An interview on growth & persistence with Finding Novyon
A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend from childhood.
Oh, the Brooklyn Park days circa early 2000’s, what a time to be alive. The thing is, my parents moved to another suburb a few years back and two years ago I finally found a dentist in my current neighborhood so I feel like I’m beginning to have less and less roots in my hometown proper. Subconsciously or consciously, I wonder. And why.
Catching up with Novyon reminded me that it’s easy to forget just how relatable folks from childhood inherently are. We have unique common ground because in growing up together, we have somewhat similar world context embossed on our psyches during a highly impressionable stage of our early lives. No, we won’t always see eye to eye on everything, but reaching out to old pals is a fascinating way to gain valuable perspective on life. I’m still letting that one soak in as I untangle and decode my past.
For as much as social anxiety and potential small talk traps seem to discourage catching up, when you hop into a conversation with someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, it’s nostalgic and insightful which I consider highly productive for personal self-development.
Looking back, I think I met Novyon sometime in elementary or middle school. Probably through my brother Casey because he was always the cool sibling; friends with just about everyone, including Novyon, and admired by everyone else.
[Insert “are you Casey’s sister reference here].
Back to the interview though…
Even as kids, Novyon was someone who certainly stood out as unique. It’s probably politically incorrect to say he was “the black guy who liked anime”, but I genuinely mean it in a change-maker sort of way. Novyon stood out as someone who didn’t let societal preconceived notions define him. Honestly, in hindsight I realize he was probably one of very few kids out there who had just chosen to fully embrace their sense of self. [Insert over 9000 joke here.]
It makes perfect sense that Novyon would gravitate towards outlets for self-expression and storytelling. Music is a phenomenal outlet that is commonly underestimated and usually under appreciated. I wonder if music called out to him early on because he knew he’d have lots to say on this whole journey through life thing.
During our conversation, Novyon talked about a tough time in his early 20’s where he felt like his dream was in a state of limbo. I’m finding the more “real talk” I have with people, the more I realize how alike we all really are. Simply put, we all struggle.
It’s hard to talk about mental health because there are parts of society that want it to be taboo. Novyon talked about how feeling depressed would interfere with his motivation and productivity; I think we’ve probably all been there, but how many of us actually admit it to ourselves let alone the internet? If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my own 20’s, it’s that depression vibes are real and they impact everyone in different ways. But you can always overcome, so keep going.
I see depression as a serious clash between our truest selves and society at large. Depression and anxiety make it hard for us to believe in ourselves. Often times, it’s the reason we remain complacent and stuck in our ruts. The reason we can’t seem to pursue our dreams even when we’re doing everything we can to try and fight the looming discouragement.
I really have to commend Novyon for wholeheartedly believing in himself and actualizing his dream one step at a time. It takes a lot of courage to make a move to LA to pursue your dreams, literally or figuratively. To be honest, when I think of average responses when folks hear someone say they’re moving to pursue a dream, there are two common reactions that I notice. One is pure and total excitement for the person taking a leap and the other is that salty brand of shade. It’s the haters out there who imply that dreams are “overrated” or insert that they “just don’t get it.” All I know is that it’s hard to keep that same energy chasing a dream when you have naysayers planting extra seeds of doubt in your mind’s garden.
Even with a support system around you where you talk about self development and wellbeing all the time (aka me in 2019), it’s still really hard to be vulnerable about how we truly feel and what we want out of life because we’re all just figuring things out.
I asked Novyon about any strong turning points in mindset he had on his journey and he told me about the moment he saw Allan Kingdom and Kanye West collaborating; that level of representation was when he truly knew he could make it. Not in a cocky, egotistical way, but in the kind of way where he was able to believe his dreams were possible. When you see someone from your block, your hood, your city, hell even your state or country do something that is dope, it’s a little life reminder that you are capable of doing dope things too. This pivotal moment is where Novyon’s perspective in life went from “I want to” to “I’m going to.” Positive self-afirmations are powerful and if you really want to push yourself, manifesting the belief within yourself that it will happen can’t possibly hurt. Five months after that moment, he and Allan dropped their hit “LOTS” and the rest is history in the making.
Sometimes, I think confidence is so misunderstood. Confidence cannot be maintained without daily practice because confidence is a state of mind. All we can do in our long but also short lives is speak what we want into existence and do the work one step at a time to make it happen.
Novyon talked about how from a pretty early age, he took music seriously in a way that others around him simply did not. He was trying to push himself, but the environment he was in had something comparable to a glass ceiling just like we hear about in a number of varying career paths. You are what you eat, you reap what you sew, your vibe attracts your tribe, and so on. All of that age old advice comes from a place of wisdom.
Novyon moved to Los Angeles as many brave people from around the world do to pursue their career and life dreams. It’s interesting how depending on your vantage point of a situation like this, you could be feeling amped for the person or salty about it. Some people will be excited for you when you pursue your dreams; others will pray for your failure; and still some will intentionally or unintentionally spew negativity all over your uplifted energy leading you to plummet and spiral anytime you try and level up. The good news is, trials and tribulations often lead to a crucible moment if you keep pushing and believe.
“When I moved to LA, it was like I became a new version of myself which suprised me. It was a truer, realer version of myself.”
Novyon on his move from MN to LA in 2016
I always love finding out where people get their inspiration from so I asked Novyon what he’s been into lately and he shared two book recommendations I’m interested to dig into, ‘Ask & It is Given’ by Esther & Jerry Hicks and ‘Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
“Both books exist in the realm of self transformation & the belief in law of attraction. ‘Ask and it is Given’ being a about the basic theory of the law of attraction, and how thinking, visualizing, and speaking about certain things create the reality around you. Sort of cousin to the book and documentary ‘The Secret.’
‘Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself’ is basically the same theory, but the theory of the law of attraction is broken down and explained deeper through Quantum Science which is currently really intriguing me.
These kinds of books help me form more positive thoughts and serve as secret weapons of sorts while I try and further my career.”
Novyon on where he finds inspiration in 2019
Now is probably a good time to tell you that Novyon (yes, that is his real name) goes by “Finding Novyon” for his musical stage name. I always thought it was cool that he used his own name, but the light bulb moment of our conversation hit me when he told me that “Finding Novyon” represents the journey of finding himself. So simple, yet my mind was blown. It’s clever and admirable, reinforcing a positive message about growth because his entire musical career, Novyon knows he’ll be finding himself. Levels, my friends. It’s always great to see creatives in touch with their true purpose and meaning because I believe that’s when they make the best kind of art.
Did I mention he’s headlining his first headlining tour that kicks off on April 4 in Minneapolis? Snag a ticket before it sells out. See you there 🤙🏿