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Beyonce’s Renaissance: Cuff It, Virgo’s Groove Defined by Nova Wav

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Two years in the past, songwriting and producing duo Nova Wav first chatted with Beyoncé over pizza about what would turn out to be her seventh full-length album: “Renaissance.”

Launched on Friday, the 16-track report is crammed to the brim with infectious, danceable tracks, and Nova Wav — made up of Brittany “Chi” Coney and Denisia “Blu June” Andrews — are honored to have a hand in eight of the songs. The duo, who has produced and written for Jay-Z, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Kehlani, DJ Khaled, H.E.R., Jazmine Sullivan and extra, first met Beyoncé in 2014. In 2020, they struck gold as writers on Beyoncé’s single “Black Parade,” which went on to win a Grammy for greatest R&B efficiency. So once they received the decision to work on “Renaissance” within the midst of the pandemic, the duo was greater than able to dive in.

“She needed folks to really feel like they have been escaping,” June tells Selection of Beyoncé’s imaginative and prescient for the album. “We’re exterior once more, and even when issues are nonetheless iffy proper now within the local weather of the world, she gave us one thing to bounce to and one thing to be ok with.”

Under, Nova Wav breaks down a number of of the songs on “Renaissance” — together with writing “Cuff It” and “Summer season Renaissance” after a visit to the strip membership — gushes over Beyoncé and shares what the album means to them as ladies in a male-dominated area.

Earlier than we dive into the songs, inform me about how Nova Wav got here to be.

Chi: In 2009, I had somebody hit me up on Fb, a rapper, and he was like, “Yo, I heard your beats on MySpace, might you ship me some?” … I used to be like, “OK, cool. I’ll ship it to you.” He was like, “I’ve this lady coming over to do the hook,” after which when he despatched it, I used to be like, “Oh my god, who’s that?” [Blu June’s] voice is completely unbelievable, out of this world. So we labored for possibly a couple of 12 months, and I used to be like, “Yo, in the event you transfer to Atlanta with me, we’re going to be so freaking large.”

Blu June: I ended up transferring to Atlanta together with her in 2011. Give up my job, simply left all the pieces behind and moved in together with her and her mother. In 2012 is once we received our first placement, so we’ve simply been working ever since.

Let’s begin with “Cuff It,” which you co-wrote and produced. This tune has an insane lineup of writers, together with Nile Rodgers and Raphael Saadiq, and options Sheila E. on the drums. How did it come collectively?

Blu June: We have been performing some classes in Atlanta and a few folks got here out to work on the album. I simply keep in mind having a artistic block for 2 days straight, like I didn’t get something achieved, so all of us went to the strip membership. And we got here again from the strip membership, like 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock within the morning, and Chi mentioned to me, “Yo, I’ve this beat that I’ve been engaged on.” I hadn’t heard the beat, as a result of typically she works on concepts alone. She performed the beat and I’m like, “Wow.” I used to be virtually intimidated, I virtually didn’t need to do it, however I used to be like, “OK, simply throw the beat on and I’ll see if I can provide you with some concepts.” And like actually, we simply began an concept, it was a tough concept, and we despatched it to B and he or she went loopy over it.

Chi: And for it to be one thing that was simply our personal, and to provide it to her and for her to take it to the subsequent degree and herald different collaborators, it’s so dope simply to see the method from the best.

I like that you just went to a strip membership to recover from author’s block. 

Blu June: It was so necessary. We truly did that one, we did “Summer season Renaissance” and we did “Vitality.”

Chi: We did a pair that evening after the strip membership. We have been very impressed.

Twitter is freaking out over “Virgo’s Groove.” How did you contribute to the writing course of on that one?

Chi: “Virgo’s Groove” was a vibe that I haven’t heard in a very long time. It was only a completely different sort of pocket, it actually took me to a special time period. We simply got here in and did what we do, put our sauce on it. The way in which we discuss, we’re form of pegged for being the ladies with the slick mouths, so we simply went in.

Blu June: We discuss that discuss!

Chi: I feel that’s one of many primary causes that B enjoys working with us, is that we are able to do the youthful sound, however we can also make it sound very mature and cater to a married girl with youngsters who’s developed in her profession. I like when she calls us for information like that as a result of we get to be who we’re, but additionally be sexual, but additionally be highly effective on the similar time.

Blu June: After we sat down at her home and he or she performed it the primary time — how completely different it’s now and the wedding of the issues that she’s achieved — she’s so unbelievable.

What was your first response whenever you heard the completed album?

Chi: I used to be like, “Yo, she’s going to personal the summer season.” Persons are going to bounce. It simply makes me happy with her, as a result of she constantly does what nobody else is doing and he or she’s so fearless, you recognize? Being how seasoned she is, I really feel like lots of people get stagnant and attempt to do what’s widespread. However she all the time is pushing to do what’s not widespread and he or she’s constantly setting traits after being on this business for 25-plus years. That’s a really exhausting factor to do. She’s an icon, she’s a legend, she is a queen.

Let’s speak about “Transfer,” which you co-wrote. What’s it wish to have your identify on a tune with Grace Jones?

Blu June: It’s a dream come true. It’s like, the Grace Jones. Simply witnessing her greatness — you’ll be able to by no means actually plan for moments like this, so when it occurs it seems like a giant shock. You are feeling like a fan yet again, and we’re simply tremendous humbled.

Chi: On my 2021 imaginative and prescient board, Grace Jones is on there and it says “icon” on prime of it. So to have the ability to cross off issues with our imaginative and prescient boards has been so wonderful as nicely.

“Pure/Honey” is a lot enjoyable, and samples drag legends Kevin Aviance and Moi Renee. What was it like producing and writing that one, and the way did you supply these samples?

Chi: “Honey” was the final tune we did. We have been attempting to sit down down with B and catch a few of her power and the place her headspace was, however she was out and in of city. However we have been truly capable of create the thought in her studio, in order that gave us the power.

Blu June: We needed one thing that felt fashionable, but additionally gave you that throwback, retro, disco really feel. I keep in mind getting on the keyboard and enjoying some chords … it simply felt cool, it felt funky.

Chi: She liked it. I keep in mind speaking to Dream, possibly like every week later within the studio, and I used to be like, “Who discovered the ‘Miss Honey’ pattern? Was that you just?” and he was like “Nah, that was B.” The tune was “Honey,” the pattern is “Honey”; it’s in the identical key. The synchronicity of it was insane.

“Summer season Renaissance” samples Donna Summer season’s iconic tune “I Really feel Love.” What about that tune impressed you?

Blu June: That’s one other one which we produced and co-wrote. She was very impressed by Donna Summer season, and so we actually needed to feed her that inspiration. Even Donna Summer season being a pioneer of disco — some folks don’t know that again story, so we needed to make folks dance, but additionally give them a bit historical past, too, and say, “Hey, look, we’ve got roots on this.” Being two ladies of shade, to have the ability to convey that to the forefront is one thing that we actually needed to do.

Chi: That was a really magical second within the studio. We undoubtedly did our analysis about disco. We actually sat down, googled “disco” — how did it begin? It actually began with Donna Summer season’s “I Really feel Love.” So we did our analysis in regards to the synths and the delays. It was so good, we couldn’t get round it, we needed to pattern it. However we additionally mentioned, “Yo, keep in mind she mentioned she’s by no means had a home tune?” So we simply form of combined the disco with the home.

What’s your favourite reminiscence from the recording course of?

Chi: Our favourite factor was to sit down down together with her as an individual exterior of music, exterior of the work and simply to see her as a human being, to sit down collectively simply as associates. Kick it, eat pizza; speak about how we shouldn’t be consuming pizza. However simply her being a real lover of life and really being real. Individuals suppose she’s this out-of-reach sort of individual, and he or she’s actually only a common human being who desires greatness and he or she actually desires love for everyone.

Blu June: I keep in mind we went to her home in 2020, like pandemic occasions, and I had been understanding and shed like 40 kilos. As quickly as I walked in and he or she noticed me, she mentioned, “Oh my god, Blu, you might be snatched!” And I began laughing and he or she was like, “No, I’m severe, you look good.” And that caught with me and gave me a lot confidence going into creating these songs. I used to be feeling good about myself, I used to be excessive on life. Simply moments like that, very human moments that you may share with an artist as nice as Beyoncé — it simply means quite a bit to you. I’m fairly certain she will get compliments on a regular basis, however to provide them to another person, it simply meant quite a bit to me.

Chi: Even the very first time we met her, she caught her hand out to shake our fingers and he or she mentioned, “Hello, I’m Beyoncé,” as if we didn’t know that she was Beyoncé. She’s so pure.

What does it imply to you to be so concerned on this album within the male-dominated area of songwriting and manufacturing?

Blu June: Actually, it’s a dream come true, however it’s one thing that we knew we have been going to perform. As a result of primary, we’ve got one another. And so we each know the way gifted we’re, and simply placing that collectively, nothing can actually cease us. But it surely’s been a protracted, exhausting battle, particularly on the manufacturing facet. So to have produced three songs on the album, with two further manufacturing credit, in order that’s 5 whole on the album — that’s one thing that’s by no means been achieved earlier than.

Chi: Particularly with two of the highest songs proper now, “Cuff It” and “Summer season Renaissance,” for these to be our productions and our writing that began from us, it’s simply so unbelievable. We’re so excited.

This interview has been edited and condensed.



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