There is a lot of toxicity in the world and you might just need a helping hand to kick it out of your life. This is where Kotarah comes in with her album Illuminate which has you shouting, singing and dancing away from the toxic people and situations in life. The self-produced album has a personal foundation that turns into a relatable thread that we are all able to connect with. We had the chance to chat with Kotarah about the album, recording challenges, main promotion tracks, emotions and much more!
OSR: What first drew you to making music?
Kotarah: When I was a little girl I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. Homelife was rocky, not a lot of friends at school, and I didn’t really fit in with the people at church. So I turned to music as a safe haven.
OSR: You have recently released your debut album Illuminate, is there a backstory or theme to the album?
Kotarah: Finding the light in the darkness. It’s an accumulation of the best songs I’ve written over the last ten years. There are themes of empowerment, finding joy, and self-love. It’s really an album about growing up and finding yourself.
OSR: You wrote, recorded and produced each track of the album in your home studio, what was the biggest challenge you had to overcome with this?
Kotarah: Actually learning how to use the equipment and use it well was a whole process. Then taking a song that I wrote on piano and fully fleshing it out, took a lot of patience.
OSR: While the album came from a personal realisation, what was your creative process? Did you start with a single track or did you map out the entire album?
Kotarah: I wrote the songs individually, usually starting on the piano with some chords or a voice note with a melody. Then I would take it to Logic Pro and add some cool instruments and make it what it is today.
OSR: The main promotion track for the album is ‘Goodbye Bitch’, what prompted you to choose this one?
Kotarah: I feel it sums up the album the best. It takes all the pain and suffering that I felt with my ex-best friend that I wrote it about and turned it into a self-empowerment anthem that I felt others might be able to relate to.
OSR: The album is packed with powerful melodies and vocals that make you want to dance and shout, is this something you actively tried to achieve or did it happen organically?
Kotarah: It was definitely intentional. For my personal taste in music I love songs that make me want to dance. And if I’m crying while dancing, even better. If my songs can make someone move and feel their emotions, I’ve accomplished my goal.
OSR: What first drew you to your preferred genre of music?
Kotarah: I discovered alt-pop in 2015 and have been hooked every since. Finding artists like Billie Eilish, Banks, and Lorde was powerful for me. It has the emotion that I can relate to, but the beats that make me want to dance. I felt I’d found a musical home.
OSR: What do you feel is the biggest influence on your music?
Kotarah: Not a very creative answer, but my life. Friends, family, the ocean, longing for the city, books and listening to music from other people greatly influence my music.
OSR: If people could feel only one emotion while listening to this album, what would you like it to be and why?
Kotarah: Empowered all the way! Hopefully they feel on top of the world and like they can do anything!
OSR: What else can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Kotarah: Well, In December I’ll be releasing a music video for “Goodbye Bitch”. Then in early 2022, I’ll be releasing new music and then, crossed fingers, next summer I’ll be performing at some local festivals. Lots of exciting things.