Nina Kohout

Slovakian teen bringing new life to folk

Who?

Combining dark, Eastern European folk music with trip hop beats is Nina Kohout, a 19-year-old Slovakian singer-songwriter with the voice of an avenging angel. “I was part of a folklore group for more than 10 years,” she says. “We used to sing and dance to hundreds of old Slovak songs filled with stories, some of them rawer than others. I can still feel their distant echoes within me.” It’s a family tradition, too. Dad (Peter Kohout) is the sax player in electro-folk band Autumnist, who Nina has frequently appeared with.
“When other kids my age went to the cinema at weekends, I was backstage at festivals,” she explains. “So the soundtrack to my childhood was the bands my dad played in. After we played together in Autumnist, my dad started to accompany me in my solo project, and we inhale and exhale the music in absolute harmony.”

Why Nina Kohout?

Just listen to ‘Love Above’, the opening track from her startling debut EP ‘Pandemonium’. The pianos are hymnal and the strings funereal, but Nina’s voice drags them screaming to the heavens. These are gothic fairytales worthy of a young Kate Bush, and Nina has moved to Blighty to pursue her musical ambitions.
“At the age of 17, it took all the courage I had to leave my home country and move to London,” she says. Following in the footsteps of Amy Winehouse and Adele, she’s now studying at the BRIT School in Croydon.

Tell Us More…

What does ‘Prebúdzanka’ mean, the title of the EP’s breathtaking closing track? “It’s a made-up word I came up with!” chuckles Nina. “It means the exact opposite of a lullaby, so it’s a song someone would sing to their loved one just after waking up. I believe those few undisturbed seconds between sleep and wakefulness represent the purest state of human existence.”

‘Pandemonium’ is out on Deadred

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