INTERVIEW: Korr-A (2013)
Korr-a is one to watch. Her recent single “Fiyacraka” was supported by Hardwell and made a huge splash on the Billboard Club Chart. Her performances are explosive, as she blends intense choreography with live vocals. Coming up next, she has a new single for the holidays, a modern update of “Deck the Halls,” and a playful club anthem “Fuck Me Like You Mean It.” We performed together recently at Roscoe’s Tavern in Chicago for a Fusion Radio party and after seeing her live, I instantly pulled her manager aside to set up an interview for the site. Expect big things from her in 2014!
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Where does the name Korr-a come from?
Korr-A: It kind of stems from my last name Korban. When I was little, everyone would call my dad Korra for short, and people started calling me little Korra. It is just symbolic in remembrance to my family and to my roots; it’s also a good way to distinguish my personal life from my stage life.
RS: With the last name Korban, I wonder are you from?
Korr-A: I was born in Ukraine but I was brought to the States when I was three, so I don’t really consider myself that much Ukrainian any longer.
RS: I have noticed that there is a whole gamut of Eastern European women coming into dance music, for example, Kerli, Bleona, Mika Newton, and Grace Valerie. Do you feel like you are leading the charge?
Korr-A: I don’t know that they are just coming into it because I feel dance music was born in Europe and the countries that we are from. I think that we were finally given the chance to make the music that we like and we are all taking a stab at it because it’s probably where all of our hearts lay.
RS: I heard that you did a Christmas song, what was the inspiration for that?
Korr-A: We thought about it for a while and decided that there is not a lot of music to play at parties that is upbeat and fun to dance to. A lot of the Christmas music is really mellow, classic, and traditional so we wanted to make a dance song and really flip the switch. I don’t think anyone has ever made a Christmas dance song before so we took “Deck the Halls” and flipped it and here we are.
RS: You just got back from Amsterdam Dance Event, how was it?
Korr-A: It was great, we saw a lot of people that we know and it was great to reconnect with them. We also met a bunch of really amazing people. I think that everyone that works in the dance community is really down to earth, friendly and easy to get along with. I think that is the best part of being in the EDM world.
RS: If you had to choose between Nicky Romero, Sander van Doorn, Ferry Corsten, or Hardwell to produce your next single who would it be and why?
Korr-A: I would choose Hardwell! Not only did he support “Fiyacraka,” but I met him in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago and he is a really nice guy. He remembered who I was and remembered that he supported my song. It’s so important to stay humble, especially since now he holds the #1 DJ position. I would love to work with him.
RS: How did it feel when you found out that he started his show with your song?
Korr-A: It felt great; I wasn’t expecting it at all. They tweeted me out and I didn’t even know, I thought that it was a mistake! That was amazing, a really happy day.
RS: Watching your video for “Fiyacraka,” I was wondering If you were a trained dancer?
Korr-A: Yes, I have been dancing since I was 13 years old. I started with ballet and jazz, then hip-hop and modern jazz and funk – I pretty much do it all. I really like to put that element of performance and dance into all of my shows.
RS: How do you maintain your composure when you are singing live with that really intricate choreography? It is really high energy.
Korr-A: I am not going to lie, it’s really hard! Before you came in I was literally practicing because I have to remember twice as much. Your body has to remember to move one way, your voice goes another way, and your eyes go a different way and your hair is in your face and getting in front of the microphone! It takes a lot of concentration and a little bit of meditation, maybe a shot of something but I get through it.
RS: Which is your favorite mix: Sick Individuals, Dave Aude, or Loverush?
Korr-A: Honestly I love them all for different reasons. The Dave Aude mix is the original and I feel that it is the most acknowledged one, especially since the video was made for it. I love the Sick Individuals one because it is really hard and it does well in the clubs. I like the Loverush one because it is eclectic and different and a little mellower than the Sick Individuals one but also a very fun club mix.
RS: Great Answer. Did you write “Fiyacraka”?
Korr-A: I wrote it with Luciana, Nick Clow, and Dave Aude. It is funny how it happened, we were together and I went to the bathroom and heard Nick humming something. I thought I heard fiyacraka and I came out of the bathroom shouting “yeah that’s awesome, fiyacraka, that’s such a cool name!” They were like “what are you talking about, we didn’t even say anything!” It was just something I heard some humming in the pipeline and it basically gave us the direction for the song and we wrote around it.
RS: I hear that your new song is a romantic love ballad.
Korr-A: It depends on what you consider romantic, it’s pretty romantic to me. The song is called “Fuck Me Like You Mean It,” so take it as you will, romantic or not.
RS: Did you write that song with Dave Aude also?
Korr-A: I did this one with a producer called Tearce Kizzo who is young and super-talented. He is going to be huge one day!
RS: Your first single was the cover of Amber’s “This Is Your Night,” how did you choose that song?
Korr-A: We were sitting around contemplating whether or not I should do an original as an unknown artist or not. We thought it would be fun to do a song that people already associated with, but switch it up so it was more modern. We started to go through lists of songs from the ’80s and ‘90s and “This Is Your Night” was a song that I really connected with even though I was really young when it came out. When I found out that the guy I was working with was able to provide me with the rights to redo it, we jumped on it right away, it was kind of like the destinies aligned.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Korr-A: I would like to say thank you! You are all awesome and I am so excited that you like me and like my music. It makes me feel great inside and makes me smile. I am super appreciative and I hope that you guys like the next two songs that I am about to release.
Interview conducted November 2013 in Chicago. Special thanks to Fusion Radio for arranging this interview.