Katie Koss group - Groningen electronic pop on a rise
Interview with Katie Koss group - Groningen electronic pop on a rise
5 young students have the same love for music- they are Katie Koss group. Check out this interview with them and see how they combine studies and passion for music and their path to success. They are the new Groningen electronic pop group that will blow your mind.
What's the name of your band? What's the origin of that name?
Our band’s name is Katie Koss. The lead singer, Katja, which corresponds to the name Katie. The second name is Koss which comes from the sweet, short name of her father. However, Koss is also her middle name because Katya’s parents are originally from Ukraine and from a cultural point of view, the father name becomes your second name.
Who are Katie Koss group members?
They are 5 young students who follow their passion and despite studying different sciences, the music unites them.
Katja Poltavets (vocals) is 22 years old and studies International Communication at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.
Jeroen Brattinga (drums) is 20 years old and studies Electrical Engineering at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.
Danny van Galen (keys) is 24 years old and studies Biomedical Technology at the University of Twente.
Haitze de Vries (lead guitar) is 21 years old and studies Music and Education at the Artez Conservatorium Zwolle.
Jelle Brouwer (bass guitar) is 22 years old and studies Language and Cognition at the University of Groningen.
But how did they meet?
Katja and Jelle met in high school, where they started making music together. After a couple of years, Danny contacted us via Facebook. We had great chemistry, so he became an addition to the group. We then met Jeroen after asking around if people knew a skilled drummer, and he didn’t disappoint us one bit. The last addition to the group was Haitze. We knew he was a great guitarist through mutual friends. We got together one day, and it all just clicked.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
We mainly classify ourselves as electronic pop. We feel it is the best way to describe us since we use a lot of electronic drums and even more synthesizers. We get our inspiration and influences from different places. If you look at musicians in the Netherlands, we’d say artists like Lakshmi and Luwten, but also bands like Mister and Mississippi are comparable to us.
Who writes your songs and what are they about?
All of the lyrics to our songs are written by Katja. All of our songs have metaphorical lyrics that can be on a range of topics from feeling like something has control over you to be the only one in a room who’s different. The music making is very much a cooperative process. Often, Katja comes up with lyrics and a basic chord progression. The five of us then start experimenting with different sounds, settings, and effects, in order to properly convey the tone of the song. We’ve had times when Haitze just started playing something out of the blue, and the rest would get so enthusiastic that we just wrote something. In the end, though, everything that makes a song sounds like ‘us’ are all the little details and layers that go into the final recording. When we know a track is ready, we go to Amsterdam. We record everything in a great studio there, and we then give the audio engineer feedback on the mastering process. Normally, we have weekly meetings every Saturday to rehearse and plan together. The atmosphere is in general quite relaxed, and we crack jokes a lot, but once everyone is in position to play, we’re very serious.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
All of us have busy lives outside of the band. We don’t have the luxury of being able to work together multiple times a week. Also, our schedules often don’t line up: one moment someone is doing an internship, then another person has to move for their studies. It’s all good though, as we think it’s definitely possible to combine higher education with a career in music. We have a number of ways to deal with this. One of them is that we have weekly Skype talks to discuss the necessary things. This way we don’t spend as much time on that when we come together for rehearsals.
Where have you performed? Do you have any upcoming shows?
We’ve had a lot of great opportunities! We played at Eurosonic Noorderslag last January, which was absolutely amazing. Great atmosphere and even better audience. We also have had gigs at venues like Vera, Simplon, and Neushoorn. We have a number of gigs in the next months. The 31st of March we have a gig in de Walrus in Groningen, and the 28th we will do a semi-acoustic set for Moo sessions in Diepenheim. During the summer we are, among other festivals, in the line-up of Into the Great Wide Open, and Pagepop.
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
Don’t make music for others! If you don’t like what you’re making, people will be able to tell. Also, don’t be afraid to be a bit cheeky sometimes when you’re trying to get gigs. Asking never hurts. Always be respectful to everyone you’re working with, though. The music world is a pretty close-knit network, and if you’re being rude to someone everyone will know.
Interested in listening to them?
Check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0cdgmM4zag
Keep updated with their concerts at https://www.facebook.com/KatieKossMusic/