KOY is the solo project of Berlin-based composer and singer Victoria Trunova. Born in St. Petersburg and growing up in Germany, KOY has been moving between Berlin, Helsinki, Oslo and Bergen. Along the way KOY has been collecting musical traces that travel with her. Inspired by a wild mixture and the denial of nationalities, KOY’s music moves between cutting new wave beats, 80’s dream pop, 70’s movies, the sea and salt – mixed with some November darkness and a burning heart.
We caught up with her about her latest single and music.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s the story behind Koy and how would you describe your sound?
KOY was born out of an urge for more artistic variety. I love playing in bands and collaborating with others, so for a long time “going solo” was not an option for me. I am also very much in love with the idea of concepts that can be expressed in bands. But now, I came to believe there can be more freedom for re-inventing yourself as a solo artist. You can still enjoy the energy when playing with others, but the audience is less likely to expect a certain format I guess.
When I was living in Bergen, I really got into writing music with logic. I was always very fond of rare and strange sounds, and suddenly I learned how to use those as a starting point for creating music, rather than embellishments used in the end. I felt that I had found home! So things came together and KOY was born.
For now my sound is something between cutting new wave beats, 80’s dream pop, 70’s movies, the sea and salt – mixed with some November darkness and a burning heart.
What motivates you and inspires your music, aesthetic and vibe?
My music can be inspired by all sorts of strange sounds, noises, voices, movies, images, but also factors like politics for instance. Aesthetics are quite important too, but I try not to think about that. Right now I am into outer space and technology. Maybe because I like the contrast and connection between science and mythology. These things are so charged with human dreams and hopes of all levels…But whatever I write for, the main source always remains the feeling and atmosphere.
You have quite an international background: born in St Petersburg, you grew up in Germany and you’ve been recording in Norway. Do you think this has had any effect on your music?
I don’t believe in nationalities and that has an effect on my music. But I do believe that our surroundings, experience and different mentalities can have an impact on us in one way or another. A single person can make you see the world anew. I value ancient forms of music from all over the world and I guess the fact that I have started doing popular music in Helsinki, and most that musicians I work with happen to be from the north, does influence me as a person somehow.
Is there a story behind your most recent release, Heat?
HEAT is a conversation with fear. Personal fear, but also collective fear. That is, how it is being so readily used to force certain beliefs on different groups. It never comes alone, but has friends and family like panic, and sweat; heat. At the same time it is a healthy thing to feel fear, right?! The song is a conversation with fear, taking control and overcoming borders.
I found it very hard to categorise your music into a specific genre, or even a mix of genres. What do you feel that means for the listener and for you as an artist?
I don’t know! You tell me! The listener probably doesn’t really care so much as long as they enjoy the song. People tend to hear the references they are most familiar with first. To me it certainly means more freedom!
What’s up next for Koy? Any upcoming gigs, new music on the horizon, other projects?
For now I am working on the music video for HEAT that I hope to release very soon. It will be full of monsters, aliens and other frightening creatures! I will play a small show at an artist studio opening in Berlin this April and hope to get more bookings soon and I will release my next single “Run” hopefully before summer!
Photo by Dragan Simicevic.