The song serves as his fifth collaborative track with Travis Scott, and his third with Lil Baby. In an interview with Complex released on the same day as the single, he explained how surreal it feels to be in the company of superstars like these.
“It’s an honor,” he said. “I started off as a beat-maker and an engineer, as this quiet person not really doing an artist thing. To be here now feels so out of place, in a good way… I can’t believe my name is there, it’s my song, it’s with these great artists, these big guys. I’m just really grateful that I can even be blessed to have the chance.”
“Never Sleep” serves as the lead promotional single for his upcoming album Demons Protected by Angels, which is his first full-length project in over a year. With his last two solo studio albums Bad Habits (2019) and Good Intentions (2020) both debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, NAV feels pretty confident that he’ll be able to replicate that success.
“I think we’re gonna hit and deliver, because I tried really hard, and I was very conscious about the song choices, topic choices, the lyric choices, everything,” he said. “We’ll see.”
Currently without a release date, cover art or track list, Demons Protected by Angels was announced by NAV in late June. He explained that the album’s title came from his desire to support his friend’s small business after he bought his friend’s sweater that had the words “Fighting Demons Protected by Angels” on the back of it.
“The album title was inspired by a sweater that my friend had made,” he said. “It was very meaningful to me, because he came up with that himself when his mom passed away about a year ago. So I was like, ‘Wow, that’s even better.’ Like, it actually has a good meaning. So that’s why we came up with it.”
On each of NAV’s last three albums, which includes 2020’s collaborative project Emergency Tsunami with Wheezy, he had features from both Young Thug and Gunna. While he has not yet confirmed the feature roster for Demons Protected by Angels, he continues to keep the YSL trailblazers in his thoughts, evident in the album’s promotional billboards.
“Putting out an album and not being around my peers, like Gunna and Thug and them, it just feels weird,” he said.
NAV’s consistency, distinct sound and wherewithal in the studio as an engineer, producer and rapper has led to him being one of the most sought after artists in the genre. Fans are hungrier than ever for a new NAV LP, and his humble, yet determined mindset should likely yield favorable results once again.
Check out “Never Sleep” in preparation for NAV’s upcoming album below!