Author’s Note: There is a blissful energy; a new awakening one feels upon listening to Novo Amor’s music. I discovered Novo Amor or Ali Lacey a year ago when his popular single, From Gold, first came out. In my Q&A with Ali, he used the word ‘intimate’ to describe his music; upon reflection I feel this is the perfect description of his work; his music is the kind that becomes a soundtrack to one’s life, calming yet inspiring, often when you need it most. Ali Lacey, the man behind Novo Amor, is an innovator, an expresser, a developer, and most of all a creator. From experimenting with the sounds on his records to creating the landscape of New Zealand into breathtaking and expressive music videos, Ali is involved in every step of the creative process. I cannot wait to see what else he has in store but for now please enjoy learning a little more about Novo Amor and the creator behind it.
1. You really fall under the category of a sound designer when it comes to your music, can you explain how you integrate sound and instruments into your work?
Sound design is a passion that I’ve been perusing alongside songwriting and music production for a while, I just really like the thought of sound being everywhere; it’s very rare that you can escape it. I try and create textures and ambiences in my music through unconventional ways, for example, in my song ‘Holland’ there is a sound of a gardening hose being hit with a hammer, this was then turned into the notes of the last chorus to follow the vocal melody. Things like that may be subtle, but I believe it is effective.
2. What is an emotion or feeling your try to convey through your music?
It varies, a lot of my music was written at a time when I was going through a personal and emotional collapse. My songs sort of reflect that, quite melancholy and intimate. I like to created songs that people can relate to, as well as musically satisfy a part of them that is fulfilled in me when I listen to the music I love.
3. Where does the name Novo Amor come from?
I’ve explained this a lot, I’m always getting messages asking me this. I’ve outlined this in previous interviews so for the sake of difference I’m going to say it’s a secret…but in all honesty it is quite a personal choice of name to me.
4. What is your favorite instrument to work with?
I mainly write on electric guitar… my first instrument was drums, but I can’t really write a song on a drum kit.
5. Is there a song you are most proud of?
I’d say From Gold for many reasons. It’s not necessarily my favorite song, but for some people out there it is their favorite song, and I think that is something to be proud of. It’s also the song that has gotten me where I am today, without that song I’d be feeling pretty lost, as I was before. It’s a very personal song to me and was originally written for a film that my friend was directing.
6. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Going through a state of change, heartbreak or just something that makes you look inwards or feel a strong emotion. There’s nothing worse than forcing yourself to write a song when you’re uninspired.
7. What does creating music mean to you?
Since I was 12 there hasn’t been a point where I wasn’t creating music of some sort, whether that be recording guitar riffs into a tape recorder after school, writing songs with my old bands, making songs on PlayStation Music 2000; I did all this because I wanted to express myself. I don’t know what it means, but it’s what I’ve always done, I guess it means the world to me, really.
8. Your music videos seem very conceptual and work around nature. Can you explain the inspiration for these videos?
My video director, Josh Bennett from Storm+Shelter has a really good grasp on my music and what we want to create together. I think the natural imagery works well with my style so we’ve just followed it through; there is a lot of scope to be creative with nature. I like the videos to seem otherworldly too; I think we captured this best with the Faux video.
9. What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve recently just done the music for the new Lynx/Axe advert, which is really exciting for me. Other than this I am working on a record with Ed Tullett, who I collaborate with. I’m also going to be playing shows and releasing more and more music… going with the flow I guess.
10. You speak about your musical inspirations being James Vincent McMorrow and Bon Iver. What about their music inspires you?
I mainly admire that they are music producers and songwriters; a lot of their stuff is self-produced and they will play the majority of the instruments on the records. Other than that I really love the feeling I get from listening to their music, I think they’re great songwriters with great vision.
Check out Ali’s music below!
Words by Hannah D. // Photography courtesy of Novo Amor Bandcamp