It can be said that creativity is not bound by circumstances, that’s why we wouldn’t be surprised to see creatives thriving even under confined environments. When time comes to write history about those who kept the ball rolling during the pandemic, Drealnova should be on that list. Growing up a 90’s kid in Harare, Drealnova, born Thabani Vuyisile Moyake has appreciated growth as a versatile artist who chooses to allow his sound to be universal.
When you listen to his music, you will understand him when he says he remembers singing along to some good RnB and a little bit of local Urban Grooves growing up.The young man was once a member of Zimbabwe’s biggest gospel sound, Zimpraise and he left to begin his own journey in 2014. His biggest break was the release of ‘Honest’, a single which was part of a 2 track love story produced by ProX.
After a lot of introspection and hard work during the Covid-19 global pandemic, the talented artist has just dropped his debut EP today. We took some time to speak to the young and exciting DrealNova to understand his musical experience and find out what we can expect from the EP, and this is what he had to say. Some of the responses were edited for sense and sequence.
Who is Dreanova? What does your brand represent?
Drealnova is a full time world music ARTIST born in the Capital of Harare, Zimbabwe. Real name Thabani Vuyisile Moyake. I am into world music, this is basically a fusion of multiple genres. The future is formless and so is the soundtrack to the future slowly but surely genres are being broken down taking more universal forms and this is what I do. My music mostly carries a message of love, romance and pain, Love is the very purpose which we are all here for. One can look at me as more of a social commentator on the subject of love and living life to the fullest. These experiences are from my own walk in life and other people’s experiences that I have been fortunate enough to witness.
Who were your earliest influences as a musician? Are there any artists whose style you were intentional to avoid or not recreate?
Well I listened to a lot of RnB growing up courtesy of my brothers, they were huge RnB fans so I listened to a lot of Usher growing up, Chris Brown, Bobby Valentino, Marques Houston, Jagged Edge and a lot more. I suppose that could explain how most of my music always has an element of soul in the sound, no matter what feel I’m on. I never really think about avoiding recreating any styles by any artist because I have learnt to let go, I try as much as possible to be formless when I create. I avoid overthinking the process as much as I can.
Lol sounds like we had the same older siblings. Usher is still my favourite artist I must say. Anyone whose music you sang along to on the local side?
If you are a 90s baby then there is no way that part missed lol. I sang along to a lot of Roki, my sister Cindy Munyavi and Decibel’s lyrics usually got me going the most.
Cindy, you mentioned…So you have a sister in music, big on the Zimbabwean map actually. What’s it like starting your own journey while she is running hers? Do you share tips about music and how supportive is your family? Also, should we expect a special collaboration or maybe there is one out there already?
Our families are very supportive in every way. Being an Artist is really hard so having your siblings and parents (who are countless since we come from a big family) means everything to us. You should definitely expect something from Cindy and myself in the near future.
How has your music journey been so far? How long have you been in the game and how has Covid-19 affected your work?
I have been around since 2011 for about 3 years from then. Stopped mid 2014 then only came back in 2017 December. It has been steady rockin, tides of challenges and mixed with moments of small but relevant wins. Covid 19 has been nothing but good to my music but more or less challenging in other areas of life. I got the opportunity to connect my steadily growing audience on a much more intimate level. So what a moment of enlightenment musically though in other areas of life so draining making way for vulnerability which is also very key in my Art.
It’s good to hear that there was growth through the turmoil. What are the three things you wish you knew when you did your first song and when you were starting your career in music?
Number one would be to never stop developing yourself as an artist and by default an entrepreneur. The other thing would be to put a value on your Art and most important yourself as a brand, never compromising your value at whatever cost. And lastly i would say every artist is a result of the work you put in behind the scenes. As a self managed artist i have had to course crush certain lessons in the industry and most of it came as a shock .Being an artist means more than just the gift and that’s exactly what i would tell younger me.
What type of work did you find yourself doing that needed you to advance in skills and knowledge? Where did you find this knowledge and how easy was it to grasp and apply?
Well when i say courses i don’t mean it in the literal sense but i am referring to learning how to strike a balance between making good music and making sure you strategically put it out for the people to consume. So I had to do a lot of research on a lot of music business topics such as distribution and marketing only to mention a few. 2019 was my first attempt at getting it right. I Successfully released my debut track called Honest, first the audio in May then visuals about 2 months later. As simple as it may sound it’s actually not, as quality for me is not something I will compromise for anything. If anything is worth doing then it’s worth doing well and as an upcoming artist seeing that come to life will require you to apply pressure on yourself first and then around you and from where i stand i look back and feel proud knowing i put my everything into it. So we keep learning, look at it as something like an Apprenticeship, only difference is calculated risk is the order of the day because your brand depends on it.
Alright thanks for making that clear. Do you think your experiences as a musician would be different if you were American or European? If yes, please share the differnce.
Most certainly for one reason for sure i know that there is two parts to the industry and that’s mainstream and underground, these underground and sometimes up and coming artists will see themselves make a bit of revenue as they came whereas out here it’s a bit different because there is very little going around as compared to the other side of the world. On the side of the music on it’s own i would have to work probably 4 times as hard because competition is much stiffer americans really take this to the next level in every aspect from the sound engineering to song writing and performances. That being said it’s also good to mention that music is coming back home, Africa is the next big thing on the world stage so i know all these tables are going to turn sooner or later.
Tell us about Novacane. How did you come up with the concept? What should we expect and who is going to love it?
Well Novacane is a body of work that I made when I was going through the most, mental health issues are no joke and so just like everyone the past year plus has been crazy and so i made Novacane in a season where i was looking for healing. “Novacane” is an anesthetic used by doctors to block pain waves from travelling to the brain and likewise I made Novacane for myself firstly in a bid to heal myself and I want to share that same experience with everyone that comes across this body of work. This is a project centred around Love, pain and pleasure, numbing out that pain. So this is for everyone that’s tired and looking for a break, something that doesn’t get your mind overthinking but rather just brings rest to the mind and soul.
So I have just found new love in the pandemic and I am sprung even though I’m still shaking off the side effects of my previous relationship. Which novacane dosage would you recommend?
I would recommend 2 or 3 lol. My darling (produced by Manuchie)which talks about your newly found love letting you in on what they want and need, what makes them tick so maybe you can love them steady. The other song would be Lockdown(produced by T Blawu), which paints a picture perfect “Lockdown” love, if you trust the stream that type loving could be you and your love and the last one would ” Good Times” (produced by Texas) which basically talks about being clear about what you need maybe in that very moment, A ” Good Time”, so lay back and just live in the moment while you enjoy your new love.
Lockdown sounds like what I need. Already looking forward to it.. Where will your music be available and how can fans and potential collaborations get in touch with you?
Aww. Bless.. Novacane like all my music in the past is going to be available on all major online streaming platforms, that would be your Spotify,Apple Music,itunes,deezer etc and im available on all of my social media platforms which are :
IG : @drealnovaofficial / Fb : @Dreal nova / Twitter : @drealnova / Tik tok @ @Drealnovaoffical / They can also subscribe to my official youtube which ” Dreal Nova
Any shout outs and wise words for the road?
Well you’re going to wish you hadn’t asked this one😂. First and foremost I wanna give a shout out to my family , my parents, my brother Fikile and baby sister Nolu as well as all my other siblings for holding me down. Wanna give a shout to everyone that was involved in the creative process of this EP, Derrick Manieca on Visuals, Ronald Rupiya and Tinashe Gwatidzo on graphics. Wanna give a shout out to Manuchie, T Blawu, Texas, Mcknife for the production. Ane Max,Boi Tricky, Rayo Beatz for the amazing sound engineering. My sister Cindy Munyavi for helping with the Roll out plan for the EP. Special shout to Prayersoul and Marbel Madondo Chiwanga for always dropping gems of wisdom..Last but not least i would like to give a special shout to my Fly High the first brand to ever believe in my craft and endorse we have some fire visuals on the way too..way too many people to shout out and if i skipped or didn’t mention your name just know that i appreciate the love and support everyday!!
There you have it dear readers. Novacane is out there and ready for your consumption. Take time to allow young and talented Dreal Nova to soothe you. He sure made a point to cater for everyone no matter where you are emotionally. Feel free to get in touch, tell us where you are and he will recommend a doss for you… I’m doing well with the “Lockdown” vibe and there is something for you too.