The Weirdo Crew IS a movement! We are a symbol of acceptance and confidence. Feeling like an outcast all my life, I needed a safe place where I felt seen and understood. Through creating music, art, a brand and community from the ground up, the safe place I created for myself is now providing that for others who feel that same. We are a place of love and empathy. As “Queen Weirdo” as I’m sometimes called, my message is to embrace your uniqueness and shortcomings because they offer us lessons and perspectives no one else can give us. I feel we all have beautiful perspectives of the world and of ourselves that no one else can see unless we express it… it is our most valuable trait yet usually overlooked or dampened by the world’s expectations on us.
Asa part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing She Nova. Award-winning alternative pop artist and songwriter, She Nova, performs gutsy anthems that encourage her fans, “the weirdo crew”, to own their weirdness. The multi-instrumentalist is touring the world with her energetic yet moody one-woman show, creating one-of-a-kind performances using a keyboard, guitar and looped vocal harmonies. The independent artist aspires to be a role model for being unique & honoring what sets you free, no matter who calls you “weirdo” along the way. She Nova’s debut single “She Weirdo” is an anthem to all the outcasts and dreamers who write their own identity. It’s a song that plays to the inner weirdo inside all of us… that voice in our heads that blurts crazy ideas that most say are weird or impossible. Listening to this voice was She Nova’s way of coping with a racing ADHD and dyslexic mind that refused to fit the norm. At a young age, she learned she could channel her seemingly random and up-side-down thoughts and feelings to create songs. She Nova aspires to be a role model for self awareness and mental health, helping others find the confidence to be uniquely themselves and find the superpower beneath their challenges. Here’s to the kids with fire in their bellies who chase wild dreams and march to their own beat, no matter who calls them weirdo along the way.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Igrew up in Fort Worth, Texas with my mom, dad and brother. We had a grand piano in the house that my mom played classical pieces on, so I was exposed to music at an early age. I would watch her hands and would copy her patterns, playing along with her a few octaves up. My dad was very much into rock n roll. He turned me onto Led Zeppelin and Yes… I was obsessed with Yes!! I would make full on choreographed shows to full albums by them that I would make my family buy tickets to see.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Music has always been an outlet for me. I didn’t know it until later in life, but I am ADHD (AF) — have a song about that, you should listen to it haha — and very dyslexic. I’ve always seen the world very differently and never felt like I fit in anywhere. Banging on the piano, writing songs, singing and dancing around my living room, or shooting and editing full music videos to my favorite bands growing up, has been a way for me to put my restless energy and racing thoughts into something meaningful.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Ugh, I have too many. My path has been interesting to say the least! But as far as interesting in a good and monumental way, I’d say my journey live streaming on Twitch. Twitch is a live streaming platform originally for gamers, however, the platform is quickly branching out into new categories or media such as art and music. My ex-boyfriend told me about it and I thought he was crazy… it felt a little sketchy going online and singing in front of people on a webcam, but it turned out to be the most inviting and accepting platform I’ve ever been on. I feel like I finally found a place I belong and I created it online! We are called the “Weirdo Crew”. I have been doing these music streams and sharing my process behind writing, producing, editing music videos, etc. since April and now because of my community’s support and the fact that they live all over the world, I am going on my first world tour!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Well the first story that comes to mind is anything but funny! Haha it was honestly traumatizing to me at the time but it definitely taught me a lot about myself. I was in college studying music and had a band together that would play my songs with me around Los Angeles. I was as much of a hustler then as I am now in terms of promoting and booking gigs, so I was pushing this one show and somehow managed to convince Steve Lukather’s son to come see me play. It felt like a long shot, but he actually came! The moment I saw him in the crowd, I lost my ish. The song I was playing was an original called “The Fear” and it was one of those songs that I knew like the back of my hand, yet all the blood rushed to my head and I just went blank. Like blank, blank. I started playing the most random chords and all out of order but kept trying to sing along, pushing through til the end. Well, let’s just say, he left after that song and never spoke to me again. I was crushed for months and felt like I had messed up so bad. But now I know that nerves can hit at random times or something crazy can go on in the crowd and totally distract me, so from that show on, I have never gotten on stage without being able to play my songs with my eyes closed and can play through perfectly without having to think using purely muscle memory. As I’ve grown, this has become a habit now which allows me to really feel my music in the moment on stage and give one of a kind, spontaneous performances, trusting my hands and voice will do what they need to do.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am releasing two songs this month that are fully acoustic. I was a little self-conscious about acoustic songs for a long time, feeling that they were too sappy and no one cared, but because of my Twitch audience always requesting my acoustic originals and calling them “#mushifying” or #jellifying” and asking where they can stream or download these songs, I wanted to record them officially. I am also producing on my own for the first time and have been sharing this learning process live on stream weekly. I am very excited to grow and my goal in 2020 is to release my first fully self-produced song(s)!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I believe art is about vision, skill and execution, not where you’re from, what you look like or what gender an artist is. Art is art and some of my darkest, ugliest feelings and moments have lead to the creation of a song that paradoxically lightens up their dark. I have had purple hair for over 8 years now and I have heard many interesting perspectives on what they think that means about my character or where my place should be in this business. I have stuck to my guns with it because my brand is about embracing your uniqueness and owning what makes you weird. I don’t know if that is three reasons, but I believe the most beautiful minds and ideas can come in all types of packages.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Oh my gosh, so many things! If I know one thing for sure, throughout my career I have learned most things the hard way, through falling on my face. Here are my top five:
- Give yourself permission to suck. Perfect is overrated and the best ish comes from fearlessly jumping into the vibe.
- Get up faster than you did the last time and it’s a win.
- Put your art out there. Content is king and if you want to create a “legacy” it must consist of something out in the world, not in an archive!
- No one is going to put the time, care, passion, attention to detail or sacrifice into your art the way you do. Especially at the beginning or while you’re building. Do everything you can yourself and put all of you into it!
- You are capable of more than you think. I want to explain this last one a bit as my example. For the longest time I thought I needed a producer to help me execute and make music with me. I had this expectation of a “perfect production” in my head that I felt I could never obtain on my own. I have been producing what I would call, at best, “demos” for years but never thought I could record final product and vocals on my own. Recently, mainly because of wanting my live streams to sound better, I made a few upgrades to my gear, downloaded new plugins and spent lots of time tweaking vocals/sounds to my liking, and now realize I have the tools to take my ideas/demos and turn them into quality tracks… on my own! All I’m saying is, don’t discredit yourself or keep limiting thoughts about your abilities, cuz you just might prove yourself wrong.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Make sure this is your calling. Someone was asking me the other day how I have so much discipline. And I looked at them with a very confused look, like “Who me!?”. I feel that discipline is an outside perspective of someone else, because what my friend was calling discipline, didn’t feel like discipline at all to me. From the moment I wake up, until the moment I have to make myself stop and sleep, I am hyper focused on a portion of my career that is currently a priority, and mind you, this shifts constantly. I swear I wear dozens of hats throughout one day, and each day new ones are being pulled out from an infinite wardrobe. My body will feel tired sometimes and I try to listen to it but taking a few hours off or working on my phone in bed, but I never really stop. Some people may even say my “discipline” is me being a workaholic. But I think when you want something so badly and it is truly who you are and something you can’t live without, you will never stop fighting for it. My art has become my business and I couldn’t be more thankful! With each opportunity I gain momentum, the more fire I feel in my belly to keep the steps I’ve earned.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
(Your questions are amazing by the way, and I’m truly inspired, just had to say!) The Weirdo Crew IS a movement! We are a symbol of acceptance and confidence. Feeling like an outcast all my life, I needed a safe place where I felt seen and understood. Through creating music, art, a brand and community from the ground up, the safe place I created for myself is now providing that for others who feel that same. We are a place of love and empathy. As “Queen Weirdo” as I’m sometimes called, my message is to embrace your uniqueness and shortcomings because they offer us lessons and perspectives no one else can give us. I feel we all have beautiful perspectives of the world and of ourselves that no one else can see unless we express it… it is our most valuable trait yet usually overlooked or dampened by the world’s expectations on us.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mother. She has always been there and believed in me through thick and thin. She helped me see things in myself I couldn’t see and has been an amazing source of wisdom as I navigate through this very unpredictable world. I am a sensitive soul and feel things quite deeply… thank you for listening to all my ish all these years, mama!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Your thoughts, your ideas, your dreams are all physical in the universe.” — Will Smith
Life is malleable. Life is also how we see it. Your beliefs shape your reality, and that is life or death of a dream.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Lady Gaga. She has sacrificed every part of herself for her art. I want to ask her if she is okay.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Press that button & join the weirdo crew!! I’m on instagram @shenovaweirdo — Watch my live streams on https://twitch.tv/shenovaweirdo and my videos on https://youtube.com/shenova . If you’re on Spotify, a follow means the world! Just search “She Nova” 🙂
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!
Thank you!!!!! Such a beautiful conversation.