Photo via OGM / SaintOnSet
Money isn’t everything when you got it, and for NAV, this couldn’t be more fitting. Always looking out for his peers, his motivation lies in taking care of those who take care of him — prioritizing relationships over anything.
Off the back of his new album Demons Protected By Angels, the Toronto-bred emcee has experienced a come-up unique to his deep roots as a producer. Alongside his status as a SoundCloud era pioneer — who constantly battled Lil Uzi Vert on the platform’s trending chart — NAV’s underwater trap sound skyrocketed him to underground acclaim in 2015-16. Soon enough, he was signed to The Weeknd’s label XO — collaborating with him on his self-titled debut project for their track “Some Way.”
That, “TTD” and “Myself” became NAV’s first-career classics in 2017, which ultimately led to Billboard-topping hits in the years to follow. Tracks like “Beibs In The Trap,” “Lemonade,” “Wanted You,” “Tap” and “Don’t Need Friends” are the infinity stones of NAV’s discography, as much as his efforts with Lil Uzi Vert and Wheezy are. While Emergency Tsunami (2020) was a moment for the producer-rapper dual threat, Demons Protected By Angels — and his upcoming LP NAV 2 — are the premiere points of his artistic evolution.
NAV has always stayed behind the boards to some degree on every one of his projects. He explains that DPAB brought out a side of him that he hasn’t felt “in a long time,” prompting him to fully dive back into his producer bag for NAV 2. Crafting “eight, nine full songs” for the album thus far, NAV knows that to produce at a high level, you can’t skip practice. “It’s like basketball. You have to practice or the rust will spread.”
He has an undying respect for his fanbase, as he takes the time to show love to those “who are chill, cool like me.” Shouting out fellow Indian rapper Yung Fazo, NAV isn’t remiss to mention the lane he’s paved — inspiring young, marginalized creatives to take hold of their dreams and purse them. He still can’t believe that he’s achieved what he has, saying “I quit a couple of times, but I gave it one more time. Always give it one more chance.” He even recalls seeing a shooting star on the balcony outside his childhood bedroom, begging for his prayers of success to be answered. Fortunately, they were.
Competitive in nature — always striving to be the best in both music and his favorite hobby, bowling — expect his next record to be a robust, nostalgic continuation of his sound.
With NAV 2 on the horizon, the multitalented creative chopped it up with OGM host Hakeem Rowe to speak on his new album, XO, collaborations with Lil Uzi Vert, The Weeknd and so much more in our latest Our Generation Music exclusive.
Watch NAV’s OGM exclusive below!