Nova Twins: 'We want to keep pushing this movement forward to change a scene that's not made for everybody'
- David Pollock
- 21 April 2020
London duo Amy Love and Georgia South discuss their recently released debut album and desire to keep progressing in the genre
When Amy Love and Georgia South released 'Bassline Bitch', their first track as Nova Twins, in 2015, they were referred to as 'urban punks', which at the time felt like the perfect description for a duo whose influences ranged from NERD, Missy Elliott and Kanye West (South) to the New York Dolls and the MC5 (Love), with a shared appreciation of artists like the Prodigy and Princess Nokia.
'We don't really use that label any more,' says South. 'When we came out we didn't know how to describe ourselves, and someone said "urban punk", so we were like, "OK". Someone the other day said "Novacore": that's much better. You can't bracket it, unless you use a ton of genres.'
'They tried to pigeonhole us,' says Love, 'but you know, it's not this and it's not that. And I guess "urban punk" is really just another way of saying "black people playing punk and rock music". We just want to drop the labels. It is what it is, take what you want from it; leave it open and up to the listener.'
The pair met when they were teenagers studying music in college in London. Not together; South is from London and Love from Essex, and they were each attending in different parts of the city, where Love first met South's brother. 'This was years ago, so we hung out loads, became family, went on holidays,' says South. 'We were just inseparable growing up.'
They were both in separate bands who played on the same bills; when their own projects fizzled out, the obvious became inevitable. 'We thought, why don't we make a song together?' says South. 'We're together all the time, we're basically living together – so we did, and that song was "Bad Bitches". It was just bass and vocals, the foundation of what we are now. We were like, this is great; it just felt so natural to make music together.'
The pair's bright and vivid combination of punk attitude and searing choruses has won them many fans, including Prophets of Rage, Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, and Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian producer Jim Abbiss, who has produced their recent debut album Who Are the Girls?.
'Like most bands, we just want to keep pushing forward,' says Love, 'and pushing this movement forward to change a scene that's not made for everybody. If we can be a different face in the rock scene, then a lot of people can see their reflection in there. It was a bit of a struggle for us originally, because that recycled Bikini Kill sound was coming back again, and we didn't fit in that as women of colour playing rock music. It was the bands and promoters who helped us, took us on tour and booked us to play that helped make the space for us.'
Who Are the Girls? is out now on 333 Wreckords.