Name: Cora Novoa
Occupation: DJ, producer, label owner
Nationality: Portuguese  
Fashion Recommendations: A bag accessory by A Better Mistake called “vinyl mini clutch” and Sweater called “SW13_EDGARAS” by Tobias Birk Nielsen (Iso.Poetism).

If you enjoyed this interview with Cora Novoa, check her various online platforms for more information, inspiration and music: Website, Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram. We also have an earlier Cora Novoa interview, which sees her expanding on a wider range of topics.

Fashion and music are often closely related to one's identity. Can you please tell us a bit about your own sense of identity – and how it motivated you to take an artistic path?

Fashion is a form of expression. Every time we open our closet and decide to wear one piece of clothing or another, we are expressing how we are at that moment and what we want to say to others.

From a very young age I was always clear about what I liked and didn't like and how to dress, so you can say it's something that has always been with me.

In which way do you feel your identity concretely influences your creativity?

I've always wanted to take my creative vision to other fields than music, such as graphic design, fashion or creative direction. I have always understood that it is one more form of expression. So for me everything is united. I think my identity has been important in developing my creative vision.

Describe your personal style, please, and how your choice of fashion allows you to express it. Which fashion brands or style icons do you personally find inspiring - and why?

I love street fashion, oversize tallies and clothes that are genderless, i.e. unisex clothes. I used to wear a lot of black, but in the next few years my closet is changing a lot and I use a very diverse color palette.

Brands like Balenciaga, Avalone Tokyo, A Better Mistake or Iso Poetism are some of my favorites. Fashion icons like Michèle Lamy, or the producers Teki Latex or Jimmy Edgar, are references on an aesthetic level and have a coherence with their creative identity.

Fashion can embody ideals that extend far beyond aesthetics, reaching into ecology, politics and social issues. Does this apply to you as well, and if so, in which way?  

Of course it does. The way I consume fashion is quite responsible, I like quality clothes, so I buy clothes when I need them and only a few times a year. When I was 20 years old I used to buy almost every week some cheap item in a shopping mall, but I realized that I was hooked to consumerism, to the "drug" of owning new things, and the dopamine associated with it.

I also do not have in my closet clothes with animal skins or for example I like to wear clothes that are not associated with a particular gender, I see it as absurd that the big brands have a section of clothing for men and another for women. Clothes should not have any gender, clothes are clothes.

What do fashion and design add to your perception of music?

It's one more layer to add to every project I do and am a part of.

Fashion can project an image, just like music can. As such, it is part of the storytelling process. What kinds of stories are being told, would you say?

They are empty canvases that can be used to express anything.

In my case my latest projects are focused on technology and art, especially on technoethics, dystopia and the moral dilemmas we face today and in the near future.

What can fashion express what music can not?

For me they are empty canvases with which to reach people in one way or another, but in the end they are complementary formats and there is no one that is above the other.

It seems obvious that fashion and music are closely linked, but just how that influence works hasn't always been clear. Would you say that music leads fashion? Is it the other way round? Or are they inseparable in some ways?  

It will depend a lot on the project, sometimes the fashion will lead and the music will accompany. In others, they will be at equal levels and in others it will be the music that will guide the project.

Does what you wear change your personality – and thus the music you create or the way you perform?

No, I express myself with art, fashion, music ... but it is my identity that decides, not the objects themselves.

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you personally feel as though designing a fashion item or even putting together a great outfit for yourself is inherently different from something like composing a piece of music?

Creativity is infinite, and it is a way to use it in a different way, with fabrics, cuts, designs, textures ... fashion can be touched.

On the contrary, music is vibrations that we feel. They also transmit sensations, but we can't touch them. For me they are complementary.

Are you currently active in the fashion industry? If so, tell me about your experiences, please.

We are currently preparing a couple of capsule collections that we will launch by 2022 and that will be linked to a different storytelling than what we have worked on before.

Fashion extends to the artwork of releases and promotional photography as well. Could you talk about your approach in this regard and what some considerations were for some of your most recent cover designs and images?

I love to lead the creative direction of my own projects, who better than oneself to amplify the story you want to tell.

That's one of the things that fascinates me the most, to be able to give coherence to all the elements, to use the same aesthetic language, a range of colors, typography, etc.

There is a fine line between cultural exchange and appropriation. This true both for music and fashion. What are your thoughts on the limits of copying, using cultural signs and symbols and the cultural/social/gender specificity of art?

It's a fine line, but I think that in the end that limit is very personal and we have to be honest with ourselves and our values. At the end of the day you know when you are doing things right or wrong.

I think it's great that people sample - in fact I do it a lot - that they take inspiration from an artist, a fashion designer, or a digital artist, and then take all those inputs and create something new and related to the work of oneself and one's creative vision.