Nova Miller's brand new EP, The Passion, just turned back time with a decidedly modern twist.
Though the 19-year-old Swedish sensation may be best known for her mind-blowing vocal range and ardent TikTok fanbase, she's also a self-described "old soul" — something that's made clear from the nostalgia-heavy sounds of this referential yet fresh-sounding record. Inspired by '70s disco and the free-wheeling spirit of the '60s, it's an irresistibly fun pop gem that also touches on some extremely relatable themes, including post-split glow-ups, gender equity, and the often rocky road toward true self-love. And so, in honor of The Passion's debut, we decided to ask her to breakdown the entire 8-track record for us — and what she has to say will definitely flesh out the listening experience and make it that much better.
So queue up the EP and check out Nova's track-by-track explanation of The Passion, below.
"Girls Like Us"
"Girls Like Us" just wanna have fun (and be paid equally, treated with respect, and be president). We need this right now. We need energy, we need each other, we need support. I wanted to create a feminine bop that slaps. I love this song because it makes me feel so confident. It's like, 'I'm in control' (shout out Janet Jackson). I really wanted to flip the narrative of being a 'girl in love.' Like, I'll call him if I have time.
"Here With Me"
This song is giving me Madonna "Get Into The Groove"-meets-my future sexy self. Sexy has never been a part of my aesthetic, but maybe it's something I'll grow into. So there's this dope artist called Sickick, and we got to do this together. When we were recording it in the studio, we were both imagining singing it live and the whole crowd going, "Ain't no place." I cannot wait for that. This is so outside of my normal territory, but I wanted to push myself. I love the airy and vibe-y vocals (R.I.P. Whistle note). If I knew how to drive, I would blast this in my car and drive for hours.
"Do It To Myself"
This song is my Jose Feliciano "California Dreamin'" moment. There is this incredible alternate version of the Mamas and the Papas classic, "California Dreamin'" in the [Quentin] Tarantino film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and I am completely in love with it. "Do It To Myself" is the song I connect to the most artistically. It's about self-sabotaging — the worst form of going crazy. This song really made me realize that you are your worst enemy. And if you can acknowledge that, and evolve past it, you become stronger than ever. It's my most streamed song to this day and one that is close to both me and my fans, so it was important to me to put it on the EP.
If a boy don't make it better, why [do] they say it's a "Man's World"? I wrote this song right before I had one of the most emotional conversations of my whole life. My fitness mentor — Daryl from the Dungeon of Discipline (Yeah, they don't play around) — looked me in the eyes and said, "You better work harder, Nova. This is a man's world." It stuck with me, and it really shook me up for days. It gave this song so much meaning, and so, so much passion. I'm not gonna be okay with being underestimated for being a woman, or young, or ambitious. I needed to hear this when I wrote it. Like, Nova, you don't need a man to validate you. You can tell yourself you are amazing. I'm gonna do my thing until someone comes along and makes it better. We gotta meet in the middle, I'm not settling anymore.
"Mi Amor" was born when I was in Sweden listening to ABBA constantly. I remember being in the studio and when we found the guitar riff and bassline, it felt powerful. I wanted to channel the power of the music and tell a story about evolving into your better self, especially after a breakup. There's nothing more satisfying than when an ex wants you back. It's all that "He'll regret it, I'll forget it" kinda stuff. It's full of confidence, and that's how I hope people feel when they listen to it.
"Timing" is one of my favorite songs I've ever made! I wrote it right when I moved to L.A. from Sweden, which was over a year ago now. It's about meeting the right one at the wrong time. I had this one friend I really liked, but when I moved away, they got in a relationship. And it was so frustrating because I just knew we would've been great if we had better timing. I think this is super relatable for a lot of people and am so happy to finally release it. I'm in love with that dry bassline in the chorus. I wanted to do a sort of Michael Jackson "Thriller"-meets-Jon Bellion production.
"Talk To Me"
I was in a session and we started discussing the norm [of] "guys should make the first move." Like, why not just take the chance and walk up to person that you like? What are you waiting for? If you don't do it, you might have missed out on some great moments. This song is basically just me reminding you to not be afraid and to do whatever you want again. But hey, what else is new?
"Cry Baby Cry"
"Cry Baby Cry"
I love this song so much. This is my ballad moment on the EP. I really relate to this song in many ways, because I am a very giving person: If I care about someone I will prioritize them, give them all my trust, and time and care. But if someone mistreats that, it's nice to see karma do its thing. I can't wait to be able to play this live. I have so many ideas about how to twist it around, which I love doing in my shows.
Photos courtesy of Nova Miller