Multi-talented Berlin-based artist Noah Slee is nothing but ordinary. Starting with his captivating vocals and moving on to his style and self-directed visuals, the queer artist offers much more than gorgeous neo-soul/r&b sound.
Growing up in a Tongan household in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2015 he moved to Germany. He then made Berlin his new home, regarding which he shares 'a big part of being in Berlin was coming into myself'. Finding himself in this highly-cultural city, the artist also found another community he became part of, together with broader ways of expression.
After his 2017 debut album Otherland and his 2019 EP TWICE, he’s now soon to share with us another full-length project, It Takes A Village.
We managed to steal Noah away from his busy schedule, just before dropping the LP and taking off to mesmerize Europe on his upcoming tour. In this interview we got him to share a bit about his new single, the upcoming album, his life away from home and much more!
Hi, Noah! It’s such a pleasure to have the chance to meet our audience with an interesting and multi-talented artist such as yourself! Thank you for this interview!
Stay up to date.
You just dropped a new single “GOLDEN” - great vibes and message! And I love the fact that you collaborated with German singer Joy Denalane. How did you two meet and decide to get together for this track?
We met through my publisher. I’ve known about Joy for a while and I’m a fan of her music so it was surreal to work together.
I know that the video for “Golden”, which you directed yourself, is shot in Berlin and Mallorca (Spain). Can you share a bit about the creative process?
I knew we were shooting in Mallorca so I worked backwards and tried to think what can I shoot there that represents the song and its intentions.
There are so many layers to each frame and everything was intentional.
How do you say/write “music” in your language? And when did you realize you want to be a musician?
Really young actually like 9-10 years old. I remember watching live shows on TV and I was drawn to the music and the experience and was like I wanna do that!.
You’re a multi-talented artist and it looks like you love revealing new parts of your artistic self. What’s the latest skill/talent you discovered within.
I’ve come to terms with the title creative director. Every part of the visual element of this project I have come up with and been very meticulous about. From the cover art to the videos. I use to shy away from thinking I could do it but I have enough experience to know what I want and how to produce it.
How did you decide to move to Berlin? Would you call the city your home or do you have an appetite for living elsewhere as well?
I’m not sure if it’s because of the constant lockdown and being in Berlin but I’m getting an urge to be somewhere else for a longer period. My soul is hinting for change and new experiences. Berlin will always be my home away from home though.
Moving abroad and especially on another continent is incredibly challenging and requires guts, patience and determination. For some people, and I guess you might be one of them, going away from home often results in finding a better environment and opportunities for self-development. As well as getting to know yourself better. What are your thoughts on this?
It really does take a while to find your way and requires a lot of patience. If you like a place enough you will endure the hardships of settling in and learning the ways of the land. As a creative, I move somewhere to learn and grow so it’s inevitable.
What’s your favourite thing in Berlin?
At the moment my favourite thing is that there are so many singers and songwriters OR maybe it’s because we’ve finally found each other.
Do you miss New Zealand and do you think of moving back there?
A lot and YES! I’ll go back one day and I’m excited about it!
You’ve worked with amazing artists such as Shiloh Dynasty, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Jordan Rakei, WAYNE SNOW. How do you feel about these collabs?
WOW, yeah, that’s crazy! I love collaboration. When an artist goes somewhere you wouldn’t expect to is what gets me!!
Is there a song that always makes you smile and uplifts you, no matter what?
“Move on UP” - Curtis Mayfield
How do you feel about milestones in terms of your career and are there certain things that you’d love to achieve?
I try not to think about it too much; for me it’s not sustainable to be pushing for the biggest highs. Although I do dream BIG and have always, I try and separate my creative process and how my art is received because it’s one of those things that are in my control. I simply like creating and that’s not only my projects. I do a lot of different creative things and having different creative outlets gives me a good sense of calm.
Name a couple of music artists you’re currently into.
TBH, I've been doing a deep dive into PRINCE again… it’s been a while for me. He’s so prolific and such a G!
What are you cooking for us this year? Please, tell us a bit about your upcoming projects.
My album It Takes A Village drops on April 29th and features a few of my favourite Berlin artists. To be honest, it’s my most important work and I’m really proud of it.