Kovacs is a shaven-headed Dutch songstress with a talent for broadcasting soulful honesty. Her latest album, ‘Cheap Smell’, comes after a few difficult years. Kovacs suffered the loss of musical and romantic partners, rebuilt her team around producer Liam Howe, and told her story using a microphone and her breathtakingly distinctive voice.
Kovacs’ content is heavy and real, as she does not constrain her openness. In listening to ‘Cheap Smell’, one experiences a unique artist-audience exchange. Life’s negatives have positives if you search for them, and Kovacs is all about sharing that journey.
We talk to Kovacs about her personality, her influences, and the evolution of her music…
When did you first discover your impressive vocal range?
I always loved to sing but when I for the first time heard about certain singers like Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and other powerful woman singers I quickly found out there was a way to channel it.. and to just scream it out 🙂
What prompted you to start singing?
Singing was and still is a way for me to express myself. I love to sing and inspire and get inspired and make people happy.
If you had to describe your personality in one sentence, what would it be?
A strange and loving woman with a superzoom.
‘Cheap Smell’ is your first full-length release. How do you think your music has evolved since your 2013 EP, ‘My Love’?
My music is less dark, and has more colour. The lyrics are more honest and sometimes even darker then on my first EP. The arrangements have more modern elements. I feel my new record overall sounds more unpolished and raw.
The album is packed with unique production and depth. Can you take us through your songwriting process, from the start, to the distinctive style we are left to enjoy at the end?
I wanted the album to be be more honest and less dark. I loved the first album but I felt I couldn’t stand still in time and recreate what I already did; I wanted to experience and show more sides of myself. That’s why you hear more, and different influences on my new album.
What overall message do you think your latest album transmits?
Life, the good, the bad.
If you could meet one of your musical influences, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Billie Holiday; I would ask what’s the name of her Bulldog which she always brought with her to her shows.
Does touring an honest album ever become overwhelming? What is it like to relive your experiences through song?
Yes, because you have to go back to that experience or feeling to completely give yourself over to it, but I also find it works as therapy for me.
Listening to music has many benefits. What do you think the benefits of writing and performing music are?
It’s a good way to handle personal struggles, and to confront yourself with yourself, and to learn from it.
Do you currently have anything new in the works? What can we expect from Kovacs in the coming years?
I have some ideas worked out now and am planning shortly my first weeks of writing. I can’t say yet where it will go but it will definitely evolve with me and how I feel.