In the over-saturated EDM community, it’s almost daunting thinking about all the “up and coming” artists, who most likely clutter your newsfeed with paid promotional posts; however, once in a blue moon we are graced with fresh talent that has both a unique skill and performance style to set themselves apart form being labeled “just another DJ.”
That’s where Jack Novak comes in. Over the past few years, her talent has catapulted her to new industry heights, with support from both fans and industry professionals. This summer her name has been added to major festival lineups including Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival and Chicago’s Lollapalooza, where she gives crowds a whole new understanding of the phrase “stage presence.”
Just this past weekend, she kicked off Firefly Music Festival on Thursday, June 19th, as the first performer for the Pavilion Stage, which hosted the majority of the EDM performers; however, after her set, she certainly made it difficult for anyone else to follow up, because her set included unparallelled liveliness that would make the Energizer bunny proud. You can see what I mean below:
On Saturday, June 21st, Jack opened for Jay Hardway at Webster Hall’s Brite Nites, where she brought New York the same hype that frees you of every anxiety and concern, so you just feel the music and the positive atmosphere of the fellow ragers around you.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jack after her set at Firefly to learn about everything from her musical influences to favorite pizza topping!
Read below and learn why Jack is soon to become your next favorite name in EDM!
EDM NYC: You put in a lot of time and effort to learn the ins and outs of production. What EDM subgenre do you think is the easiest and the hardest to produce?
Jack Novak: I wouldn’t say that there’s any particular genre that’s “easy” to produce because no matter how simple the production is, it still has to have something about it that is catchy and sticky to make it a good song. Good music is good music, whether it’s three chords, and you’re playing it on the piano, or if it’s really super musical. So I wouldn’t say anything is “easy,” but I would say in terms of “hard” production, drum and bass stuff is pretty intricate. It’s pretty musical and has a lot going on, and a lot of details- so I would say drum and bass!
EDM NYC: Is there an artist you’ve collaborated with or who you’ve seen perform who has changed the way you approach your craft.
Jack Novak: Collaboration no, but seeing perform… It’s kind of a funny answer, but I’ve played some shows with Carnage, and he’s such an unbelievable DJ! He can really change from Latin music, to hardstyle, to big room, to drum and bass, to some random deep house song you’ve never heard – he does that with so much finesse. I loved playing those shows with him and just watching him do his thing. He’s been DJing for I think over 10 years, and even though he’s only really popped off in the last 5 years, he’s been DJing for a long time and he’s a really talented DJ. It was awesome to watch him do that because it made me realize how fun it is to bring in different influences and not just do one thing when you’re live.
EDM NYC: They say “You go to New York when you want to become someone, Los Angeles when you are someone, and Miami when you want to be someone else.” With your career taking you from NY to LA and all around the world, how have these cities influenced you and your DJ production?
Jack Novak: New York was great. I lived there when I was really young, and I love New York City, but to be honest with you, I just got to a point where I knew I wanted a big change, and I knew I wanted to focus on music, and I love all the space in LA. That’s really why I went to LA because there’s so much creativity happening there, and so much awesome music being made. Also, the way that LA is set up you can get out and give your mind space. I don’t really know what to say about that quote, but I just kind of followed my instinct, and my instinct told me to go to LA, and just completely focus on music. That’s what I did, and it worked out all right!
EDM NYC: Music is one of the few things in this world that can lift your spirit when life seems to be in the shitter. Do you have that one song that can always make you feel good no matter what?
Jack Novak: I really love DeJ Loaf; she’s from Detroit, she’s a female rapper. She kind of sings and raps. Her song “Try Me” – if I listen to that, I always feel good. That’s definitely one of my go-to songs if I’m feeling good, and there’s this other track that I like a lot: it’s called “Very First Breath” by Hudson Mohawke. It’s just good vibes. Neither of those two songs are “banging EDM” songs, but on the EDM tip, there’s a Paris Blohm remix of “Lose Myself” and it features Lynn Gun, who is actually in that band Paris. She’s an unbelievably talented singer, and she’s going to be huge- I mean she’s already on her way. She’s featured on that song, and her voice is soooo beautiful to me; I love that song. I’ll definitely play it at Webster Hall!
On a personal note, I knew if Jack was recommending some tunes, I had to check them out, and just as I thought, I immediately fell in love! You too can check out her recommendations below!
EDM NYC: Your set for Firefly included a lot of “Pop EDM” favorites like Alesso’s “Heroes” or “Welcome to the Jungle” by Alvaro & Mercer. As a DJ do you find it conflicting between playing songs people know and love vs songs like Hudson Mohawke, which may not necessarily get people hyped, but are songs people should know because they’re so great?
Jack Novak: It really depends on the live arena. There are certain clubs where I can play a more eclectic set, but I think for a festival, especially opening a festival, you want to do something that people can just have fun with. I try to play a lot of remixes, maybe some people might already be familiar with, like Coldplay or Oasis. Honestly, I don’t play anything that I don’t love, so I’m never conflicted. I just play what I love!
EDM NYC: The EDM industry is notorious for having a lack of female representation. What do you think needs to change in order to encourage more woman to break in?
Jack Novak: I think that it needs to be less focused on DJs being male or female, and more about what they bring to the table, what kind of music they’re making, what kind of a show they put on and I feel everyone should be judged equally– boy or girl- it doesn’t really matter. If you’re doing an amazing job, then people will enjoy it, but I think the thing that will help women the most is to have less focus on it being a “female thing” and just more about making really good music.
EDM NYC: What steps can we start taking as industry workers or fans in order to start supporting these female artists and make that change happen?
Jack Novak: Just support and repost the music, support the live stages. But the main thing is to just support the music. Also, I think that the best thing for someone who is into your projects can do is get to know the artist a little bit better, engage them on social media, really check out what they’re about, and then support them that way, as opposed to just supporting a woman because she’s a woman. For me it just always comes back to, if the music’s good, then give it props, and if it’s not, then okay!
EDM NYC: Now for some fun questions! What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Jack Novak: Pineapple! I love it!
EDM NYC: If you could have one super power what would it be?
Jack Novak: Invisibility!
EDM NYC: What movie villain scared you the most as a kid?
Jack Novak: Probably Cruella De Vil because she was mean to the puppies, and I’m an animal lover. I love dogs!
EDM NYC: Do you have a dog?
Jack Novak: I do! I have a Teacup Yorkshire Terrier and a Brussels Griffon. Honestly I don’t understand how somebody can’t love animals. I love cats, dogs, every single animal!
EDM NYC: What do you want to have accomplished by this time next year?
Jack Novak: I’d like to accomplish just putting out great memorable music, that makes people feel good!
And this rising star is sure on her way! With her professional approach to tackling the music industry, her friendly and humble demeanor, there is no doubt in my mind that in no time her name will crawl up festival lineup lists straight for the top!
To hear more of Jack’s original production, check out her newest release, “Driving Blind” below!
– Liz Tillman for EDM NYC