It didn’t take much to tell that the Pavilion Stage was the place to be while Jack Novak was on it. The first day of the 2015 Firefly Music Festival was greeted by lots of rain, and lots of mud (with only more to come), but at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday no one could care less because we were too busy having the time of our lives at the Jack Novak show. She may have been unknown to some when she started her set, but she was on every single person’s radar by the end of it. Her great takes on popular songs mixed in with her own originals threw the energy through the roof and kicked off Firefly in a big way.
Before she jetted off to her next inevitably awesome set, I had the opportunity sit down and chat with the Chicago-native, LA-based DJ/Producer.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: First off, how was your set yesterday?
It was awesome. I loved it. Honestly it was one of the most fun shows I’ve played all year, I mean what a great crowd!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Well we were loving every second of it – and loved that we got a little extra from you!
Yeah they started me a bit late, and then no one told me to stop…so I figured I’d just kept going!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What’s usually your indication to stop?
Usually someone from the club or the festival will give you a signal, or a lot of times they’ll have a clock with a little LED on it that they’ll bring up so you can see when you need to cross over to the next person. But for this one…nobody said anything, so I just kept going!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Do you have a favorite festival or show memory?
Probably when I played The Day After in Panama last year. It was the first time I’d ever played a festival and I really had no idea what to expect. Then when I got there, I looked out and saw the crowd of people. It was a really good experience and the Latin American crowd was unbelievable! And also opening for Calvin [Harris], because he’s somebody I look up to and I love his music. So that was a really cool moment for me as well.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Do you have a dream collaboration? If you could choose absolutely anyone, who would it be?
That’s such a tough question…oh my god! Hmm…I’d like to collaborate with Alesso. I mean I love big vocals, lots of melody and so does he. So I’d love to collaborate with him one day.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: So you’re from Chicago, the birthplace of American House. Is that what brought you into EDM originally?
Yeah for sure! I remember being in junior high and somebody invited me to a party. I really didn’t know anything about dance music at the time, I think I was 12 or 13 years old. I went and for the first time I saw the lights, the music, the feeling of togetherness, the dancing – I just remember loving it straight off the bat. Chicago was a really cool place to grow up just because there’s so much good music that comes out of Chicago, real House music.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What was the transition like to LA?
I lived in New York after high school, and if I’m going to be dead honest with you I moved to LA because I wanted to make a big change. I moved there wanting to focus on music, and to put 100% focus on being creative. When I moved to LA I knew one person, who I’d met many, many years ago on MySpace! And that was it. I really had no friends, no connections. But I got out, I met people, started working and made friends. And now LA is 100% home to me, I love it there.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: That’s so great! What’s been your favorite song to work on?
I have a song that I’m finishing right now (I can’t really say much about it) but I have to say it’s probably my favorite song I’ve ever done. And I’m really excited about my next single – that was a really cool and exciting experience. The artist I feature on it, Blackbear, I always thought he was an amazing songwriter, I’ve always loved his voice and I first noticed his music four years before we worked together. So I kind of just followed what he did on social media. So finally getting to actually write together and collaborate with him in the studio…it’s just cool loving someone’s music for a long time, then it finally coming to fruition and getting to create music together. So I’m excited for that, we’re shooting a music video for that song in the beginning of July. The director for the video, his name is Alex Howard, he’s a genius. He’s 19 years old, and he’s literally unbelievable.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Wow! How did you find him?
I think last October I had seen a video he’d done, just trolling around YouTube. I thought it was beautiful, so I just hit him up on Twitter and said we absolutely have to work together. And now that’s coming to fruition as well! I’m excited to do the music video with him.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Alright so speaking of Twitter, you’re very engaging on social media. Any favorite followers?
I don’t have any favorites, I love them all! I love chatting with people, and if anyone supports me I want to support them right back. I always appreciate anyone who takes the time to say hello; it’s innate and natural for me to want to talk with them.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What’s your favorite thing about performing?
There’s two things. One is just getting to play my music and do what I love for a group of people. Everyone partying and enjoying themselves…It’s so cool, I love how music brings people together no matter where you’re from or what you do – you could have one guy from Chicago, someone from the East Coast, someone from the West Coast, someone from Latin America, people from all walks of life. And when we all come together and listen to the music, all our differences blow away. You’ll find yourself hanging out with someone you didn’t know before and you just end up having the best time ever. Then the second thing I love is after I play a show when I get to go out and meet and connect with people; it's so fun and one of my favorite things.
AUTHOR CREDIT: RACHEL NOVOSAD