Not many can say they are juggling a neuroscience degree and pursuing a career playing professional soccer in England, but it’s something that Canadian soccer icon Kai Novak can say. Although she’s represented 17 Canadian women’s national teams in many tournaments including the CONCACAF U-17 Championship and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, she also has mastered social media — accumulating a feverish fanbase on TikTok where she posts everything from her Spotify recommendations to behind-the-scenes shots of her playing footie.
Schön! enlists the help of Novak to curate some of her favourite song recommendations, define her style for us, and more.
Hey Kai, what are you up to right now?
I’m currently in London pursuing my dream of playing professional soccer in England while simultaneously finishing my neuroscience degree at UCLA. Part of my family is from the UK and “football” is embedded into the culture – so being able to play here would be incredible. I’m also continuing to build on my professional endeavours as a content creator while striving to impact and ignite more conversations around women in sports and our continuous fight for gender equity and recognition.
If someone asked you what your origin story was, how would you describe it?
I’m the classic cliche of a small, farm-town kid who had dreams bigger than the city I was raised in. I hated the mundane and comfort that came with it. I itched for challenges and chaos and both my parents supported me immensely. I moved away from home at 15 to play soccer for my national team (Canada) and since then I’ve always been travelling in pursuit of finding purpose and achieving success.
Describe your style in 3 words.
Androgynous. Sporty. Experimental.
Which living person do you most admire?
Post Malone – the epitome of fame and success yet so humble and down to earth.
An iconic piece of clothing from a film that you’d like to have?
Film: Coco Before Chanel, the Black + White suit (feminine tomboy)
A film that’s made you emotional?
Before I Fall.
Where are you happiest?
Of course, the cliche yet true answer is with my family, friends, and puppy. But I’m a generally happy person and can be happy anywhere, where I feel in control of my own life.
Ideal 3-course meal?
Escargot, steak and fries, caramel cheesecake.
Who would play you in the story of your life?
If you could only watch one film for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What’s one song that you’d like to listen to the first time again?
“I Miss You” – Clean Bandit + Julia Michaels.
An underrated song/artist you love?
The song that describes your coming-of-age story?
“Coaster” – Khalid.
An album that you’d put in a time capsule?
“Stoney” – Post Malone.
A lyric that you love and the song it’s from?
“Cause I’m Boutta Pull His Girl Like a Hammy (hamstring)” from “I Like You” – Post Malone + Doja Cat
A track that reminds you of a happy moment?
“Come On Eileen” – Dexys Midnight Runners.
A song that you discovered recently that you love?
“Great One” – Jessie Reyez.
Best record to get you out of a funk?
“Dancing Queen” – ABBA.
What’s the last song you searched for on Spotify?
“Your Shirt” – Chelsea Cutler.
A song you wish you wrote?
“Happy” – NF.
words. Kelsey Barnes