Listen to the live interview June 18 at 2:20 pm et Episode #481: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax: http://tobtr.com/10086677
GETTING TO KNOW ANJA KOTAR
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Song name: How To Be Cool
Music Genre/ category : Indie Pop
I’ve always been bothered by the fact that there were so many songs on the radio that glorified and worshipped reckless partying. I could see the effect such promotion by influential brands had on my friends, the people around me. I never was a party animal 🙂 so such rhetoric was really off-putting for me and I was never afraid to voice my opinions. So it only made sense to write a song about how I feel – “how to be cool without being cruel with yourself”? I chose it as the title track because it really sets the tone for what NOMAD is going to be: a raw and honest look at growing up in the US.
It was actually one of the few songs I’ve ever written without the piano – the lyrical and melodically idea came to me on a pool day with my best friends. I was literally laying on a flamingo float and started singing the first lines of the chorus out loud. Needless to say, pretty weird 🙂 Production-wise, it was one of the first songs that we really fully developed with Pascal. You couldn’t tell from the final version, but it initially sounded a lot like an Arctic Monkeys song – complete with electric guitar riffs and acoustic drums. I was listening to the “AM” album throughout the whole week while I was working on this song and the influence seeped in eerily. From then on, I have a rule to only listen to my own music when working in the studio.
a culmination of my life in the US so far – the beautiful, tricky, and complex transition of navigating from teenage years into young adulthood. It’s a concept album largely written about my closest group of friends and some of our most intricate moments that happened while driving or in a car – hence, NOMAD is structured like a mixtape you’d listen to on a car ride. With it, I’m capturing my first American years and closing the chapter of being a teenager, all the while opening doors to a whole new adventure that is about to come.
Sonically, it’s electronic pop influenced by the 80s beats and synths of Phil Collins and Prince, coupled with the modern sound of The Weeknd and Lana del Rey.
I now live in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley…
which presents itself as a very unconventional background for the music scene. While there isn’t an abundance of opportunities to go out and play, a career in music is approached from a whole new angle, much like a startup. Everyone is looking for ways to elevate their music, following new ideas and inventions, and trying to apply this new tech to their own fields. Largely due to this environment, I came up with the idea for and decided to create my own online store that connects music and fashion. In many ways, we get to be at the forefront of the future of music so it’s that much more important what we do.
I think the biggest curse and the biggest blessing of today’s music industry both lie in the same thing: the low barrier of entry. It’s now easier than ever to record and produce a song from your home and share it with the world. From the creative standpoint, that is absolutely incredible. We have hundreds of thousands of sounds at the tip of our fingers. However, for people who are looking to build a sustainable music career on a large scale, that same technology floods the market (and consequently, the users / listeners), so it is a lot harder to stand out from the crowd. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that artists are more than just great songwriters or vocalists, we have to be knowledgeable in a growing number of fields in order create an “edge” for ourselves and navigate the quickly changing landscape of music in the 21st century.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Freddie Mercury. From his incredible vocals and impeccable songwriting, to his eclectic performances and flamboyant personality, he re-defined what it means to be an artist. He had the uncanny ability to captivate and move an audience as if he was singing directly to every person in the room. His music was innovative and constantly pushing the boundaries of the genres he worked in – his artistic craftsmanship extended into areas well beyond the world of music. It of course also wouldn’t hurt to ask what Bohemian Rhapsody truly is about 🙂