I live in Los Angeles and my interviews with artists from other states or countries usually begin with idle conversation about the weather. I spoke to an upbeat sounding Noah, a multi-cultural electronic musician, who described the snowy conditions in his home town of Ottawa and consequently reaffirmed my existence in Southern California.
Noah has good reason to be upbeat. His debut album is set to be released digitally via i-Tunes worldwide on the 10th March and all this might never have happened if his parents had stayed in one place. He describes his music as “dance music but not just dance music.” So what does that mean?
Well, his debut release, “Human Geometry,” is an electronic fusion of Daft Punk and Bjork, that crystallizes cross-cultural nuances from a man born in Dubai from Indian parents, and raised in Canada. His lyrics and music are at complete opposites with one another. “I was trying to write vacant up tempo pop lyrics to fit with the music and it just wasn’t working.” Instead he looked deep inside himself and let the lyrics roll naturally. “They are about discovery and self reflection. I’ve traveled and lived in different social norms with different religions, then I came to a country with more freedom and less control and I could do whatever I want with music.”
His Indian parents lived and worked in Dubai, where Noah was born and raised. Ten years ago they moved again, this time to Ottawa where they enjoyed more freedom and a social security safety net. His father worked for the airlines and enjoyed cheap air travel for his family to visit relatives located across the world. This international influence on his subconscious is a main thrust of Noah’s music. As a self-confessed “culture buff,” the music he listened to in Dubai had much more of a European influence and was opposite to much of the music in his new home of Canada, with its ties with American rock and rap music. Listening to Noah’s music, particularly tracks like, “Mannequin” and “Cry Wolf,” confirms this European influence and forms unquestionable alliances with European alternative electronic dance artists such as Rokysop and Plaid. “I listen to Bjork a lot –she juxtaposes happy music with opposing moody lyrics and that’s what I do on my album.”
With 12 years of piano instruction and 3 years of vocal training behind him, it was only natural for his parents to give up on an academic path for their son and give full support to his creative journey. “I think my parents have resigned to the fact that I am not going to college and getting a straight job. My mother is the greatest critic and she’s very artistic and my father is very musical –he plays the violin and piano.” Noah writes and performs all of his songs on the piano first before moving to his laptop to use samples and only then to sample real instruments.
His love of fashion unwittingly introduced him to his producer, Monsieur Adi, when Adi posted work on Noah’s fashion website through Noah’s art school. He sent fan mail to Adi and realized after a time that they both had similar tastes. Noah recorded a demo of cover songs and sent it to Adi who then remixed and revamped the selection of cover tracks. Noah was impressed with Adi’s work and both realized they were onto something good. Four years on and Adi is the producer that Noah has still never met in real life.
March is a month of firsts that sees Noah’s first album release and him performing his first ever gig in Ottawa. “It hasn’t happened yet but I would like to see the reaction on people’s faces when they are dancing to my music and to see how they react when they realize my lyrics are not upbeat and happy like the music.”
Noah’s debut album “Human Geometry” will be released worldwide on March 10th via i-Tunes