Celebrating Black History Month with the PPL Momentum-funded Nova Twins
PPL Momentum-funded Nova Twins have set out 10 albums that have influenced them as part of PPL's Black History Month programme of activities – there’s everything from American funk and soul singer Betty Davis to the legend that is Stevie Wonder and lots more in between. Enjoy!
Missy Elliott – So Addictive
We both love Missy Elliott. She’s a great influence. The mix of her songs and style with Timbaland’s production was so innovative that her work still sounds so fresh and holds up today! She never conformed, or tried to fit in and came up with the most exciting visuals to match her unique sound.
N*E*R*D – Seeing Sounds
N*E*R*D’s music is timeless! It pushes boundaries even now and has such a signature sound. We’ll never forget hearing ‘Anti Matter’ or ‘Everyone Nose’ for the first time, remembering how it didn’t sound anything like we were listening to. The grooves were so contagious! They had the perfect blend of genres in their songs! We love how they infused rock riffs with big beats, electronic sounds but married that with a jazz & R&B/rap vocal! They will forever sound super fresh and iconic.
Betty Davis – They Say I’m Different
Amy – I really loved the gnarly approach to her vocals, she was unapologetically fierce with her style and attitude. I guess she helped me to not be afraid or hold back that part of myself.
Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
Georgia – My dad introduced me to this album on a cassette in his car. I fell in love with it and requested it on every car journey, knowing all the words and basslines ect! I remember it blowing my mind, as I really paid attention to all the details that went into each song and how the instruments and vocals all complemented each other.
Toni Braxton – Secrets
Amy – This album reminds me of my mum. She used to play it on repeat when I was younger, so I know it backwards. I remember trying to mimic her low, rich tone when singing around the house. It brings back fond memories.
Mariah Carey – Visions Of Love… Live
Georgia – I listened to this album on repeat when I was younger. I have clear memories of playing her on my walkman trying to scream the high notes in ‘Emotions’ and ‘Visions of Love’ haha! She’s such an icon and it was amazing to see a girl, who I could identify with, absolutely slay it. It was super inspiring.
Destiny’s Child – Survivor
We are both big fans of Destiny’s Child. Growing up we didn’t really see ourselves, as there was little representation of black women, which is an issue that still occurs today. When Destiny’s Child came out we felt seen! They were beautiful “strong, independent women” and made us believe that we can be that too! The sound was fresh and their harmonies were unmatched. Georgia would transfer their songs onto bass, following the synth lines because they were so interesting. We used to do three part harmonies with Georgia’s mum in the kitchen and dance around the house, as we have it on vinyl. ’Survivor’ often ends up being one of the albums we play during long journeys on tour. Destiny’s Child were the real deal. They are the soundtrack of our youth.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
This is less album related and more of an artist discovery. When we realised that a black women pioneered the blues and rock & roll, we were in shock. We only seem to hear about the men that contributed to the genre. People seems to forget to mention the women…. Sister Rosetta Tharpe is the Mother of rock & roll.
Jazmine Sullivan – Fearless
Jazmine Sullivan’s voice is mind blowing. She tells her story not only though her lyrics but through the delivery of every vocal run, with her husky, one of a kind tone. She’s one of our favourite vocalists and many of her songs were a fundament part of our lives growing up!
Chloe x Halle – Ungodly Hour
This is a newer discovery, which we wanted to shine a light on because we love them, wishing we had them to look up to, when we were younger.They are two young sisters, who write, mix, produce and play their own music. Not only are their vocals are out of this world but we think they are great role models. We know there are little female/non-binary producers represented in the music industry and hope that when young girls start making choices that they feel they have more options available to them. They can play the music, write and produce the songs, be involved and take control of the world.
About the Nova Twins
Nova Twins are an English rock duo formed in London in 2014, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Amy Love and bassist Georgia South. Find out more here.
(Photographer: Harry Lindley)