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Natasha Valerie Kurnia is a Jakarta-native singer-songwriter born in 1999. Her inspirations from the start are clear: human emotions, heartbreak, and her love for New York City. To her, songwriting became a medicine; a way to process the experiences in her life. It led her to choose the name "Novocaine" (the numbing agent used for dental procedures) and twisted it into “Navakaine”: “It’s my initials, ‘Na-’ for Natasha, ‘va-’ for Valerie, and the ‘K’ in ‘-kaine’ is for my last name. Also, ‘Navakaine’ has that feminine touch to it. It’s an amplified version of me.”
The debut single "Skyliner" was written when she was still a high school junior starting a new life in Seattle; it is an allegory-filled song about an imminent breakup. She continued to write songs on the piano in her aunt's living room, but she never planned to produce and release them. Her mind changed when she graduated in 2017 and moved to New York City to pursue a college degree; she started working with a few producers to help her navigate through the very first chapter of her discography and translate her songs into a fully-produced, coherent sonic landscape.
The record Aftersummer is set to be released in July 2020. The album itself is a moody pop piece on heartbreak and partying, but at its core, it is a whole personal essay on finding oneself through the loss of love and living in a new place.
Navakaine now resides in Europe, seeking new landscapes and moments to write about.