The latest artist to emerge from Berlin’s evolving, electro-pop scene, KOII’s work is hauntingly scarce, taunted by controlling forces that she’s now breaking free from.
Withdrawn from the usual heavy, fast paced sound of Berlin’s techno scene, ‘Waiting Line’ finds itself trading 120BPM for elegant and precise lyricism, glancing back at KOII’s previous relationship, renouncing her controlled devotedness, swiftly moving forward with an emphatic wave of thunderous drums, inducing goosebumps all over and a sense of female empowerment.
We dug a little further into the details of ‘Waiting Line’ with KOII as well as asking her about working in Berlin’s ever growing electro scene.
So in your own words, how would you describe your work as KOII?
KOII is my solo project which I started last year in Berlin. Since I was a child I experimented with music and sounds, played the violin for more than 12 years and wrote my first song by the age of 14. After my graduation I travelled to Australia and Asia, fell in love with the Asian culture and started to write my first songs for KOII. Inspired and influenced by this new mindset I moved to Berlin and teamed up with producers to create my own musical vision – and so the KOII story began.
With KOII I try to bring in all my influences, play with contrasts and want to take people on a journey with me.
So you’re based in Berlin, does the city have an influence on your music and are there any particular areas in Berlin that have influenced your sound?
Berlin gave me the freedom to be myself and do things in my own pace and way. Before I moved to Berlin I used to live in Hamburg, a beautiful city but with a totally different energy. Hamburg is much more conservative – in Berlin I love that literally no one cares when you are on street wearing pyjama’s! I love the vibe, the space and wide streets. I also met wonderful people I really love and that’s the most important thing I guess. For me it’s just the right place to be at the moment.
Now onto your debut track, what’s the story behind ‘Waiting Line’ and what are you trying to express on the track?
In the beginning of 2018 I plunged into a personal crisis questioning my 7 year relationship, feeling the need to grow and bloom without a protective shelter.
In waiting line I reflect on this relationship, craving for relief yet really afraid to leave. I always have this ambivalent, two-sided vibe in me, so as one part is a strong defender of self-realisation and liberty, another part needs security leading me to that slightly chaotic and spiritual being that I am. And that’s totally ok, I now know that it’s important to find your own truth and way of living – no matter what others might think or say.
So Waiting Line is out today this must be really exciting for you considering the story behind the song?
Oh yes! I’m so excited and can’t wait to spread it!
I am in San Francisco at the moment and so much stuff is happening which makes me so very grateful and happy. We already planning the release of the second single coming in May so for me it’s overwhelming that finally everything feels right and ready to show.
I really hope that my music does something for others, at least awake feelings or spread a good vibe. I think we are all connected and I want people to feel that they are not alone, that there is always space and time to awake their dreams and no one should be afraid to choose different paths than others.
Nennen Sie drei Künstler, die Sie inspirieren, den Lesern einen Einblick zu geben, welche Einflüsse Ihre Arbeit hat (entschuldigung meine schlecht Deutsch)
Thank you for this question, your German is actually very good.
There are several artists who influenced me.
I grew up listening to Fudgees, Steve Wonder, Aretha Franklin and soul/rnb stuff.
Nowadays I love FKA Twigs and admire her style and music, I am addicted to her spherical voice and she definitely inspired me to experiment with trip-hop, dream pop vibes and not to be stuck in one genre. I love the way she dances and her energy on stage, it’s just amazing.
Another artist who inspires me is Sevdaliza. When I heard her music the first time I was fascinated, when I saw her videos I was impressed and touched – that’s what I always wanted. She is creative in every way and just follows her intentions and vision, for me she is the embodiment of art with no boundaries.
Also artists like Billie Eilish influenced my sound, she is so young yet so brilliant.
So in general I dig in spherical music and special female voices combined with strong visual images and personally I often switch between really sad and really uplifting music.