Nav (rapper)

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Nav Denver Co May 7th.jpg
Nav in 2018
Navraj Singh Goraya

(1989-11-03) November 3, 1989 (age 33)
Rexdale, Ontario, Canada
EducationThistletown Collegiate Institute
Alma materMetalworks Institute
Musical career
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2014–present

Navraj "Nav" Singh Goraya (born November 3, 1989) is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Nav originally began his career as a producer, co-producing fellow Canadian rapper and singer Drake's single, "Back to Back", in 2015. He then gained mainstream attention in 2016 when his song "Myself" went viral on SoundCloud. Nav is signed to Canadian singer the Weeknd's record label XO and its parent label, Republic Records, and is managed by XO managers Amir "Cash" Esmailian and Wassim "Sal" Slaiby.

In 2017, Nav released his self-titled debut mixtape and his collaborative mixtape with Metro Boomin, Perfect Timing. He released his debut studio album, Reckless, in 2018. He then released his second studio album, Bad Habits (2019), which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. In 2020, Nav released his highest-charting song as a lead artist, "Turks", with Gunna featuring Travis Scott, which debuted and peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. It serves as the lead single to his third studio album, Good Intentions (2020), which was released later and then became his second number-one album on the US Billboard 200. Soon, he released its deluxe edition titled Brown Boy 2 (2020), which is also a sequel of his unofficial EP titled Brown Boy (2019), which Cash published on Audiomack a week before Bad Habits. He then earned his highest-charting song in total from his feature on Internet Money, Gunna, and Don Toliver's single, "Lemonade", which eventually reached at number six on the Hot 100. He released his commercial mixtape, Emergency Tsunami, in late 2020. Nav released his fourth studio album, Demons Protected by Angels, in fall 2022. He is set to release his third commercial mixtape, Nav2, a sequel to his self-titled project, sometime in 2023.

Early life[edit]

Navraj Singh Goraya was born on November 3, 1989, in Rexdale, Ontario, into an immigrant Punjabi Jat Sikh family, from Punjab, India. He was raised in the Rexdale neighbourhood. His mother was involved in computer manufacturing and his father operated a forklift.[1] Nav first became interested in music after his mother bought him a boombox in the third grade.[2] His uncle was also a popular Punjabi singer in India and brought him to a studio.[3] He began making mash-ups in high school and producing beats for local underground Toronto artists, and became popular on SoundCloud. Nav first started producing using Sony's ACID Pro software.[1] He attended West Humber Junior Middle School and then later attended Thistletown Collegiate Institute for his high school education and had to spend an additional year to graduate. Following high school, he attended and graduated from Metalworks Institute in Mississauga, Ontario in 2010 with a diploma in Audio Production and Engineering.[4]


2015–2018: Commercial debut, Nav, Perfect Timing, and Reckless[edit]

In July 2015, Nav co-produced fellow Canadian rapper Drake's single "Back to Back". In 2016, his song "The Man" was played on Drake's OVO Sound Radio.[5][6] On September 4, 2015, Nav released one of his earliest songs to his SoundCloud account, "Take Me Simple", which has accumulated over eighteen million listens. On January 12, 2016, he released the song "Myself", to SoundCloud and YouTube, which quickly became his biggest song at the time, earning him numerous cosigns, including from American model and internet personality Kylie Jenner. Following these songs, Nav was signed to XO and Republic Records, after being called by his now-manager Amir "Cash" Esmailian.[7]

On September 2, 2016, Nav was featured on (and solely produced) American rapper and singer Travis Scott's song "Beibs in the Trap", as part of the latter's second studio album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. It peaked at number 90 on the US Billboard Hot 100,[8] and by July 2017, had been certified 2× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after selling over two million copies.[9]

On February 15, 2017, Nav released the single "Some Way", featuring fellow Canadian singer and label boss The Weeknd, which would be the lead single from his debut self-titled mixtape. It was released nine days later, on February 24, and also included "Myself".

On July 14, 2017, Nav and American record producer Metro Boomin released two singles, "Perfect Timing (Intro)" and "Call Me", which serves as the dual lead singles to their collaborative mixtape, Perfect Timing. The mixtape was released exactly a week later on July 21, 2017, which featured the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Offset, 21 Savage, Belly, and Gucci Mane.[10]

In February 2018, Nav received a Juno Award nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2018.[11] On April 24, 2018, during his "Freshman Tour", Nav announced at his Los Angeles concert that he was working on a project that would soon be released a month later known as Reckless and that he and Metro Boomin would be teaming up once again to make a sequel to Perfect Timing, which would be known as Perfect Timing 2. On May 18, 2018, Nav released his debut studio album Reckless through XO Records and Republic Records. It features guest appearances from Quavo, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, and Gunna. The project featured the song, "Wanted You" featuring Lil Uzi Vert, which became Nav's first single as a leading artist to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 64. On November 2, 2018, Nav released his final single of the year, titled "Know Me".[12][13]

2019–present : Yearly releases and Demons Protected by Angels[edit]

Nav received two Juno Award nominations for Fan Choice and Rap Recording of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2019. On March 22, 2019, Nav released his second studio album Bad Habits on XO Records and Republic Records. The album features guest appearances from Meek Mill, Young Thug, The Weeknd, Gunna, and Lil Durk. The lead single is "Know Me", which was released back in 2018.[14] It debuted number one on the US Billboard 200.[15][16] A few days later on March 26, 2019, Nav released the deluxe edition of Bad Habits, featured additional guest appearances from Future and 88Glam, and all the songs from Brown Boy.[17] The track "Habits" was supposed to feature Lil Uzi Vert and appear on the standard edition, but Uzi's label refused to clear the sample, which ended up in Nav recording Uzi's verse himself, and then releasing it on the deluxe edition.[18] According to Nav, he recorded Lil Uzi Vert's verse himself and put it on the song.

On March 27, 2020, Nav and Gunna released the collaborative single, "Turks", featuring Travis Scott,[19][20] which was the lead single for Nav's third studio album, Good Intentions. It is Nav's highest-charting song as a lead artist. The album was released on May 8, 2020, and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. It features guest appearances from Young Thug, Future, Gunna, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, late rapper Pop Smoke, Don Toliver, and Lil Durk. Three days later, on May 11, 2020, he released its deluxe edition titled Brown Boy 2, which also serves as a sequel to his unofficial EP, Brown Boy, which his manager Cash released exclusively on Audiomack. It features additional guest appearances from Quavo and Lil Duke.[21] Soon after the release of Good Intentions and Brown Boy 2, Nav released a merchandise collaboration with Vlone and Virgil Abloh related to the album.[22]

On August 14, 2020, Nav was featured alongside Don Toliver on the single "Lemonade" by record label Internet Money and Gunna. The song serves as the lead single to the label's debut studio album, B4 the Storm. It earned Nav his highest-charting song in total, eventually peaking at number 7 on the Hot 100.[23]

On November 6, 2020, Nav released the commercial mixtape, Emergency Tsunami, after teasing it for a month.[24] It is mainly produced by American record producer Wheezy, along with side help from other fellow producers. It features guest appearances from Gunna, Young Thug, Lil Baby, Lil Keed, and SahBabii. The mixtape was re-released five days later on November 11, 2020, with an additional guest appearance from Future.[25]

In July 2022, Nav disclosed his fourth studio album would be titled Demons Protected by Angels. On July 29, 2022, Nav released the album's lead single titled "Never Sleep" with Lil Baby, featuring Travis Scott,[26] with the album being released in August.


In June 2017, Nav had received backlash from some members of his musical audience for usage of the word "nigga" in his songs such as on "My Mind", "TTD", and other songs.[27] In an interview with Genius, Nav stated that the neighborhood he grew up in of Rexdale is very "multicultural" with members of the "Chinese to white to black to Jamaican" openly using the term with one another. He stated that it was commonly used among his friends, but once he had gotten global exposure, Nav said he started seeing some backlash. In this interview, Nav had stated that he would no longer use this term in his music anymore, and that people would not hear it on his then-upcoming collaboration project with Metro Boomin, Perfect Timing.[28]

In March 2018, Nav had publicly criticized XXL through a series of tweets and Instagram posts along with releasing the single, "Freshman List".[29] His main reason for criticizing the magazine was due to not being selected for the 2018 freshman cover. In his tweets, Nav shared his thoughts that had ranged "from angry and bitter to motivational and inspirational". After his tweets and release of the single, Nav began addressing the outlet's editor-in-chief Vanessa Satten through now deleted Instagram posts and further continued to criticize the outlet.[30]

In August 2018, Nav featured on Travis Scott's third studio album, Astroworld, on the song "Yosemite" alongside fellow rapper Gunna. He was the subject of many memes mocking his feature; Nav's four vocal lines at the end of the song were initially mixed at a very low volume. Nav himself shared a meme on his Instagram. Scott and producer Mike Dean later confirmed this was an error, and re-mixed and re-released the track on streaming services with the updated vocal mix a week after the release of the song and album.[31][32]

In March 2019 during an interview with Pitchfork, Nav expressed his frustration stating that "Fame is something I want, it's a good problem to have. I'm still not there, because when I walk out of fucking Delilah in L.A. and TMZ will be standing out there with cameras and not even take a picture of me, I get sick. I get in my fucking Lambo truck right in front of them. All my jewelry on and they don't even take one picture."[33] However, he later clarified that this was taken out of context, as "sick" is in fact a positive term in Toronto slang, and rather than being disgusted for not being recognized, he is grateful to still have anonymity as a celebrity.[34] Nav further stated in the Pitchfork interview that he hoped his latest project, Bad Habits would help him become more noticed by TMZ along with other paparazzi. A week later, TMZ found Nav in New York and did a brief video interview with him, asking him questions about his chain-snatching situation with Lil Uzi Vert.[35]


Studio albums

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Nominee / work Result
2018 Juno Award Breakthrough Artist of the Year Himself Nominated
2019 Juno Award Fan Choice Himself Nominated
Rap Recording of the Year Reckless Nominated
2020 Juno Award Fan Choice[36] Himself Nominated
Rap Recording of the Year[36] Bad Habits Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Nav Is the "First Brown Boy to Get It Popping" and His Meteoric Rise Is Far From Over". Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017. His parents are from Punjab, India.
  2. ^ "Nav: Meet the Toronto Rapper-Producer Opening the Weeknd's Starboy Tour". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  3. ^ Carter, Brooke (August 5, 2017). "Nav Net Worth – How Wealthy is the Rapper Now? – The Gazette Review". The Gazette Review. Archived from the original on October 20, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Alumni Update: JUNO Award Nominations 2018, Metalworks Institute". Metalworks Institute. February 9, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  5. ^ "Drake – OVO Sound Radio Episode 13 Tracklist". Archived from the original on August 17, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  6. ^ "Drake – OVO Sound Radio Episode 16 Tracklist". Archived from the original on August 17, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  7. ^ Simmons, Ted (February 16, 2017). "Nav Signs Deal With The Weeknd's XO Records". XXL. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  8. ^ "Travis Scott Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on September 26, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  9. ^ "Travis Scott & Nav's "Biebs In The Trap" Just Went Platinum". HYPEBEAST. Archived from the original on October 20, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  10. ^ "Nav and Metro Boomin Drop 'Perfect Timing' Project – XXL". XXL Mag. Archived from the original on February 1, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  11. ^ "Arcade Fire and Daniel Caesar lead 2018 Juno Award nominations" Archived February 8, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. CBC Music, February 6, 2018.
  12. ^ Saponara, Michael (May 18, 2018). "Stream NAV's Debut Album 'Reckless,' Feat. Travis Scott, Quavo & Lil Uzi Vert". Billboard. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  13. ^ "Nav's Debut Album 'Reckless' Is Here". Complex. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  14. ^ Slingerland, Calum (March 21, 2019). "NAV Gets Meek Mill, Young Thug, the Weeknd for 'Bad Habits' Album". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Caulfield, Keith (March 31, 2019). "NAV Nets First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Bad Habits'". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 5, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Caulfied, Keith (March 29, 2019). "NAV's 'Bad Habits' Set for No. 1 Debut on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 30, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  17. ^ Chin, Mallory (March 26, 2019). "Nav Drops Future-Assisted Track on Deluxe Edition of 'Bad Habits'". HYPEBEAST. Archived from the original on April 16, 2019. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  18. ^ Saponara, Michael (March 26, 2019). "Nav Connects With Future for 'Amazing,' Releases 'Bad Habits' Deluxe Edition". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  19. ^ "NAV, Gunna & Travis Scott Join Forces Again on 'Turks'". Billboard. March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  20. ^ "Nav and Gunna share "Turks" featuring Travis Scott". The FADER. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  21. ^ "Audiomack | Free Music Sharing and Discovery".
  22. ^ "Nav Connects With Virgil Abloh, VLONE, and nWo on 'Good Intentions' Album Merch". Complex. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  23. ^ Marke, Erika (August 14, 2020). "Internet Money Taps Gunna, Nav, & Don Toliver For "Lemonade"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  24. ^ "NAV Announces New Mixtape 'Emergency Tsunami'". Exclaim!. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  25. ^ "NAV Adds Future Collab To 'Emergency Tsunami' For Bonus Version Mixtape". HipHopDX. November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  26. ^ Kreps, Daniel (July 29, 2022). "Nav Enlists Travis Scott, Lil Baby for New Song 'Never Sleep'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  27. ^ "Why We Can't Give South Asian Artists Who Say The N-Word A Pass". Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  28. ^ "NAV Says He's Done Using the N-Word in His Music". Archived from the original on May 24, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  29. ^ "Nav Debuts "Freshman List" Single Ahead of Tour". HNHH. March 15, 2018.
  30. ^ "Nav Blasts XXL's Editor-In-Chief, Says Freshmen List & Website is Trash". March 20, 2018.
  31. ^ "Why Nav's Vocals on "Yosemite" Were Quiet, According to Travis Scott's Engineer". Complex. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  32. ^ "Travis Scott's Engineer Explains The Low Volume Of Nav's 'Yosemite' Verse". UPROXX. April 7, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  33. ^ "Lunch with Nav". Pitchfork. March 27, 2019. Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  34. ^ "Nav Talks Working With Lil Uzi Vert, "Yosemite" Vocals & Haters". YouTube. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  35. ^ "Canadian Rapper Nav on TMZ is Finally a Thing". Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  36. ^ a b "Juno Awards: The Weeknd Scores Leading 6 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. March 9, 2021. Retrieved March 12, 2021.