Super Novah: March 1, as it turns out, gave us more reason to celebrate than the fact that spring, and March Madness, is fast approaching. Jade Novah, an R&B superstar in the making, released Where Have I Been? — a staggeringly impressive collection of pop & soul gems weighing in at a mighty 24 tracks.

It’s a heartwarming and heart-wrenching body of work, a love-themed concept album of sorts, that showcases her gorgeous voice. It’s an authentic, honest and warm album, taking the listener on a journey that’s almost as expansive as her own.

“I’ve been singing and performing since I was a little girl,” Novah says. “I grew up in a musical family so it was always around me. Music has always been serious for me (at least in my mind). I was in a girl group most of my childhood and was always in the studio recording and rehearsing and doing theater in drama club at school. Songwriting came a little bit later for me. I started writing casually in high school and it became a more serious passion in my college years.”

Her passion for music emerged from two very different directions.

“When I was young, my father was really into rock music and my mother was deep into musicals,” she says. “Between that random combination and growing up with ‘90s R&B, I’d say that my sound is a mashup of all those musical influences from my childhood. I love the art of storytelling and that has always been an important element in my music. I’m inspired by artists who tell stories on their albums like Jill Scott. Jamie Foxx and Donald Glover are two other artists who inspire me because of the way they take up space in comedy, music, and acting.”

Novah believes that R&B is currently in a beautiful space and a healthy place.

“I think R&B music is in a beautiful space,” she says. “People no longer have to depend on radio and major networks as the only source to discover new music. There are so many incredible independent artists who are making music that is pushing the genre forward.”

Novah is a part of that thriving scene, and she has been since 2013 when she won an independent artist competition through the Grammys.

“I was given the opportunity to perform at a Grammy event that was live-streamed on their platform,” she says. “This was my first professional performance as a solo artist, and I was nervous and anxious. I had spent most of my life recording in the studio, but performing live is a completely different artform that took me years to perfect. That first show was not my best, but it opened up so many doors and gave me a great foundation for future performances.”

Novah’s debut album was All Blue, and she’s understandably proud of it while admitting that she’s grown as an artist since then.

“I’ve definitely evolved as far as storytelling and having an album that tells a complete story from beginning to end,” she says. “My latest project, Where Have I Been?, is what I like to call ‘visuals through sound’ and I highly recommend listening to it in order on the first listen. It’s a love language origin story that reflects on my childhood and the past relationships that shaped the way I love and how I want to be loved by others.”

Work on the new album began in 2022 and she recorded it in her home studio in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband/executive producer Devin Johnson.

“I have some incredible features on this album: Wayne Brady, Leslie Odom Jr., Tabitha Brown, Tony Baker and Gail Bean, as well as Kenyon Dixon and Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball from Tank and the Bangas,” Novah says. “The album touches on some very sensitive subjects, so I was grateful to have my husband creating this project with me because he was able to hold space for me in a way that other producers might not have been able to.”

That is an impressive list of guests. So how did she set about choosing them?

“I am a huge fan of every single feature on Where Have I Been?” Novah says. “I was very intentional about getting artists who existed in creative spaces that I am also passionate about. Tony Baker is an incredible comedian. Stand-up comedy is actually a world that I am slowly getting prepared to step into with my own unique twist. Tabitha Brown is taking over in the vegan community and I’ve actually been plant-based myself for seven years now. Gail Bean is an amazing actress that you might know from Snowfall and P Valley. She and I worked on a pilot together a few years ago and have stayed in contact ever since. I’m so inspired by her journey and her gifts. Both Leslie Odom Jr. and Wayne Brady are phenomenal Broadway actors, and that is also a long-term dream of mine. Kenyon Dixon is a good friend of mine and an industry peer who I’m so inspired by. We did Season Two of That’s My Jam on NBC together and our song ‘Rollercoaster’ is our third collaboration together. I’m so grateful to have these incredible creatives help me tell my story on this album.”

Where Have I Been? is, Novah says, a self-love journey and a story of healing and accountability.

“It’s based on some real life experiences,” she says. “Wayne Brady plays my father, who was never able to verbalize love or give words of affirmation. Tabitha Brown plays my therapist, and so much of what her character gives to me on the album is based on my real life experiences in therapy and how I had to heal my inner child in order to let go of things that no longer serve me. Ultimately I learned how to use words of affirmation to affirm myself, and that’s the journey of the album.”

With Where Have I Been? out now, the rollout and promotion will keep Novah busy this year.

“I have some live shows lined up already this year, including a show at SXSW this month,” she says. “I just shot a pilot for a show that I really hope gets picked up by a network because the cast is incredible and I had such an amazing time on set. I am manifesting that I’ll be working on that show this year, lol. I am a resident vocalist and comedian on Jimmy Fallon’s musical comedy game show, That’s My Jam, and it just got picked up for a third season so I’ll be shooting that in L.A. later this year. My husband Devin and I have a label and production company called Let There Be Art, and we just started an indie collective through our company to help educate independent artists on how to build better systems for their business. We’re launching a podcast this year and have already interviewed some incredible artists and creatives as part of our indie collective initiative. I’m already working on some new music, too, so stay tuned!”

We sure will.

Super Novah: Jade Novah’s Where Have I Been? is out now.






































































































































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