There are hardly enough words to describe the talent and charisma that Anja Kotar is. The 23-year-old singer-songwriter’s warmth radiates right through her music ever so effortlessly that it only takes a quick singular moment for you to feel immersed in her gorgeous vocals and mesmerizing indie pop soundscapes.
Born in the green heart of Europe, Slovenia, Anja Kotar now resides in San José, California. Thanks to her beautiful multi-continental upbringing, Kotar’s musical story is one of authenticity and self-discovery.
“I had the incredible opportunity of attending a conservatory with an expansive musical theatre and jazz program, which is when I started exploring and training in those genres,” she says. “That’s also about the time I wrote my first song.”
It simply doesn’t end here. Kotar’s a Berklee College of Music graduate, having received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees online, all while she was performing and travelling around the world.
“Looking back, it seems as though my entire life has been one giant boot camp for a career in music,” she explains. “And I would’ve never been able to be where I am today without the endless support and love from my parents.”
Anja Kotar’s sound resembles “picking daisies while wearing overalls at a strawberry farm,” as self-described by the San José singer herself.
“I like to associate every song and its corresponding music video and visuals with a very specific color that I relate to the emotion, story, and meaning behind each song,” Kotar continues. “Life isn’t tricolor so I think it’s fitting that the music about it isn’t either.”
Kotar’s latest single, ‘Alone Together’, reflects on her life throughout the ongoing pandemic. In a subtle yet triumphant manner, she manoeuvres heartfelt lyrics to open up about fear, taking things for granted and, eventually, learning how to take matters into her own hands once again.
Though being vulnerable is no easy task, Kotar continues exploring self-confidence and authenticity within her honest lyricism. “For me, authenticity is key—everything I write about are things that I’ve either felt myself or observed, so it never feels like I’m portraying a character,” she says. “In fact, it feels more like I’m creating the soundtrack for my life.”
‘Alone Together’ is an emotional anthem that beautifully sets the tone for Kotar’s upcoming extended play, titled songs from isolation. “‘Alone Together’ was the first pandemic-themed song I wrote and it opened up the floodgates for a string of songs that just kept coming in the following weeks,” she explains. “That’s when I started to develop new visuals and the concept for the EP more thoroughly and, starting with ‘Tuscany’, I’ve been putting it out single by single.”
songs from isolation functions as a metaphorical diary to document the insane events we, as a collective, are going through right now. “Over the past year, I was often reminded that we always wondered what it must’ve felt like for people living during monumental times in history, but now we are those people,” Kotar says. “I wanted to create something that I could show to my kids one day and say, ‘This is what it felt like to live during that global pandemic.’”
“In a strange way, this pandemic and series of lockdowns have drawn our daily lives and experiences closer than ever before,” Anja Kotar finally suggests.
“Hopefully, this EP serves as a playlist for life during the past year, full of ups and downs but, ultimately, prevailing with the message of finding light, hope, and joy in some of the darkest moments we’ve ever known.”