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Spotlight Interview With Kobara

Kobara changed his tune a bit with the new single "Addict To Your Love".

The single is a step away from the artists edge radio pop style and sways more to a cinematic folk song that swells and breathes as it plays on.

The song builds and has an ambience that gives it an anthemic tonality and the shole thing is performed with heart and passion.

"Addict To Your Love" is alive and pours honesty in a graceful way as vocals belt and percussion grows in intensity.

This is certainly a song you can hear in a film and holds little back at all which makes for a touching and impactful song.

This song is incredibly relatable and can make you think and feel certain parts of your own life which is a powerful achievement musically.

With a beautiful and vibrant release, we wanted to touch base with Kobara and talk shop about the song and what's next for the artist.

RAG: Okay so let's start with "Addict To your Love". This track is honest and cinematic to say the least. Where did this song come from?

Thank you very much. I wrote the song in November, so it’s a recent one! I wrote it in response to some huge changes in my life recently. I moved back to my hometown after living in the city for ten years, myself and my partner split after 5 years together, not to mention all the ways that the pandemic has changed life for us all.

The song is about wandering through all this uncertainty, but also about exploring the role that love and romance has played in my life until now. A lot of change makes us reflect I guess. I have always had a girlfriend or partner almost constantly since I was a young teenager. I heard someone mention the phrase ‘Serial monogamist’ a while back and it stuck with me. In some ways I think we use relationships and partners as buffers between us and the world. The song explores that theme too.

RAG: The song has a big sound to it.. Did this take a long to record?

Generally my recordings take a long time to get right but this was an exception. I wrote the song in November, and by the end of December I had the song recorded, mastered, and the music video shot. The pandemic has been an intensely creative time for me and I am producing work faster now than I ever have. I record everything myself from home, and shoot and edit my own music videos with my cousin Davy Holden and my brother Steve O Brien. The indie approach to production can give you great agility in getting projects done I think.

RAG: How do you write your songs? Is it lyrics first or melodies?

Generally I write a vocal melody or a lyric first. Sometimes the melody will be good but the lyrics might be cringe or not good enough. Other times the melody might be lacklustre but the lyrics might have meaning. It’s always a case of keeping the good bits and rewriting the bad. Generally chord progressions, instruments and all of the production come after there is a very promising vocal line. So I guess I put a lot of thought into the singing aspect when I write my music.

RAG: How did this all start for you?

I’ve been performing in bands since I was 12 years old. When I was around 20, one of my bands ‘Seo Linn’ had several videos on YouTube go viral. They were pop-folk versions of popular songs in the Irish language, and we got to become full-time musicians and tour internationally for a few years. While I still play and tour with Seo Linn, I have since started working on telling my story as a solo artist. Truthfully I just love creating projects, writing and recording the music, planning the music videos, writing the stories, getting people together for video shoots. There will never be a time when I am not producing music, and I am very excited to see where I can take my solo work.

RAG: What bands and artists really influence you?

I definitely pull from a varied pool of artists, many of which are not always representative of the music I create! Some of my oldschool favourites are bands like System of a Down, Muse and Slipknot, while my work with Seo Linn introduced me to the world of pop-folk such as Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and Avicii. I also have a background in Irish traditional music, having toured with a trad group as a teenager, dancing, playing the guitar and singing. Recently, then, I am listening to a whole range of stuff from Poppy to Little Big to Die Antwoord. So there’s a lot going on there! I think the band that most influenced me when I started making solo music was Milky Chance. I saw them at a music festival in Dublin on a scorching hot day in the summer. Everyone was sitting on the grass drinking beer waiting for the next act. I had no idea who MIlky Chance were, but suddenly they walked on stage and broke into Stolen Dance, and everyone just got up and started dancing. I felt it so much, it was an amazing moment. They are a huge influence on me.

RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

I work as a software developer as well as my music projects, writing code in Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Not only is it great to have a steady income from writing code, it also excites me to challenge my brain the way computer programming does. Reminds me of Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones saying “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” Programming definitely helps me keep my edge.

RAG: What kind of things inspire you to write?

Two main things inspire me to write, I think. Firstly, experiences such as travelling, touring, and meeting people. I may not write about specific events, but adventuring around the world through music very much puts me in the headspace to be reflective and write lyrics!

Secondly, having a particular event or music video that I want to create or be involved in. I love writing music for a specific purpose. We did a lot of that kind of work with Seo Linn, writing songs for commemoration events, cultural events, we even wrote the Official Anthem for the Irish Football team in the UEFA European Football Championship in 2016. Writing music that stands for something means a lot to me.

RAG: When does "Addict To your Love" release?

The song is scheduled for release on Friday January 22nd on all streaming platforms and the Official Music Video goes live on YouTube on Friday January 29th!

RAG: This song is a bit different from previous releases like "Can't Remember" for example which is much more radio pop feeling. What made you change course with this track?

That’s a great observation! Can't Remember is a track from my experimental EP which I released in 2020 called “Five Lovely Poisons”. When I say experimental I mean that I deliberately wanted to play around with various genres on the EP to truly get an idea of where I wanted to go with my solo music. By publishing an EP you also get the opportunity to see where your audience would like to see you go by how they react to the songs. This really helped me to move more towards the sound that I am making now with songs like “Addict to Your Love”.

RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music out there?

What would I say to fans of music.. If you mean music fans in general, I would say keep searching for new bands and new obsessions through music. Platforms like Spotify are so amazing because you can now discover so many awesome new artists. I have genuinely connected with more bands and artists in the last two years than I had in much of my youth! So stay curious and always support your local music, especially your friends and family who are creating music... You probably don’t realize the colossal amount of work they are really doing behind the scenes!


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