Here we are at our second appointment with IndieViews. Today we will be talking with a jazz songwriter
from New York, KOSI.
I had the pleasure of getting to know her and her latest album “I know who I am” during the promotional tour for the 60th Grammy Awards.
Here we go.
One More Cup of Coffee – 2013
Pictures of Us – 2014
Ghosts Appearing through the Sound – 2015
I Know Who I Am – 2016
This is what our friend Tri Nguyen says about the album: “A capella for the first track just gave me goose bumps. The more I plunged into the record, the more amazed i was. The album not only shines thanks to your formidable vocal beauty, but the conception, the message, the integrity of this masterpiece is breathtaking. I really can’t say which tracks are my favorites, I just love them all!!! Servant’s prayer has an original structure that nails you to the speakers and doesn’t let you go. There is power in each and every track.”
If we cast your mind back to when you were a kid and a teenager: what are your earliest musical memories?
Which was the first album you ever bought?
I bought Bill Evans’ Sunday at the Village Vanguard back when I was in high school. I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon My Man’s Gone Now back in the days when nobody, especially not teenagers, batted an eye about pirating music, but I think I probably stopped breathing. I went out and bought the album sometime shortly after.
(Ed.) Here is it:
Which musicians do you particularly admire and which one do you think influenced your music?
Are you still in love with your profession as musician? How do you keep your enthusiasm always live?
How do you manage your music life with your “common” life? What is your typical day like?
Tell us more about your latest works (album, live tour, new projects).
Let’s chat about music studies
Are you self-taught or have you studied music? You think is important studying music to be a Pro?
Did you keep on studying?
While you are on the road did you find the time to improve your technical skills on your instrument? Do you think is it important?
Can you describe the process you go through when you are writing a song? What inspires you to write?
“In all, [I Know Who I Am is] a rich, breathing, urgent album and Kosi inflects every measure with unflinching integrity. “Diva” is a hopelessly devalued word these days; we need a new one for singers like this, who stand their ground and deliver the goddamn goods.” — Robert Rodi, Newcity Music
Album/Ep/Singles any favorite way to release your music? and why?
How do you plan an album production and his release?
When you release an album how much is important for you the tracklist? And the time between the tracks?
Do you produce your records by yourself or do you prefer to have some extra ears or a producer to guide you?
Did you record your music in a rented professional studio, home studio or in any other way?
How did you choose the musicians for your album?
Did you mix and master your album/tracks in different ways for digital and physical releases?
Are your records only digital or also physically distributed?
What types of promotion and marketing have you found to work best for an independent artist?
There are some music industry analysts who argue that the CD is dying. What percentage of your sales are physical CDs and what percentage of your sales are in other forms (e.g. online)? Do you see that changing significantly in the future?
“As a songwriter, Kosi tells wonderfully crafted stories so deep and intimate it may appear that she’s shared too much, until you realize that a part of you is in there with her. As a performer, Kosi intertwines folk and jazz sensibilities with her unique vocal instrument. A compelling crowd pleaser from the moment she steps on stage.” — John Hayes, Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle
Have you a mailing list? You think is a “must have” as most people in music business said?
Do you think that, with all the digital alternatives, radio airplay still has an effect on the success of a release? And how does an independent artist get radio airplay?
What do you think about streaming services like Spotify and Pandora?
Did you work with booking agencies or you manage your own gigs?
I book my own gigs.
How do you promote a gig in a new town/country/region?
Organizing a tour could be really expensive especially if you travel with a band far away from your country, how do you manage everything to earn and don’t loose money?
Did you sell your physical CDs, Merchandising and other?
Somebody says that House Concert are the future of live music as many club are closing. What do you think about it? Have you organized any?
Every time you play your music you are giving a big part of you to your crowd, do you feel tension before a concert? If yes how do you manage it?
Which is the difference between a big audience or a small one?
Have you a daily business routine? Checking/writing E-mail, phone calls, create new connections?
Which percentage of your time is dedicated to: “Creating Music”, “Promotion”, “Organizing gigs/tour”, “Studying”, “Reading”, “Listening Music”?
Do you think that the Artist status is compatible with the entrepreneurship? Do you think that an Indie artist needs to be also an Entrepreneur?
As an artist, which are the biggest differences between being represented by a major label or being representing by yourself?
Which PRO (Performing Rights Organization) are you affiliate with and why did you choose that?
As a full time musician I immediately realized that I can’t only work as musician and I should extend my expertise in different fields. So, I became a Sound Engineer, composer, producer too. Did you also develop different fields? Which one? What do you like and do not like about each one?
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT KOSI: