Nothing numbs quite like a melody does. It quells psychological and spiritual suffering as well as any pill ever could. KOVA comforts with a hypnotic hybrid of anesthetized alternative and lo-fi pop set to spacey beat-driven soundscapes. Pain peeks through the cracks of her vulnerable delivery as songs unfurl into an intensely intimate catharsis. Generating nearly half-a-million streams and views in less than six months and attracting over 125K Instagram followers, the Massachusetts-born and Los Angeles-based underground chanteuse makes music for you to lose yourself in.
“If a song has a dope melody, I’m just going to get lost in it,” she affirms. “Music could always take me out of struggle. Sometimes, I need a nice happy song. Other times, I need to be in my feelings with something darker. In my music, I sound raw in a feminine way. I’m not afraid to reference real shit. KOVA is a product of the world. The world genuinely chewed me up and spit me out, but I feel like if I can make it, literally anybody can. I turned it around.”
During her childhood in Lawrence, MA, she faced the kind of circumstances no kid ever should. Mom frequently moved her around the Northeast before settling in Manchester, NH. Save for one picture she would never know her father. Despite clashes with her stepfather, KOVA retreated into music, discovering Fleetwood Mac, Etta James, Tony Bennett, 50 Cent, and Tyler, The Creator, to name a few.
Even though she excelled in choir, she admits, “I gave up, because it wasn’t cool to be in chorus. I started smoking and doing other things.”
KOVA bounced around from “group homes and facilities” and found herself in and out of trouble before eventually picking up and finally moving south to Miami. She landed a job at a lavish Miami nightclub as a promoter and crossed paths with all manner of superstars. However, it would be GRAMMY® Award-nominated multiplatinum powerhouse Tory Lanez who convinced her to pick up music again.
After hearing KOVA’s voice, he urged her to move to Los Angeles—and she did.
“I never got tired of music,” she goes on. “I just needed a push. I didn’t graduate. I can’t keep a job. I have a problem with authority. I have many flaws. I don’t even have fucking parents to go back home to. There was nothing stopping me from doing it, so I went.”
Settling in Koreatown, she shared the emotionally charged “City of Angels” (137K YouTube views) and “Stars” [feat. TheHxliday] (81K YouTube views) and recorded at a feverish pace. She signed to Tha Lights Global after catching the attention of Co-Founder and C.E.O. Dooney Battle.
KOVA makes her formal debut now with the single and music video “Sober.” Over sparse production, her immense range culminates on a heartbreaking plea, “Why’s it gotta be so hard to stay sober?”
“I’ve definitely been in situations where I felt like I needed to be drunk or high in order to tolerate certain people or to feel normal and socially involved,” she states. “As far as the video goes, I’ve had my fair share of fun in the party scene, but it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be. Instead of what you’d expect, it can be dark and lonely much of the time. (The director) did an amazing job of capturing the feeling and mood of ‘Sober’. It gives viewers something honest to relate to.”
Now, everyone will fall under her spell. In many ways, a small tattoo of the word “Loved” on her face hints at where she’s going.
“I just have a way of making people love me all the time,” she leaves off. “When I should’ve been loved, I wasn’t. I am now though. When you’re in a town like I was, a song can make you think really big. It can take you to that place in the back of your head where everything is actually possible away from the world.”