A select group of RL Grime fans received a very special package in the mail from the man himself, describing his next move as an artist… and it’s a big one.
In short, over the next year at least, all of RL Grime’s aesthetic will be governed by one simple concept: Nova.
“A nova or classical nova is an astronomical event that causes the sudden appearance of a bright “new” star, that slowly fades from view over several weeks or many months.
Causes of their dramatic appearance varies depending on the circumstances of the progenitor stars […].”
Included in the packet is a large degree of what some might call “lore” – there are transcripts from a studio session with Miguel, during the recording of their collaboration “Stay For It.” RL Grime includes a personal letter to fans describing the concept behind Nova and what it means for him as an artist, and how it applies to fans, as well. There are also a handful of pictures of Henry, in the studio and on stage, as well as various concept images.
Finally, an image of a Nova on the last page surrounded by a group of locations, including San Francisco, El Paso, Nashville, Bston, Toronto, and more. The table of contents lists this page as just “Cities,” though the meaning behind them is more vague. More than likely, they are locations for tour dates, but we don’t know for sure.
RL Grime’s letter to fans reads:
Since the release of VOID, I’ve quietly been working on the next chapter of the RL Grime project. I take pride in ensuring there is true meaning and purpose behind the music I release. The landscape has changed significantly since my last album, and the past few years have been helpful in gaining perspective on what that purpose is.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world off the things I’ve made, and the realization I’ve come to is this: From the artwork, to the music videos, to the live show; hearing the music is just a part of a much greater whole. The thing that unites it isn’t just RL Grime, it’s your experiences. For this next chapter, just like you’ve been with me to share the results of the process, this time I want to share the journey with you as well.
I am calling this journey Nova.
Nova will define and encompass every part of the RL Grime project over the coming years. More than just an album, or a show, or a single narrative, I want the Nova project to create spaces where you can feel part of the process and support platforms for your own ideas, while allowing me to share mine too. So it won’t just be me setting the storyline. Your input and the way you engage with my music and performance has always driven me forward, and will be a vital part of what I do over the coming year. To see if we can make something both mysterious and honest… build off the feeling of getting the whole picture, from start to finish.
Nova will always, always, start with the fans. To those who have been with me since the beginning: thank you. I can’t wait to see where this journey leads.
Fans can purchase their own copy of the zine here.
Photo via Sam Muller