During the KOVACS interview find out how she describes herself as an artist, what her signature song is and what this album’s power song is.
Sophia Lenore: Hello, beautiful Sharon Kovacs.
Sophia Lenore: Thank you so much for your time.
Kovacs: Thank you for coming.
Sophia Lenore: Of course I am here because I want to hear you perform. I was also told that I can see you perform as well. I can’t wait!
So…I just want to ask you a few questions about your career, about your music, about your new album. So let’s jump all in.
Okay, first question. Who is Kovacs? Or what do you want people to say when they describe Kovacs as an artist?
Kovacs: Well, I think I would love to hear one day that I am really myself always. Or… I don’t know. This is an interesting question.
But I am really extravagant, I would say so, but I am also very introverted…and I can be very sad sometimes and also very melancholic, but I am actually overall quite happy…and in my music I channel all the sadness.
Sophia Lenore: You put it in the right place.
Kovacs: Yes! I try to be very honest. And hope people would say it as well. I don’t know. It is difficult. I just try to do what feels best. Sometimes things come across differently that you would think.
Sophia Lenore: That is very on point, because it is what I think of when I am describing you. Because I needed to tell everyone whom I am interviewing today.
And I was like “She just seems so raw, so passionate. Her songs seem really reminiscent of someone whose put in real emotions into their vocals.
I don’t think in any way that I’ve heard someone so unique and also I would have to say emotionally open in their music in a long time.”
Kovacs: Actually my biggest passion about the music I love is most of the time old music, old singers.
I don’t know why, but they are so honest, they are so open back in the days…and I don’t feel it is happening right now a lot.
And it is super weird, because we have all the opportunities to be very open, to be very open minded, but people don’t do it and I don’t know why.
Sophia Lenore: You are just a special beautiful unicorn.
Kovacs: Wow, thank you!
Sophia Lenore: You are so welcome. This is true, because you are a unicorn.
Kovacs: I want to be like shy now.
Sophia Lenore: Let’s see what else we can ask you, beautiful. Let’s ask this. When you look back at your body of work you’ve done so far, what would you say is a signature song of Kovacs? Or song that personify your signature sound?
Kovacs: Well, I think it is my first song, where all started and what makes everything come out from that song.
Also I think it was a first song I wrote. I think each album has a bunch of songs, where I see, like, this is it. “Cheap Smell” for me was a second one and it is my intimal song.
Sophia Lenore: Why?
Kovacs: I don’t know why. I see “My love” describes like a time, like, three years…the album cycle to me is always three years.
“My love” was actually me starting my career and finding something to hold on too…and I think that “My love” was for me, it was my music.
And now “Cheap smell” was like a journey that brings you where you want to be and see yourself, how you get to know yourself.
And “Cheap smell” is a second album and that is how I felt three years, like a “Cheap smell”…and I was okay with that.
Sophia Lenore: Oh, I love it. Now I know what you mean. I would never have thought that this song was ultimately about. That is why we asked these questions.
You wrote most if not all of the music for your last album. For this album did you also write all of the songs as well? And if so, what would you say your absolute favorite song of the album or the power song?
Kovacs: This album? New album?
Sophia Lenore: Yes.
Kovacs: “Mama & Papa”. That is definitely power song. Music helps me dealing with some certain things like emotions, but also things that happened to me, stuff that is difficult.
“Mama & Papa” was like a chapter in my life which I still need to find out more about. It is difficult to explain because it is a whole story goes right behind.
I didn’t know my dad and when I grew up I left my home when I was 12. My mom never told me anything about my dad. I didn’t understand that. And the last three years I was starting to have conversations with my mom about my past.
And then I met my father on Facebook. And then he was like “I am very religious.“ I was like “Alright”…but he was like “You need to be with God” and stuff like this…and I was like “No. I am not gonna do this. What are you thinking?”.
So then I understood my mom why she was not telling me a lot about him. I am actually quite happy that she did not do it…and that all make sense.
And this song is about this whole story combined. Actually I wrote it for my mom to say like “Okay, it is fine”. And for my dad to say “Okay, well, try to accept the way I am and then we can talk”.
Sophia Lenore: Oh, that is so beautiful. It is like a therapy song.
Kovacs: Yes, it is a therapy.
Sophia Lenore: And it is also like you are leaving it open for them to come as well. Oh, that is beautiful…and now I’m gonna love it even more because I know this true story behind it.
Thank you so much for sharing it. I really appreciate this.
Kovacs: No problem.
Sophia Lenore: So, let’s see. Is there a video or a concert or a performance moment that stands out in your life that was like a moment of impact? Either you were a performer or you were in the audience watching an artist?
Kovacs: Yes, I was watching the concert of this artist Benjamin Clementine with an orchestra. This was awesome.
I was telling you how I am missing singers from back of the days…And I was there like “This is one. He is back”. It was my most amazing concert I’ve ever seen.
Sophia Lenore: Was it a performance or was it the energy in the air?
Kovacs: It was his energy and his honesty in his songs. Also his musicality and his voice. It’s all worked out. I was feeling like I was 40 years back in time. I love him as well. He is an amazing artist.
Sophia Lenore: I get that feeling too. I love the old stuff as well. I don’t listen much to that new music recently. I like that old music. I like classical music as well. I listen to Mozart with my breakfast.
Kovacs: I am still getting to know the classical music now. I like classical music.
I did a few shows with orchestra and it was so amazing.
Sophia Lenore: Oh, I love orchestra.
Kovacs: Oh, me too. I will do it sometimes. I hope that after I finish the touring and the festival, I can redo my album with an orchestra which would be amazing.
Sophia Lenore: Very cool! And if you can relive one moment in your life, what would it be and why?
Sophia Lenore: It can be a career moment or something from your life.
Kovacs: First time I took drugs (laughing).
Sophia Lenore: That was a memorable moment for me!
Kovacs: For me too! I was throwing up. First time I smoked joint it was so funny.
But no, it is not probably a time I want to go back to.
Sophia Lenore: First time of mine was joint too.
Kovacs: Yes-yes. I thought my mom would be very mad. She was like “I am so disappointed”…and I was like “This is even worse.” But I became very sick of it so I didn’t do it for few years…and then I started again…but it is actually not a perfect thing to talk about.
Sophia Lenore: No! We are in Berlin!
Kovacs: Yes, we can! I am from Holland. We do it all the time. It is fine.
Sophia Lenore: Exactly. I am on the train every day and I am always seeing someone who is smoking.
Kovacs: I was in New York actually! And …Oh, my God!
Sophia Lenore: Yes, 4:20! Rihanna is always beating for 4:20 and going up in the park waiting her weed to catch it falling out the sky.
Kovacs: I was sleeping in the hotel and I was like “What is this smell?” Everyone was vaping. And I was like “This is unbelievable! I am in New York and the whole hotel smells like weed!” And it was amazing. I loved it.
Sophia Lenore: They probably got hookah from concierge. They’d be pushers, they’d be dealers.
Kovacs: Wow, that is interesting. And then they have this vens with weed cookies. But okay, let’s go back to the memorable moments.
I don’t think I do even want to go back to redo the moment again. Everything is what it is. If I really get to go back I would go to my first big performance…and I would enjoy it more.
Because this is a thing that I learn now to enjoy things more. Because in the beginning it was so stressed and it was like a big moments, but you are so tense all the time. So I would go back with what I know now and enjoy it.
Sophia Lenore: That is excellent, because this is how I feel too. I don’t want to change anything, because I never know what made me what I am now.
But I would definitely talk to my stupid younger self. Last back to the past and just give yourself some courage.
So back to your new album. How would you say this album is different from your last? What specifically do you want your fans or listeners to notice?
Kovacs: Many things, actually, because I thought with the first album I gave a good introduction of me, but it is only told one side of me which was a dark side.
As a person I am not only dark, I am most of the time very happy, very colorful and raw. And I think I want all this elements in the album.
I want to be very open, because I felt I was singing about some stuff, but not very serious. And if I put more of myself into it, I can even give more on stage because I can touch more of emotions.
So I was like, it needs to be honest, it needs to be less polished, I think…and it needs definitely to have elements of things I love.
As I told you, I like old singers, I like old blues, I like old funk, I like old soul, I like old jazz. I want to put all this elements in songs.
It is a little bit like a journey to get to know me through my mistakes and stuff. So that is a little bit an idea.
Sophia Lenore: Cool! Could we also possibly expect in the future you teaming up with funk bands? Morris Day?
Kovacs: I would love too! I think I definitely love funk. Maybe next album. I am actually thinking what I’m gonna do. So interesting.
I am gonna do a really nice collaboration. Let’s see. But I can’t tell yet. It is coming some nice things which definitely gonna change again.
New album will be different again…but this is life. I think people who is always the same they are boring.
Sophia Lenore: On that I am gonna switch it up based on what you’ve just said about. If you can choose one artist right now in the US to either open for or tour with whom would it be?
Kovacs: In the US?
Sophia Lenore: Anyone! Even if they are not on tour and even if they don’t record anymore.
Kovacs: Wow. There are many good artists in the US. Let me think. I was thinking about Lee Fields, but it is not actually funk or soul. Or no, it is funk-soul actually.
Sophia Lenore: Any genre of music.
Kovacs: I don’t know if Grace is still touring…but yes, I met her actually…and she is amazing. Yes, Grace Jones, definitely.
Sophia Lenore: Oh my god, I am so jealous! I love Grace Jones! That would be so dope! Two bald heads! That would be so fantastic.
Kovacs: She looks so good. Oh my God!
Sophia Lenore: She can perform acrobatics on stage.
Kovacs: She looks better than me.
Sophia Lenore: Oh, so Grace. That is excellent one. So. I heard a little rumor, a little birdy told me that you are planning to cross over to US market.
Kovacs: I would definitely wanna go to the US…I am waiting for it…but it is a difficult market especially for Europeans. Because it is such a big market you need to invest.
So I am actually waiting now for nice opportunity to come and I will definitely jump into it…I need a little bit of help in the US for me to start. But I can’t wait. It is on the top of my bucket list to go to America.
Sophia Lenore: You would totally mesh in with our craziness.
Kovacs: I love New York…and I’ve actually met few people in New York. They suggest me to do some stuff…and I am actually planning to go to work a little bit there as well, maybe to write a little bit of songs there as well. Let’s see.
Sophia Lenore: And I will also definitely talk to any people I know in Europe who have influence in America.
Kovacs: We need it!
Sophia Lenore: You would rock for sure! You are missing element in the music industry in the US right now. Everything sounds like Ariana Grande or Nicki Minaj.
Everyone is just copy of them. And at the top of pyramid is Beyonce.
Kovacs: Yeah, it is interesting. There is not a lot of individuality anymore. Now it is a lot of mainstream going on.
Sophia Lenore: I don’t know what happened to Avril.
Kovacs: Where is Avril? I was actually listening to all this old singers and I was like “Where are they?”
Sophia Lenore: I know. One of my favorite bands is Greenday. Oh, I love them so much. They haven’t recorded anything in a while. Avril hasn’t recorded anything in a while. And I am sick of this mainstream.
Kovacs: I also love London a lot.
Sophia Lenore: Me too! Their scene is really funky.
Kovacs: I have recorded second album in London. The first one was recorded in Cuba.
I love London. It reminds me a lot of New York as well. In a way. Some parts. Very small parts.
Sophia Lenore: We want you in New York.
Kovacs: Oh, I did London now, so let’s go to New York.
Sophia Lenore: We want you in New York, we need you in New York. It like urgent.
I would like to ask you a fashion question.
Kovacs: A fashion question? Oh, okay.
Sophia Lenore: Let’s change a bit. What would you say is your signature style? What brands or designers do you like to wear?
Kovacs: I actually really like androgynes looks. I like Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Comme des Garsons, Yohji Yamamoto. Actually, I like a lot of vintage.
I like to buy sometimes something expensive and sometimes something cheap. What am I wearing now? I don’t know, but it is mixed. I like it.
But I am not like “Oh, that is in fashion. I need to have it”. I don’t like that.
Sophia Lenore: Yes, I am the same way. I’m kinda just wear whatever is easy.
Kovacs: It fits you. It fits your personality.
Sophia Lenore: Because outdoor underwear is coming back. It is not comfortable! I am not doing that!
Kovacs: I am actually doing this. I have bra now over my clothes. It is nice, but I don’t have tities.
Sophia Lenore: Oh, I can’t see myself wearing it over my cloth. I can’t wait to get out from this one right now.
Kovacs: Really? I am not even wearing a bra right now.
Sophia Lenore: Oh, I see. That is why you are in a black shirt.
Kovacs: I actually never wear one. Only on a stage which is weird.
Sophia Lenore: Well, on stage it might be a bit necessary. Just a little bit, but I am sure guys don’t want that.
Kovacs: No, they don’t mind.
Sophia Lenore: So, I am going to close with something easy-breathy. What do you like to do during your free time, when you have time off? Is it something particular that you look forward to do when you have time off?
Kovacs: I like to see my friends and to have a little bit of a good time, go to a party a little bit. I like my garden. I have a garden and I like my plants.
Sophia Lenore: Oh, wow. You are like an onion that keeps opening with layers, layers and layers.
Kovacs: I always thought they would die…and then I started to talk with them and sing to them…and then they grew…and it works. So you need to give a plant love…and I got so obsessed by this. So now I have 40 plants or something.
Sophia Lenore: Oh, that is so cute.
Kovacs: Yes, I look forward to see my plants. My friends take pictures of my plants if they come out. I like swimming and I like sport…and I like my joint. I am very much looking forward to have my joint.
Sophia Lenore: I know. Everyone love their joint. Me too
Kovacs: Germany is still a bit strict about it.
Sophia Lenore: No. That what we perpetuate to the outside of Germany. If you are in Germany, it is different.
Kovacs: Because I think you are a neighbour of Holland and everybody is doing this, so why not? Let’s do it.
Sophia Lenore: Because you know they have to had the facade of strict laws.
Kovacs: I know…but it is happening anyway. I think if you legalize it, you will have a tax…and the German people don’t have to pay as much anymore.
Sophia Lenore: Yes. Canada! Was it today or tomorrow? Someone sent me this and like “2 days and it is gonna be legal in Canada”. It is slowly travelling through the planet.
Kovacs: I know. But the funny thing is that Bob Marley was fighting for this for many-many years. Actually, now it is happening which I think is good. You need to buy a shirt of Bob Marley to celebrate.
Sophia Lenore: He needs to get like a percentage.
Sophia Lenore: That is all of my questions. It was so lovely chatting with you…and I am looking forward to seeing you on stage…and you gonna kill it.
I’ve been listening to your vocals the whole day. I am super excited, because I am sure if I love what I hear online I will love to hear it tonight. I can’t wait.
Kovacs: Let’s see what you will think about it.
Sophia Lenore: We will also take a small video snippets of your performance and share with everyone what is like to experience you live. I am not gonna give everything away, they will need to buy tickets themselves and see you on tour.
Kovacs: In America
Sophia Lenore: This is a teaser for you to come out and spend your money. Come see her! She is well worth it.
Interview by Sophia Lenore
Producer: Phil Halfmann
Editor: Umair Qazi