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"Listen to our young people"

TALENT: Karl Nova has been on the gospel scene for years

KARL NOVA is a Christian artist who wants to get people thinking. He is also a busy one.

This hip-hop artist and poet has two projects on the go: his latest album, For Such a Time As This and his debut book, Rhythm and Poetry – and this is alongside his day job of running creative workshops in schools.

The songs on his third album were inspired by Nova's personal reflections on current social, political and historical happenings. He explained:

“My new album was written over a period of time when I was wrestling with the times we are presently in. I simply made music as I lived through the times. I ended up with 60-plus songs. I then listened and noticed a lot of them were about encouraging myself and wrestling with what it means to be young, black and full of doubts, fears and questions.

“It was all about being real with myself and where I am at.”

Issues covered on the songs include overcoming suicidal thoughts, terrorism and gang violence. Nova even has a track – London to Lagos – with an afrobeat flavour, which reflects his Nigerian roots.


Credit: YouTube/Karl Nova

Nova came to the fore in the UK gospel scene as a member of gospel group GK Real, who were popular in the mid-2000s. Although he’s not as in touch with the scene as he was when he presented a show on Premier Gospel, he’s liking what he’s hearing.

The bulk of his time is now spent working in schools and his book arose from his work with young people.

“The theme is growing from childhood to adulthood, so issues I cover range from peer pressure, bullying (both online and otherwise) gang violence, family, the joy of discovering poetry, success, aspiration and many other issues that arise,” he says.

“There are many personal ‘coming of age’ stories in there, and I have to say, a lot of humour!”

It is no surprise that his work in schools across the UK has given Nova a deep understanding of young people. A recently published survey highlighted a large percentage of youth now describe themselves as non-religious. Nova believes we must show youth love to redress this. He said:

“I think truly listening to this generation is the best place to begin. Don’t preach at them, speak to them and with them in an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Listen to their cares, concerns and real questions from a place of care and love. Start there.”

As you can imagine, Nova’s life is busy. Alongside his music, book and day job, he has started blogging again and now has a podcast which has been well-received. And he’s got a lot to look forward to.

“Over the summer I was in Cyprus, down on the south coast of England in Lymington doing a literary festival, at Luton Stadium doing a workshop and now, through autumn and winter, I am travelling, performing and doing book signings, too. I am releasing a couple of videos and aim to keep my podcast going, too.”

For Karl Nova's latest music, click here

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