Sharon Kovacs

Making It Big in Minor

People

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Sharon Kovacs is Europe’s new soul sensation. Her songs resonate deep and mysterious; even more mysterious than her furry hat.

  • Author: Janna Cramer
  • Photos: Warner Music Group
„They didn’t get my voice.“

The Netherlands might be famous for tulips, van Gogh and Gouda cheese, but great soul singers? Well, it is about time to change some expectations: Sharon Kovacs not only has a fabulous voice that will make her hometown in the South of Holland proud, but she also could shake up the European music industry. A critic wrote recently that Kovacs might be perfect for the next James Bond theme song. The exposure could be just the push her budding career needs.

The 25-year old with the deep dark voice is right at home in blues and soul music. As a young girl she loved to sing Whitney Houston and Tina Turner hits.

Her parents never expected their little girl, warbling from the bathtub, to one day become a “real“ singer. Her mom for years hoped her daughter would choose a more stable, serious profession; only more recently hass he come to see that music actually grounds her daughter thereby yields stability. „Now she is really proud of me,” Sharon says.

Sharon Kovacs’ career began with open stage nights in her hometown of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands. The crowds in bars and clubs was thrilled with that young woman whose voice sounds so different from what you expect when you see her. When you close your eyes, you hear a strong, black, feminine voice that lends a certain mystery and vulnerability to the songs. But then open your eyes and see a fragile, pale, somewhat androgynous young thing with a shaved head and wearing a furry hat when performing that makes her look like a thin and actually somewhat wild animal. Amy Winehouse? Adele? She has often been compared to these two great singers.

Because of her early success at these open stage events, Sharon applied for Rock City Institute in Eindhoven, a private music school. She was accepted straight away; unfortunately, though, the school turned out to be a mis-match for her. „They never really taught me how to sing,” Sharon says. „Somehow, they didn’t get my voice.“ Maybe it had been a bad idea to begin with, a soul singer at a school of rock. Nonetheless, she says the three years were a good experience, „I met my band members there — guitarist, drummer, keyboarder, bass player.“

Not to mention Oscar: Music producer Oscar Holleman, who works with Within Temptation, one of Hollands most successful bands, fell in love with Sharon’s voice the moment he heard it. She had sent him a recording on Facebook. Usually, he says, he ignores stuff like that. But with her, he had a feeling right away that she might be special. He produced her first album, „Shades of Black”. She now can’t imagine working with anyone else.

Sharon Kovacs
„My love“

Though her career is going well, her private life has had ist ups and downs: She din’t know her father for a most of her life, because when she was very young he didn’t accept her as his daughter. She grew up with a loving step-dad, but four years ago dared write a letter to her biological father, not knowing if he would read it, or even if the address she had was the correct one.

No reply.

Two years later, though, when she was 23 and working on her first album, he reached out to her. Via Facebook. He is a musician himself, a guitar player, and one of his band members had told him about his talented daugher. Their meeting „was weird, after all these years,” Sharon says. „I think we have to get used to the fact that we are related. We will meet again.“

She prefers minor to major

Since the beginning of 2015, Sharon Kovacs lives in Berlin, „my favorite city in Europe, if not in the world.” She is filming her new video, getting to work with new musicians, meeting new people. If she has the choice, she would love to work with Scottish-Italian singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini or the legendary Tom Jones. „Wouldn’t that be fun,” she says. Right now, she’s working on songs for her second album, as always writing all the melodies in minor. „I don’t really do it on purpose; it just happens,” she says. „Maybe one day, my songs will be in major.“

Sharon Kovacs