What does one eighteen-year-old Slovak have in common with Tom Holland?

Up-and-coming artist Nina Kohout's experience in music and the industry runs deep.

The answer could offer a great opportunity to this young musician

In his latest episode of Na Slovensku Aj Po Anglicky, host Jeremy Hill speaks with the up-and-coming artist Nina Kohout. She is out with her debut solo EP entitled Pandemonium. This, however, is not Nina's first rodeo. Her experience in music and the industry runs deep.

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“There were just a few moments when music wasn't playing in our house.”

The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree in the Kohout family. Nina's father Peter Kohout is a wizard of woodwinds and has been part of many musical projects across multiple genres, but he is best known for his work in the indie rock band Autumnist.

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Inspired by her father, four-year-old Nina began singing and soon after joined folklore groups and choirs. Then at the tender age of seven, this musical prodigy picked up her first musical instrument, the guitar. Next came the piano. As a preteen Kohout finally took to the stage with her father and started her shift toward alternative rock.

It was Nina's work in her father's band Autmnist that truly cemented her reputation for being a powerful but graceful vocalist. This led her to many collaborations (most famously with Fallgrapp), but none has been more important or influential than that of the work with her father. “When I play with my father... we breathe in and out together,” Nina explains

With years of experience in hand, Kohout set out on her solo career with the release of her hit single “Blue Sunray.” Right away she was recognized for her talent, and in 2020 she was named “Discovery of the Year” at the Radiohead Awards.

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From the stage to The Brit School... and back

Recognizing that her musical education was incomplete, Kohout began looking abroad for opportunities. She decided to put her Slovak education on hold and travel to London and attend The Brit School. This is the famed institution for performing and creative arts that birthed many talented artists such as Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Tom Holland. There Nina studies music production and music technology, which she credits for helping her produce her new EP.

Being the only foreigner in her class has been challenging for Kohout. Of course, the pandemic has only complicated matters. Nevertheless, Nina has settled well in the country and even found a partner in music production who helped craft her latest opus.

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While Kohout spends her days in the classroom, at night she hits the stage perfecting her songs and building a name for herself. This was a familiar experience for the young artist, but attempting the same in a foreign country presented some new challenges. Nina at this point in her career had a loyal following and name recognition in Slovakia, whereas in the UK she was a complete unknown. “It was such a humbling experience to see an audience who doesn't give a sh** about me,” Nina describes her experience of performing for a British audience.

It's pandemonium out there

Undaunted by adversity and the global health crisis, Kohout continued to thrive in her foreign home. She used her newfound knowledge and relationships to craft four new tracks that truly showcase her skills in the studio, and on February 2, these tracks were compiled and released as an EP entitled “Pandemonium.”

The entire work is richly produced, with a sound reminiscent of a film score. For longtime fans, this will feel a bit darker than what Nina has released up to this point. The new direction, for Kohout, is a reflection of her feelings of anxiety and separation from loved ones back home. However, this is the music Nina has always wanted to make. The process of crafting these tracks was a chance for her to dream and experiment.

For me, the EP feels like a strong start to a career of unlimited possibilities. It's creative and surprisingly mature, just like Nina herself. I'm certain her star will continue to rise. I encourage all of you to listen to “Pandemonium”, and if you like it, please consider purchasing a copy. I will leave a link in the description of the podcast.

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