldwide.
My heart went out to all the parents, families and siblings losing their loved ones tragically.
The video is available on all social media formats/networks under ‘Youthman’ by K.R.L.Z featuring ‘Loan Nova’.