Noah Guy has always leaned into the visual side of his art. When it comes to his music, he likes to envision his songs as soundtracks to the film of his life. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter’s process even involves acting out his lyrics like he’s storyboarding a music video. “It’s very much a full-body experience,” he says. His songs have always been vibrant and varied enough to match that approach. With confessional lyrics, emotionally raw vocals, and intricate instrumentation—an ever-evolving blend of bedroom-soul, R&B, pop, and hip-hop—Noah Guy writes songs about his experiences navigating love, loneliness, and complex feelings that can’t be as neatly labeled. Still, he’s trying to look on the bright side these days. “I like to leave a little glimmer of hope in my music,” he says, “where it’s like, maybe things will turn out alright.”
This approach takes center stage on Noah Guy’s new project, Who’s Taken Time. Lead single “2 DOGS 1 LEASH” is about being in a confusing relationship and learning to accept people and events as they are. “If that leash don’t swang, give it slack, let it hang,” he croons. With a club-leaning chorus built on fluttering hi-hats and swinging drums, it’s a striking departure from Noah Guy’s soulful balladry. “I would’ve never in a million years thought I could make something like that,” he says. “This song is a testament to what stepping out of your comfort zone can do.”
Looking back, Noah Guy has spent a lot of time learning to deal with discomfort. During his first year of college, he grappled with the alienation he felt because of the school’s heavy fraternity culture, as well as the heaviness of the diagnosis of a chronic illness. He found solace in writing lyrics in his notebook and strumming on the acoustic guitar his father had lent him. Noah Guy released his first song, the yearning “Love Like I Do,” in spring 2019. That fall, he moved to New York City, where he took night classes at NYU’s film school while interning at A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold label. His first mixtape, 2020’s SUMDAY, chronicled his journey, writing about uncertainty and the struggle to earn success on your own terms.
When the pandemic meant Noah Guy had to move back in with his parents in Philadelphia, he channeled his isolation and unease into is it real ?, his debut EP in 2021. His lyrics delved into moody, existential realms, like seeking deeper connection in a relationship and fear of failure. But his arrangements—full of lush harmonies, tender guitar strums, soaring horns, and stripped-back drums—make the record feel hazy yet warm, like the sun peeking through on a long, cloudy day.
Noah Guy was seeking that warmth when he moved to Los Angeles last summer, where the perpetual sunshine, winding hikes, and communities of like-minded artists have helped him uncover a brighter side of his music. Written between couch-surfing and waiting tables to make ends meet, Who’s Taken Time is the start of an inward journey toward healing and self-improvement. Atop nostalgic piano melodies, bruising drums, and introspective interludes, Noah Guy laments his insecurities and attempts to maintain relationships while chasing his dreams. All the while, he continues to push the boundaries of soul, whether he’s crooning in a silky falsetto or spitting half-sung raps.
Beyond the upcoming project, Noah Guy is surveying the bigger picture. He’s already making more music, which he says has already led him to even bolder experiments. He also hopes to dip back into his film roots and work toward a merch line. “Building a larger world outside of music is huge, and something I’m excited about,” he says. For now, though, Noah Guy knows he’s ready to keep pushing himself. “I want to do something new,” he says. “I want to come at this new era for my music as a shedding of the skin, and give people something that they haven’t felt before.”