Interview with Pop Artist Ida Kudo
MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
- Ida Kudo: I played classical violin from age of 4-17 on a serious level. I struggled expressing all the musicality and emotions I had inside, cause there was so much technique and perfection with that instrument that prevented me from having the output I needed. It was very controlling.
I quit the violin cause of injuries and by chance joined a gospel camp and found my voice. It was the vehicle and the vessel thru which I could express myself fully without being controlled or conformed. I sang and sang and sang, really loudly and started making songs by the piano. I remembered thinking: how awesome would it be to be able to create songs myself and my own music. I had a deep yearning to be able to express my unique self in this world.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
- Ida Kudo: First musical pop influence was Michael Jackson. Dangerous, Bad, Off the wall. Those records. Later it was Bob Marley who I became a true fan of. Very weird: the artists that became the most important to me, I’ve always had an experience before getting into their artistry, where I’d say to myself: what is this ridiculous music? I remember with Bob Marley I heard ‘Ion, lion, Zion’ and said: this guy just found 3 words that rhyme and the chords are the same all the way thru, what’s the fuzz? Then at 16 I became a huge Bob Marley fan, could sing all his songs, saw all documentaries and read everything I could find, got T- shirts, posters, hats, braids, anything Bob Marley related. He was my hero. And the core of his music and messages is still the core that stirs in the deepest of me as an artist. Although my music is far from reggae.
Next artist that had a huge impact on me was Björk. First time I heard her, I thought: what’s the fuzz? She sings out of key, it sounds weird and uncomfortably high pitched. Then, just like Bob Marley, the Björk fever hit me and I only listened to Björk. Everything by Björk. Especially her first albums: Debut, Homogenic, Post, Telegram, Vespertine and Selma songs. Her songs and expression resonated so deeply with me and helped me through hard times as an introvert teenager.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
- Ida Kudo: Ultimate goal is to truly stand within my power and express myself to the fullest. To ressonate great energy and to be able say to myself: This is my imprint, I was here on this planet. And of course, maybe mostly important, to somehow be able to come across with messages, feeling and love to people to let them know: We are all struggling, we are all important, we are all unique and each and everyone us is important in this world in our own way.
MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
- Ida Kudo: Best concert was when I played at a tiny pub venue in Scotland where I met the producer I’ve worked with (on the current new material) for the first time. I had prepared a great show but the circumstances were (mildly said) rubbish! I was so so disappointed. I didn’t even have time to do a vocal sound check. The place was rubbish, the other bands were rubbish (sorry) and the engineer was a disaster. I was so pissed with myself that I’d come all this way, hired musicians and payed for transport of all sorts of instruments and then to show up to a dump. It was like all control and perfection was just mocked at me which was exactly what I needed. It gave me ‘all or nothing’ attitude. A ‘lets at least go down with a big boom!’. So all my energy turned around and I became this fierce little ball of fire who didn’t give a **** about anyone or anything. And I just burned the place down with my concert. My energy was SO fire. It was the best concert I ever performed. And then, I met my producer.
MuzicNotez: Your latest release is the single ‘Let’s Rewild The World’. This is a powerful song, what is the message you want people to take from it? What motivated the track?
- Ida Kudo: I saw a David Attenborough documentary explaining how the loss of wildlife is destroying the eco system of our planet, thus putting nature and our planet out of balance. That the wild element is a crucial part of ‘the whole’ was something that resonated in me. And I felt: this is also happening on a more human scale in Western Modern society: We control, we conform, we tame ourselves to fit in with western modern standards and norms/ways of living that serves a capitalistic society. And it burns ourselves out. We become further and further away from listening to our own ‘healthy’ body, our own system, our intuition or our ‘inner voice’. That inner voice is the one that’s true to ourselves as human beings. And we all long to connect and ‘get back’ to that place where we feel aligned.
Western modern society is off track. To have a focus that is first and foremost capitalistic does not serve the living, it breaks us at the end. So the message is: Get back to yourself, listen to your inner voice, explore your intuition and don’t let any group, authority or society trick you into thinking that they know what is best for you. You know what is best for you. We just gotta learn to listen again. And: let’s celebrate diversity, diversity is what makes the ecosystem of us as a group of people as well as the planet wholesome and healthy.
MuzicNotez: Your have a very unique sound and call your music ‘Scandinasian Pop’, how would you describe your sound?
- Ida Kudo: There is a lot of ‘spice’, or edge you can call it to my sound that’s not so mainstream pop. Certain instruments (for instance harps, tuned percussion), rhythm patterns and intervals in hooks that comes from the asian part.
I think my Scandinavian part is beautiful grand melodies in the choruses, it’s just not grand in an American way, if that makes sense. It’s grand in a Scandinavian way in the sense that, the jumps in melody, the melody lines are grand but the sound of for instance choruses are not so ‘polished’. The sound is actually quite raw. In a way I feel that’s something from the Danish mentality: that you don’t want it to be shiny and glamorous but you still want it to be true and grand.
There is also a lot of British quality to the sound of the new material because of the producer I worked with (Andrew Hunt). Almost all sounds are recorded, no use of samples. And that multi-genre-feel is also something I relate to from creating the music in his studio in London and being surrounded by that London atmosphere.
MuzicNotez: Your music has a lot of strong messages towards female empowerment (particularly your song ‘The Power That Is Woman’) and other social issues. Music has always been a strong way to effect change in the world. What kind of response have you received to your powerful music? What has stood out the most?
- Ida Kudo: I guess that for once, the lyrics were the ‘crown’ of the song. I was truly happy that people related with the lyrics. I think it’s the best lyrics I’ve ever written. I also had a funny comment: someone said ‘Wow, the protest song is not extinct!’ And I thought : that’s great! I am the kind of person who loves protest songs (Bob Marley was my first mentor)
MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
- Ida Kudo: At the moment I still have some demos and drafts that I created with producer (Hunt) that I think we want to finish. And apart from that my big work at the moment is to get the live side of the music really going. I want make amazing live shows. And I wish that I can really connect with people and that the music really finds its wings playing live.
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
- Ida Kudo: If you are a fan, all I wanna say is: THANK YOU! You have no idea what is means to me that you listen and give the music a chance. Thanks for that! I hope you feel ‘met’ and feel that there is a voice that supports you! Reminding you that you are important.