We met Noah Carter for the first time in Milan, just a day before our The New Northern Soul event, a project curated by C41 and WP Store. That afternoon we were all together – Leone, Patrizia, Alberto, Alice, Emma and I – representing C41 Magazine and WP teams. We met in an unusual location close to our offices. It was sunny outside, not the typical Winter day, and it was just perfect for a shooting. Everything went smoothly. The receptionist at Coconut Hostel was very friendly and kind with us. He offered me a glass of water – I had a really dry throat after eating a take-away pizza with Noah at lunch – and, once Alberto fixed up Noah’s styling details, Leone started taking pictures at him hanging around the Coconut’s different and unique spots. This is the result of the editorial shooting, inspired by the classic Northern Soul movement, re-contestualized and re-imagined under a new concept, since we are not in England, Noah is a Scandinavian artist and he has got such a warm soul that reflects into his music too.
Hi Noah, thank you for being with us. I would like to start talking about Copenhagen. Where have you been living in the city, are you from Nørrebro, correct? What are your favorite spots in the district and elsewhere in town?
I’ve been living in Nørrebro likely most of my life, I’ve been moving a bit around, I moved East, a little bit West also. My favorite spots in Copenaghen? It’s hard to say. I’ve got a place called I.P., we used to hang around there all the time. There is a basketball court, it is in the middle of the city – right in the center actually. Copenhagen is a vibe. Even in Winter. I’ve been in a lot of places in the world and
Copenhagen is just home to me, it’s probably my favourite because it is like a base.
Is there any specific place where you really like to write your lyrics? It might be home, or outside, or any other place. And how do you handle the process of writing lyrics?
Every process is different. Somedays I write without a beat or anything. I could be walking, I could be home or wherever. Sometimes I just go through beats and freestyle and see where it takes me. It could be anywhere. However, it’s definitely, when I’m home, sitting in bed, under the covers, that I feel like being in my comfort zone. I stay up all night just writing on the phone. It sounds like I am a home-guy, but actually I am out a lot, trust me. I like to stay home, but I should stay more home.
I read a nice quote in your bio dealing with Vikings and how they always wanted to go out of Denmark, exploring new countries and territories. What is your relationship with the world and travel? Can you list the best places you have ever seen?
The best place I’ve ever seen would probably be Zanzibar, Tanzania. I was there earlier this year. But Rio de Janeiro as well – that was crazy. I love New York too, and London is also good. I just like places with a lot of culture. Sometimes I feel like in Denmark it’s like there’s a lack of culture, but maybe it’s just because it’s so small and everything is so concentrated. I just wish we were maybe 5 millions more people in the city. You know, people in Copenhagen are so creative and the more creative people there is, the better people get, because there is more competition. Since there aren’t that many people in Copenaghen I just feel like its stagnant at times. I feel like if there were more people the level would be higher.
Which kind music do you usually listen to? I mean, do you like listening mainly to new stuff and music from your friends, or do you like also listening to classic hits from the past?
I have a very wide taste in music, I like listening to anything. These couple last years I’ve been bad at listening to new music because right now its so oversaturated, theres so many people releasing music, it’s hard! Every week, every day, everybody is constantly dropping something, so it’s really hard to find something that I really like. A lot of times I go back and listen to stuff that I listened in the past ten years.
When I do finally find some new music I get hooked at it and I might listen to it forty times or so.
I like soul music, I like r’n’b, I like Marvin Gaye – Iike him a lot. I really got into Marvin really late, I had a cd at a time: it was a tribute cd with covers on it and I thought it was him singing, because it was not really written it was a tribute. I just saw Marvin Gaye in the artwork and I really fell in love with the lyrics. Then, after listening to it for a couple of weeks, I found out it was a tribute, so I went immediately back and looked for the original songs. That was it. He was an amazing voice, an amazing talent.
Your music has a lot of soul influences, so how would you describe The New Northern Soul concept with your own words? It’s a tough question, I know.
Denmark and Scandinavia in soul has this thing about being very minimalistic in design and art etc, so it’s not like not “too much of this, too much of that”, it’s very minimalistic. It’s hard to explain. How can I describe it? When u think of the north you would probably think that its is cold, but there is a lot of heat here still.
In Denmark a lot artists, a lot of my friends get a lot of influences, as I said before Denmark is so small and there’s a lack of culture, so I think that we take a classic approach but then mixing something with a lot of influences from Africa, Spanish vibes, French vibes. But from our perspective.
And now, one last question about lifestyle. We are familiar with that streetwear cliché describing the rapper/trapper wearing fancy sneakers, diamonds, rings, fashion clothings, and all that stuff. Nevertheless, we are aiming at a New Norther Soul wave with a different styling. This is our mission. This is why we tried to find out different angles and new perspectives regarding a new way of styling, which less flashy and more elegant, classic in its own way. What is your opinion on this?
To be honest, I’m a mixture of all things I like. From high end to hand-me-downs it whatever. I love watches, I love chains, I love all of that, but I think that just comes from hip hop as a culture and just like my mother would always say, she calls “negative identification”: a generation of young men and women raised by music videos where girls got to have big ass, guys that got to have fly cars or a big watch or they want to live like Scarface because they see all these things. If you focus too much on those things that you feel you gotta have that might end up leading you down a path where you never got to be thankful for the things you do have.
You got to show off, you got to flex, I mean it just ends up consuming you. it really eats you and just being an empty soul. I try to keep a good mix, you know because looking fly, dressing fly, the feeling when you putting on fresh clothes is one of the best feeling in the world you know, but I don’t like to brag too much. I buy fly stuff all the times, I do a lot of trips, in terms of showing off or posting on Instagram. I like to buy and keep it to myself still. I don’t really know how to work instagram. I think.
Noah Carter wears:
BD Baggies shirt
Cellar Door trousers
Barbour x Engeneered Garments jacket