Make no mistake, Anja Kotar is cool. Fresh from life as a rising child star in her home country of Slovenia where she acted in a hit film and was featured on the Slovenian X-Factor, Kotar arrived in the US in 2012. The transition was abrupt, setting foot in her new home a mere two days before high school began. Since then, she has found her footing and then some.
Early on, Kotar ran up against obstacles due to her nascent citizenry in the US. Unable to appear on potentially career changing shows like The Voice because of her Visa status, she took matters into her own hands turning to Kickstarter to raise funds for her first EP. The experience provided more than she could have hoped for. Through Kickstarter, Kotar learned how to run her music as a business. The crowdsourcing platform also provided immediate, invaluable feedback on her work which would have been unavailable through traditional production.
The fruit of Anja Kotar’s hard work has arrived. Nomad, out now, feels very much like a labor of love. Every track is musically intricate and the overarching message of the album rings crystal clear. From the first single, How to be Cool it is obvious that Kotar has something to say about the culture of cool in which we have become immersed. She rejects the notion that cool is something to be shaped by mainstream media and trendsetters, instead of operating under the philosophy that the definition of cool lies firmly in being true to yourself.
How to be Cool jabs at social norms in youth and cool culture. It takes on drug use and binge drinking breaking down popular ideas about what it takes to get ahead in the social maelstrom these days. Kotar seems determined to take her message to lofty heights, designing Nomad as a concept album with a line of companion clothing. The tracks themselves will be strung together via monthly videos making a up a series of short films.
Now 20 years old, Anja’s energy and enthusiasm are palpable. She speaks with the wisdom of someone far beyond her years and seems at peace with her whole self. With her debut offering Nomad, Anja Kotar isn’t just redefining what it means to be cool, she’s providing a road map for those courageous enough to embrace their own version and get there.