ko aka koala photographed by Sarah Pardini for The Untitled Magazine wearing a skirt by ANNAKIKI and cagoule by WINDOWSEN

Trailblazing artist ko aka koala is riding a wave of acclaim with her exploratory, innovative pop music. Her latest single “hit & run” touches on personal experience and explores a rock-infused lesson in letting go. The multi-faceted artist oversees every aspect of her music production, from writing and directing, to producing, to visually executing her own music videos. Her honest, experimental songs elate fans, as her work continues to transform in terms of both its content and genre. From working with Grammy-nominated producers to paving her own creative process, ko aka koala plans to keep on investigating the unknown in her upcoming mini-album, Chef’s Kiss

Read the full ko aka koala interview from “The REBEL Issue” below.

ko photographed by Sarah Pardini for The Untitled Magazine wearing a top and boa by SELEZZA LONDON, headband by 12DE MARZO, and shoes by By Annabelle

How did you get started making music? 

I started DJing around LA, and then pretty quickly afterwards I wanted to create my own music. Before all that, I played the piano since I was a little kid. 

Where did you grow up? Can you tell us about life at home as a kid?

I didn’t really grow up in one place. I moved around a lot, so I didn’t have a place to call home. I was born in Florida and then I lived with my grandparents until I was four. Once I met and moved in with my immediate family, it was pretty rough. There were a lot of rules that I had to follow. That’s probably the reason why I like breaking the rules now. 

You wear many hats as an artist, working as a producer, songwriter, dancer, director, and visual artist. Which of those roles are you most passionate about?

That’s difficult because I enjoy every part of the process and they kind of easily flow into one another for me. If I was forced to choose, I would say probably songwriter because lyrics make or break a song to me, or a visual artist because I have a lot of visions that I want to carry out.

What is your creative process when working on a new project? 

I start off either producing a track or working with a producer. I usually come up with the title of the song, which is really important to me. Once the song is pretty much done, then I’ll start coming up with the visual concepts.

ko photographed by Sarah Pardini for The Untitled Magazine wearing a top, shorts, and boots by Jackalope Land
ko photographed by Sarah Pardini for The Untitled Magazine wearing a bra and shorts by WINDOWSEN, sunglasses by ANNAKIKI, and boots by Anouki

You often direct your own videos and even shoot your own photo. What was one of your favorite productions, and what went into it?

It would probably be the single cover of “why is everyone so scared of me” because the idea came to life exactly how I imagined it. I took a few days to set it up too because I had to make the spiderweb. I didn’t know what to wear so I just wrapped the web around me and I loved it.

How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music? 

It will be the best thing they have ever heard. 

Who are your biggest musical influences? 

Nicki, Britney, Beyoncé, and Avril

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your new single, “hit & run?” 

It’s about taking control of a toxic situation by being more toxic.

ko photographed by Sarah Pardini for The Untitled Magazine wearing a hoodie, briefs, heels, necklace, and bracelets by WINDOWSEN

What inspired the lyrics for your track “why is everyone so scared of me?”

I wrote it from the perspective of a zombie, so please listen to it and imagine you’re a zombie. 

Can you tell us about the process of filming the video? Especially since you directed, edited, and styled it yourself.

Music video days are super stressful for me because I do a lot of things, but it was a really short day. We did it for only a couple of hours. Everyone who was in and worked on the video made the experience fun and comfortable. The video shows the duality of good vs. bad and that they co-exist together.  

If you could work with anyone, who would be your dream collaboration?

Definitely would have to be Rihanna!

You are also a DJ – can you share some of your favorite tracks on your playlist right now?

“Racer” by Itzy and “No Problem” by Nayeon and Felix.

How would you describe your style?

Just like my musical style, I have a lot of different personal styles. I think we can be whoever we want every day. There’s no need to put yourself in a box. Maybe today you want to be cozy, and the next day you want to dress in a suit and tie. Fashion is a way to express the different sides of yourself, because we are not one-dimensional beings.

ko photographed by Sarah Pardini for The Untitled Magazine wearing a dress and bloomers by Serpenti Apparel and boots by AKIRA

You also have a gaming channel. What inspired you to create it? 

Wow, I haven’t streamed in a while! I created it when I did my “streamer-concept” video for my song “Mean Gurl.” I do play video games though, so maybe I need to go live sometime soon. 

How do you see your art and music evolving over the next era of ko? 

I see myself playing with new sounds and exploring different parts of myself that I don’t know about yet.

Can you share any upcoming projects or releases we can look out for?

I have a mini-album, Chef’s Kiss, coming out!

To read our print feature on ko aka koala, pick up your copy of “The REBEL Issue” here.

Photography by Sarah Pardini for The Untitled Magazine
Make-up by Mina Abramovic
Hair by Virginie Pineda
Styling by Oretta Corbelli
Photographed on location at The Culver Hotel

Where Art, Fashion & Culture Collide

Member Login

Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset

Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.