I’ve been waiting forever for Novel’s album to come out after going to his listening session months ago in NY, so I was excited to see this mixtape come out as the prelude. I spoke to the producer/singer/songwriter/rapper about what he’s been up to and what inspired him to put together “Suspended Animation.” Look for guest appearances by Ced Hughes, Ghostface, Joell Ortiz, Papoose, Spree Wilson and Colin Munroe.
On why he put out the Suspended Animation mixtape:
My album is on hold right now so I feel like I’m in suspension, so I’m just putting music out there for people to get for free just to be heard.
On his current label situation:
About to do a different deal, but I can’t say yet. Hopefully I’ll have the album out by the end of this year.
On changes in the album:
I might have to add a few new records but it will stay basically the same. But I’ll have to jump on the second album right after that.
What exactly does suspended animation mean?
I feel like I’m at a creative point in my life, real artistic but I can’t do anything about it because my record is on hold.
Suspended animation also means cryogenically frozen; when you freeze something but it’s still alive, it’s being preserved. That’s how I feel. I’m alive but I can’t really do much. I have all this creativity inside of me but I can’t get it out. All these different labels I’ve been on: Rawkus, Interscope, Capitol…
On being compared to Drake:
I think it’s just because there’s not a lot of rappers that sing. Our subject matters are a lot different. He has a better chance than I do because his songs are better geared toward radio. As they say I’m a backpacker and people don’t really buy backpacker records. If I could get past that I’ll be alright. I can write pop records for other artists but that’s not necessarily what I want to do for myself.
What Novel has been working on:
Leona Lewis’ second album, something for Beyonce earlier this year, Asher Roth who’s out right now, and India Arie’s new single.
What would be your ideal situation for yourself?
I’d be happy being on any independent label right now, I think I’m kind of done with major labels. It’s not as personable being on a major. When I was on Rawkus they treated me well, it was kind of like a family. I miss that feel.