NVSV releases new album that he doesn't want to promote | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

NVSV releases new album that he doesn't want to promote

NVSV releases new album that he doesn't want to promote
CP photo: Jared Wickerham

One of NVSV’s biggest pet peeves lately is Instagram polls. More specifically, when musicians use the social media feature to ask whether a new song should be dropped. Tap “Yes” or “No.”

“I think they’re giving too much control to other people,” says NVSV (pronounced "NASA"). “I feel like that’s how [artists] make things now, to satisfy people and not to satisfy themselves. I don’t think you should go into creating music that way.”

For NVSV, an artist’s work should be, simply, about the music. That’s why he released his latest album, Amethyst, with barely any promotion. 

“I hate when people send me links to posts and they’re like, ‘Can you retweet this for me?’” says NVSV. “Or [they] tag me on Facebook and there’s like a hundred people tagged to a link to a song, I feel like that’s not even about the music anymore. You’re just trying to gain numbers.”

Once NVSV dropped Amethyst, he did post a few self-made promo videos on Instagram and Facebook to let fans know that new music was out there and available to enjoy, but that’s as far as he went. There’s a fine line, the Baltimore native explained, between promotion and spam.

“It’s something that you have to be comfortable with as an artist yourself, and the image that you're portraying, or the person,” says NVSV. “I don’t want to be the guy that’s like, a plant, that’s trying to get people to fuck with me just because. Like ‘He’s such a friendly guy, he’s so personable’ like, I’m all that, but first and foremost I want you to fuck with the music, and we’ll take care of everything else after that.”

NVSV is at the point in his life where honesty and transparency come first. Those themes are found throughout the 13 tracks of Amethyst. In the rap-laden “Scripture,” NVSV pays homage to the music he listened to growing up, when rappers “spit bars” for the entirety of a song. Or the emotional “Fallen,” with the lyrics “Nothing’s the same in the fall/Nothing’s the same when you fall/They might hang up when you call” rapped over the looping verse, “Watch me fall/I’m falling, falling, falling.”

During the creation of Amethyst, NVSV was going through a rough patch. His relationship with Library Collaborative, his label at the time, was coming to an end. He was drunk with power, lust, money. 

“I just put that into music, and that became Amethyst,” says NVSV. “It was kind of like a venting process, but I made it catchy. It was like a burden releasing; counseling was the instrumental.”

Amethyst is a reflection of that time. Along with being NVSV’s birthstone, amethysts are said to have healing properties, to ward off demons of drunkenness. The album is the most sincere and open the musician has ever been.

“It’s the space I’ve been living in and creating in, as of recently,” says NVSV. “It’s dope to hear the evolution of my music because they all exude different feelings. They’re not the same, and they’re all something different. So Amethyst is definitely that, it’s my truth, vulnerability, transparency.”

Intentional or not, this theme of straightforwardness rolled over into NVSV's self-promotion, or lack thereof.

“I didn’t want to seem like this image of a person and not a real person who’s a musician,” he says. “Maybe I should have emailed press kits out, maybe I should have done all that shit, I know how to do it, but I don’t know I just wanted to satisfy myself, because first and foremost, it’s about the music.” 

Eclipse at Carnegie Science Center
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Eclipse at Carnegie Science Center

By Mars Johnson