Barely in their mid-twenties, British multi-instrumentalists, songwriters, producers and singers Ali Lacey –aka Novo Amor– and Ed Tullett had already long started their solo projects when they realised that their approach to music was not only compatible, but also the source of beautifully written, impeccably arranged, uplifting songs. In 2014 they released Faux, a breath-taking first single that has more than 3 million plays on Spotify and has been featured in a bunch of TV series. But that’s not the end of it; they have since carried on writing stunning songs like Alps, which –as Ali puts it– is about “the fear of self-destruction and how we let ourselves kill what we set out to love.” Besides, Ed has recently joined Novo Amor’s band in their 2016 UK tour – which, by the way, sold out in most of the venues. We talk with them about the experience of working together despite living in different cities, ongoing and future projects, and touring.
How did you guys meet and decide to start making music together?
Novo: One of my mates was supporting Ed’s 2013 UK tour, which led to him crashing at my house after the Wales show. We just started playing together and before we knew it we had a handful of song ideas.
Ed: The idea of writing together was pretty immediate. We've been working on music together essentially since we met.
Living about 200 miles apart, what’s your take on both the creative process and the recording?
Novo: We record everything at my home in Wales, Ed will come and stay for a week at a time and we’ll spend that time solely writing and recording. The distance doesn’t seem to make much of a difference, when Ed leaves I will spend another few days mixing what we’d been working on.
Ed: The distance actually makes the process a lot more refined – we spend intensive, week-long periods together writing and recording, but the then-weeks apart allow us to spend time with the songs and approach them with the sort of precision that would be harder to find if, for example, we were recording everything in one back-to-back period. It also means we get less tired and less hung up when something’s not working – coming back to things fresh makes a big difference. On the full record we’ve been working on, so many of the songs have changed massively –choruses ripped out and replaced, instrumentation going from heavy to quiet, and vice-versa– because after spending time with the songs we realise what they really need.
You both record, mix and master your own songs. How does this compare to recording in a studio?
Ed: We’ve both had experience of professional studios playing in bands as teenagers, and it’s always such a linear, trapped-feeling environment. It’s incredibly hard to be truly creative when your surroundings are unfamiliar, or you feel like you’re working to a strict time-limit/with and for people that aren’t fully invested in the project. Recording your own music is really freeing from a creative standpoint.
Novo: It’s nice to have a professional environment but I prefer to be in my own space with my own time, relying on nobody but myself. There are downsides for sure, such as most of my recordings will have the sound of rain or traffic in the background because I’m not in a treated environment. 
The two singles you released together had a very good reception. Does this encourage you to keep on making music together? What are your plans from now on?
Ed: We’ve been working for a long time on a full collaborative record, which will hopefully be released sometime next year.
What inspires you when writing music? Which part does each of you play in the process
Ed: The best thing about writing and recording together with someone is the immediate gratification – when working alone it’s hard to be 100% sure of an idea, but when someone is there to say, “yeah, that’s cool, and with this it’s even cooler,” it makes things really flow, and gives you more motivation.
Novo: I think it’s inspiring to just be around another person and simultaneously work out ideas on two instruments together, it’s something I rarely do so it’s a good chance to be out of my comfort zone and take advantage of the change.
You just toured the UK together. What was the experience like?
Novo: Playing live is something I’m not that focused on, but when it comes around to doing it I’m so thankful to see people there, hear people singing along and meeting all the people that have been supporting the music over the past few years. This is the first time that I’ve had Ed play in my live band, it made a huge difference and meant that we could start to explore the live side of out collaborative work.
Ed: We’re excited about the possibility of playing our new live stuff together, and me being a part of Ali’s live band is a great opportunity to try it out – we’re currently playing our collaborative singles in his set. Hopefully with the release of our joint record we can do some touring focusing on our songs.
Apart from making music as a duo, you also have solo projects. Do you plan on working in both directions?
Ed: Exploring different projects and directions is probably the most satisfying thing for me musically. I’m currently working on new solo work, our music, and also varying other collaborative projects in lots of different styles. Meeting someone so talented –like Ali– just really inspires me and makes me want to make as much music as I can.
Novo: Yes, without either of our own solo projects we’d never have started collaborating. I think it’s important to explore different avenues in music so doing this collaborative project is a good way of getting to make and release music that I might not have wanted to do solely as Novo Amor.
Your songs have been used in TV series and advertising. For instance, Faux in Bones and Pretty Little Liars, and Ali’s Welcome to the Jungle’s cover in an Axe/Lynx advertising campaign. How do you feel about this? Do you think it opens up more possibilities for you?
Novo: This stuff is great, I grew up wanting to make music for TV & film as a composer so being able to do this from a “recording artist” perspective is amazing. Hearing our music in TV, adverts, cinema, etc. is really encouraging.
Ed: To have that visual aspect of music realised is really satisfying –of course we have music videos, but especially with our music and my lyrics, I like them being open to interpretation– and the fact a piece of our music can be used in all sorts of different visual settings, it kind of proves that to its full potential.
And last, do you have any plans to tour outside the UK?
Novo: Nothing is booked in yet, but I want to tour the world.
Ed: We’d both love to visit and tour everywhere, as long as there’s demand!