Costa Rican Talent: Debi Nova


Costa Rica is an undeniable heaven for people who share love for music, art and dance. It has come to be known as a locus of musical festivals and events all year long. Along with all the celebrations via its frequent festivities, Costa Rica has also contributed to the world of music by providing incredible musical talents. And when it comes to gifted musicians from Costa Rica, Debi Nova needs no introduction.

Deborah Nowalski Kader, now known by her celebrity name Debi Nova was born in Escazú, Costa Rica in 1980. Her Costa Rican family, all skillful in various instruments and her Tico soul made her follow her love for music at the tender age of 4, when she learnt to play the piano. She carried on her classical musical training for ten years and at 14, she became a backing vocalist for the band “Gandhi”. She had an honor of opening for stars like Deep Purple, Aterciopelados and Mana.


Debi perfected her singing skills at Berklee College of Music in a five year long course in Boston and at the LA Music Academy in Pasadena by studying voice. That followed her arrival at the UCLA where she began her studies in Ethnomusicology and Jazz. It was here, when her true fate mediated. Debi got summoned by the fabulous Sergio Mendes to become a part of his album produced by the ever famous and also become part of his tour. She signed on this opportunity and called it as a ‘party on stage’ extravaganza.

The work that came with this publishing contract became hard and she had to leave UCLA mid-way and focus on her blossoming career. She grabbed a list of opportunities and made them her stairway to success. On the road, she wrote songs for amazing musicians like Sean Paul, Mark Ronson, Belinda and RBD. She also worked on Grammy nominated album Elephunk’s track ‘Latin Girls’ by Black Eyed Peas. Amidst all this, her own single “One Rhythm” scored top ranks on American and Latin dance charts. She featured in songs with Ricky Martin, Sean Paul, Black Eyed Peas, Mark Ronson, Sergio Mendes, Norman Brown and Boney James.

After an inordinate but fruitful length of time, Nova finally came up with her own album in 2010. Her continuous writing for artists improved her own compositions and her vocal work matured with time. She was then ready to release her own self into the music industry. Her single “Drummer Boy” from her debut album Luna Nueva became an instant hit and marked her arrival by storm. The album was a thrilling mix of Latin tunes inspired by her Costa Rican roots and intoxicating pop smarts well versed due to all her work experience with the legends of music. It really brought out the best of her, her vocals and her talent of playing various instruments. This Latin take on pop which she referred as ‘Spanglish’ was appreciated by all and Debi established herself well as a vocalist, writer, composer and multi-instrumentalist.

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With six Grammy nominations and one ‘number one song’ on US dance music charts under her belt, Debi Nova is all set to make the most of her time doing the thing she loves the most, her music.