For our next Quarantine Tapes episode, allow us to introduce you to KOLI, an empowered rock queen based in Nashville, TN. With sultry powerhouse vocals and raw lyrics, she will blow you away in this stripped down set, which includes an exclusive performance of her most recent single “I Always Do.”
This piano ballad style performance is comfortable to Detroit-transplant singer-songwriter KOLI, who has made a somewhat current transition to a full-band rock sound. Starting out in music about eight years ago, KOLI is used to singing solo with her piano or matching her energy in EDM tracks. Now she resonates with her roots from growing up on bands like Aerosmith, Rush and Nirvana. Though this stripped set sounds beautiful on its own, KOLI is backed by a full band in production, making her a new-age grungy Lana del Rey. She says she much more enjoys the collaboration aspect of playing in a band with other musical influences and bouncing energy back and forth on stage.
The covid-19 pandemic has not been very kind to many, but this girl has been doing the best with what she’s got. Taking time to visit her parents and get to know them as an adult, deepening the close relationships she already has in lieu of going out and making new ones, wrapping up her yoga teacher training, and devouring mystery thrillers and empowering novels like Conan Doyle’s “Untamed,” as well as the occasional “Netflix & Chill” have all been a part of KOLI‘s quarantine life.
What I love most about KOLI, aside from her endearing personality, are her lyrics. They sound like they’re straight out of the diary – raw, vulnerable, honest… She has a lot of perspective as a young person and has battled demons many fail to face head-on, and she shares her heart with the world seemingly effortlessly. For example, her song “Terrified,” which she performed for us in her tape, takes an honest look at being scared to death of losing a relationship. At first listeners might think it’s a song about a person, but it’s actually about her sobriety. Writing it immediately after leaving a sobriety session, she poured her feelings into this song and her soulful melodies leave her listeners with chills.
Just a few weeks ago KOLI released the full-production version of the first song you hear in this tape. “I Always Do” is a female-powered rock ballad full of hauntingly beautiful melodies and powerful lyrics that make you not want to mess with her. The rumble in her voice evokes something deep within. Bombastic drum riffs and splitting guitar break downs pack a punch and bring an edge to her sound that you can’t get enough of. In the track’s accompanying music video, directed by VEGA, KOLI makes a grand entrance decked out in her glam rock wardrobe sitting pretty on a red velvet love chair. Once the instrumentals really start kicking in, the video goes through a video montage of clips relating to “old habits.” Scenes cut back and forth between her holding a bottle to her lips on the couch, in the subway and standing on stage surrounded by smoke, to angry episodes of ripping up a pillow. KOLI does not hold back with her artistry and it’s incredibly refreshing how open she is about translating her life experiences into song and visual.
If you like what you see and hear, folks, keep your eye out for this amazing artist. There’s lots more where that came from, and new music is on the horizon. Once shows are back it’s guaranteed to be an impressive live performance coming from KOLI and her band!