“Unveiling Creativity: Exploring She Nova’s Musical Journey and Artistic Vision in an Exclusive Interview with Marco Derhy”

As part of our “Inspiring Success Stories” series, we are thrilled to interview She Nova, an award-winning artist and music producer known on social media for her impactful songs and quirky music videos. Nova has gone viral multiple times since 2019, first on Twitch and then shortly after YouTube, with over 4.7 million views on her channel today. She has had two songs go #1 on iHeart radio’s most influential indie playlist, aBreak 58, and has won multiple awards for her music videos, including ‘Best Pop Video’ for her self-made video ‘ADHDAF’ at the Women’s Hollywood Film Festival. Nova is also in the commercial sync world, landing placements on the Hulu series ‘Good Trouble’ and Mattel’s ‘My First Barbie commercial. Nova was featured on American Idol in 2020 during the Hollywood call-back auditions, landing some Twitter controversy over a Katy Perry-inspired wardrobe for her second audition. Now, Nova is showcasing her new production sound as she emerges into the electronic house music scene on Instagram and TikTok.

She Nova

She Nova, we are glad to have you here. Please provide our audience with a brief overview of your journey and what drives your passion for creating music that resonates with listeners worldwide.

She Nova: Music helps me understand myself and life. Writing songs lets me make sense of what’s in my head by laying it all out into a song. I am an abstract thinker, so music helps me explore my inner world multidimensionally: melody, harmony, lyrics, rhyme, tone, and vocal performance. Because that’s how I think… in layers, it’s not until I start building a song that I can see all the elements of my brain’s contents.

I started writing music and making videos in my backyard when I was eleven. I took it very seriously. I was homeschooled since fourth grade due to being diagnosed with dyslexia and also being bullied. As an undiagnosed ADHD pre-teen who was home a lot, let’s say I had a lot of time on my hands. So I made musicals, classical piano pieces, fashion clothing lines, poetry… I would even force my friends to be in my sitcom series Khris & Karen, which was trying to be a female rip-off of Drake and Josh. Telling a story through song and video came so naturally to me. I was overflowing with ideas all the time. I just couldn’t contain myself.

Your transition from Texas to Los Angeles marked a pivotal moment in your career. How did your experiences at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood shape your approach to music production and performance?

She Nova: We moved to California when I was 13 after being scouted and signed by a major acting agency in LA. I booked my first California audition for a guest starring role singing and acting on Nickelodeon’s ‘Unfabulous’ with Emma Roberts. After some years, I realized I wanted to tell my story in a script, not someone else’s. At 17, a close friend tragically passed, and through that grief, a strong sense of determination and purpose burned in me to shoot for the stars and work towards my dreams because, unlike my dear friend, I was privileged to still be alive on this planet even to have a dream. This led me to abandon my initial college plans and go to a full-time music conservatory where I could immerse myself night and day in what I loved: music. I got my associate degree in Keyboard Technology with an emphasis in Independent Artistry, where I began honing my writing, recording, performing, and marketing skills. It was a good place for me to try everything. Being an 18-year-old kid straight out of the nest and moving to LA, I am so grateful to have a home base of mentors and peers around me during that time. I’m not sure I would have stayed in LA without that support system and place of refuge.

Winning “Best Pop Video” at the Hollywood Women’s Film Festival for your music video “ADHDAF” was a remarkable achievement. Can you share the creative process behind the song and video and how it reflects your personal experiences and artistic vision?

She Nova: ADHDAF was so fun to make. It (obviously) stands for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) AF (as f*ck). The song is about my struggle with ADHD and how it’s a blessing and curse. That it won awards is truly exciting since it was totally homegrown, shooting it at my best friend’s house and editing it myself. It was a proud moment for me because making music videos is one of my favorite parts of the creative process as an artist. I would make videos every day of my life if I could. There are phases to being a music artist, though… living life, writing a song, recording and mixing, making the video, distribution, marketing, and social media… rinse and repeat. It’s a dynamic process, and I love each phase like different seasons in a year because I wouldn’t be the artist I needed to be when summer comes back around. It’s time to make videos for a new batch of songs if it weren’t for the winter seasons of digging deep into life and writing new material.

She Nova performing live.

Creating your debut album ‘MENTAL’ entirely on your own showcases your versatility as an artist. What inspired the themes and soundscape of the album, and what message do you hope listeners take away from it?

She Nova: Mental was permission for me to put whatever was in my brain onto a record. The album is rebellious, unapologetic, and empowering. Before that, I had only produced and released singles, so making this album was proof to myself that I could do the thing… independently. Russ’s aggressive release strategy of a song a week was a big inspiration to me, so I ended up doing a similar rollout of one song with a music video, behind-the-scenes, and lyric video once a week for 14 weeks. Entirely self-funded, I hired four different creative teams to help me produce the videos, producing and editing some myself.

I made this album for myself, but if someone gets something out of it, I hope they know they are not alone amid mental health struggles. Secondly, if they are an independent artist, making an album is possible, and I hope it inspires more artists to make stuff.

Achieving viral success on platforms like Twitch and YouTube is a testament to your connection with fans. How do you engage with your audience in these digital spaces, and how has this online presence influenced your career?

She Nova: Going viral is only as good as you are ready. I’ve gone viral several times, and every time, the success fizzles. Maybe I lacked a solid post-pop-off plan, but I also think that’s just the nature of the quick-paced platform. Either way, consistency has been a struggle for me as I’m someone who’s long-gaming it. I’m not looking for quick fame. I’m looking for a long, fruitful career that I can provide for myself and am afforded the time to keep making art. I’m not a machine; I’m a human, and I have deep feelings about that, so breaks are essential, especially when writing new material. So, to me, social media is just a tool, not a career, but rather a place to showcase my work.

With that said, social media is such a gift. It is a powerful tool, especially for someone like me who loves making videos. In this season of my career, I am focusing on posting short bits of unreleased songs just to see what people like. My pride used to stop me from doing this. I felt like I had to throw money at a video and release a song before promoting it on socials. However, what I’m seeing work for other artists is putting out teasers and letting something get popular where the fans demand a full release and THEN drop the song. I’ve also been noticing people sharing the process of making the video in that time, once fans are hooked and can’t wait for the release.

Collaborating with major brands and working on projects for ESPN and Netflix requires balancing artistry and technical prowess. How do you navigate this balance while staying true to your creative vision?

She Nova: Just out of necessity to pay rent and support myself, I have had to diversify my skill set and adapt to an ever-changing industry landscape. When I was going to college to study music, my interest leaned heavily toward writing and performing, and I was less excited about the technical side of music. However, the year I graduated, I began working with the audio software company Ableton, who quickly recruited me as an early-birth beta tester, sharing my feedback on how their software could be more intuitive for me as a user. Being predominantly self-taught through just making more and more music, I became self-sufficient as an artist, taking a song through the spark of inspired infancy to a completed master ready for release. In this, I acquired the skill of audio engineering, building, and running tracks on set through Ableton, and I understood how to build and route audio for live shows and playback on set. Working on EPSN’s Monday Night Football commercial featuring Chris Stapleton and Snoop Dogg was a big highlight in my career. I got the gig through my studio build partner, Greg Karas. We build, design, and operate audio solutions for studio and set applications under Karasene Systems. Greg and I have similar paths, starting as musicians and writers and later seeing the need for technical expertise in an industry full of artists. Although it was a team effort, I took the lead on this gig while Greg was out of town running playback for Kygo (world-renowned DJ and producer), running playback on our mobile rig, engineering live sound and artist’s IEM mixes while also running LTC (timecode) to cameras for sync. It was magic on that LA warehouse set, with an over 70-person crew; it was an honor to be a part of such an epic project.

Between the studio builds, engineering gigs, and all the videography and editing work I do for clients, prioritizing writing music can be a challenge. But as I say, “all in seasons”. For me, balance sometimes looks like not touching my keyboard for a month while taking paid gigs and then retreating to the lab for two weeks of a work lull. I’ve learned to follow the money when it comes to it because this industry isn’t the most consistent out there.

Your music placements with platforms like Hulu and collaborations with brands such as Barbie have been notable achievements. Can you share how these opportunities have influenced your artistic approach and the importance of music placements and sync in today’s music industry?

I have always had a dynamic sound and cross-genres often. Sync is the perfect word for artists who don’t fit in a box and like experimenting with sound. When I write music, I pretty much have a whole movie in my head playing anyway, so I may as well place my songs in them. Haha!
Sync is such an extraordinary world that I somehow slipped through the backdoor. One of my mixing engineer friends who did my last album asked me to record vocals for a Monster High Dolls commercial. Then, I met Andy Brohard, CEO and founder of Better Board Meeting, who is deeply involved in the sync world and started sending me briefs. There are two sides to sync licensing: 1 — Buyout briefs and 2—Placement licensing. Andy helped me get into the buyout world, where you basically get a brief from a company, like Mattel, that needs a song written with specific keywords that sound like XYZ reference to advertise their new Barbie product.
So the producers and writers under Andy send pitches of these songs, jingles, and mnemonics that were written based on the briefs, and then the company basically buys the song at a flat rate, no strings attached. It’s a fantastic hustle, and I have enjoyed writing based on briefs like this, where I have to write based on these parameters. I was like a fish to water with it.

She Nova

Your song “Flip The Switch” reaching #1 on iHeart radio’s aBreak 58 Playlist was a significant milestone. How did this success impact your career, and what insights did you gain from this achievement?

She Nova: Charting is one of my proudest achievements, and I am so thankful to Bruce Tyler at aBreak for believing in me to even get on the list. However, after the song became #1, I fell into a bit of a depression. After over a decade of hoping to acquire such an accolade, it didn’t do what I guess I was hoping for it to do… made me feel worthy and wanted. When this happened in 2022, I was called to take a step back and reassess my intentions for making music in the first place. This led me down a rabbit hole of self-assessment. Was my music a mere vehicle I was looking to use to get me the validation and praise I felt so void of deep down? Needless to say, a spiritual awakening and ego death of sorts took place. God sat me down and humbled me, saying, “I need you to let it all go and be at peace with never touching a key or making another song again. Just be my child for a while.” I wouldn’t say I liked this. It hurt a lot, as I have been pouring time, energy, and money into my music career for over a decade, and I was convinced it was my calling in life. Why would God give me such natural gifts in the arts if I were just to go all this way and have Him tell me to give them up? In that season, when I stepped away and obeyed this explicit and cutting instruction, I learned the art of detachment. While gaining a more removed perspective through the peace I found with letting go, I realized I had been blocking my blessings all along. Although I know music is my calling, during that time, God showed me how to relax my fists, let go of everything I was trying to achieve, and let God pour into me and my life. This achievement was a catalyst for all of this and became the season of my career. I am most thankful for a test of surrender and trust that I will be okay no matter what. And now, when opportunity and success come my way, I receive graciously knowing that, although exciting, my internal peace and fulfillment come from something much more profound and inherent.

She Nova

Looking ahead, what can fans and audiences expect from She Nova regarding new music releases, upcoming collaborations, or exciting projects on the horizon?

She Nova: I’m beginning to leak my upcoming electronic EP. The title is tentatively “The Dream.” It’s my best work, and I’m honored to share it. My team has been internally shopping the songs to labels for representation. In the meantime, I will keep posting portions of the songs on social media. I think social media is a great place to get feedback and see which songs hit and why.

She Nova

For our readers and fans who are inspired by your journey and eager to stay updated on your latest projects and music releases, how can they connect with you and follow your work?

She Nova: I am definitely an Instagram girly. You can also follow me for daily posts and stories on TikTok. You can donate through my website and sign up for my mailing list to support my work. Subscribe to my YouTube channel, where all my music videos are live.

Thank you, She Nova, for sharing your insights and experiences. Your journey as a multifaceted artist is truly inspiring, and we look forward to witnessing your continued success in the music industry and beyond.



Inspiring True Stories with Marco Derhy

Entrepreneur | Author | 20 years in publication | Content Creator & Interviews w/media Impact | Writer |Film producer|Founder @ Derhy Enterprises.“God is First”