On A Wings Of A Song Bird: Ivana Kotov

Create, Rise And Shine

Being an artist is like a never ending journey through the stars.  To us, everyday comes like an open sea of endless possibilities. Whether we sing, write or paint the world with smiles, the initial spark of every sunrise comes to us like a challenging reflection of our creations. We rise and shine and fall in love madly with every vision that comes along. We passionately create until we use the very last drop of our vision. We all live for one moment-to be able to fully express the picture in our hearts into the outworld.

New York Skies

Someone once asked me… “How does it feel, to be an artist?”. “Must be so liberating!”, they said.

The truth is, we always need a reminder of how uplifting  and liberating our challenges really are. We are constantly in our creative bubble, in a non-stop mode of daydreaming.  Therefore, our mind is like a beautiful house with too many doors and no exit. We often rise and fall until we find the right key to unlock the  pathways to the outworld. We also need to be reminded to rebreathe and recharge our battery pack, before we can be able to turn our daydreams into stellar creations. And once we see the beauty of our call,  we are more than impatient to share every inch of our songbook to the world.

On The Wings Of A Song Bird

Today, I choose to wear my wings in the color of my loving heart. Today, I choose to rise,  fly… and sing.

Ever since I was a toddler, music was simply infused within every heartbeat of my childhood. I learned to sing before I could speak and to me it was the purest way of expressing emotions. I believe I was always destined for arts, as I believe we all have our little stories written somewhere in the sky. As I was growing up, music would find me in every  hidden corner of my mind, always bringing out the best in me.  Educating me, healing me, inspiring me. Visual arts and writing were always present  in my heart, as the “back up chorus of life”, but I simply chose to give in to the world music and create my own playground of discoveries.

Then, the Jazz came. The freedom of speech through every beat and bop. By the age of 19, I was  slowly growing my wings, jamming with the old Jazz-cats of my beloved Belgrade. And then one day, Berklee College Of Music said yes. That moment, when nothing seemed possible, one audition opened the door of endless horizons to a songbird from a faraway land with a pocket full of dreams. A friendly reminder: Never fear the impossible.

Opening for Toni Braxton

Bravely, I said goodbye to my beloved piano as I exchanged my beloved keys for the plane ticket that brought me on my cross- Atlantic journey.

Somewhere in the arms of Northern American winds,  the soul and gospel marched in and brainstormed my reality. As the first Serbian performer of the american music styles in the Berklee-verse of performances, my heart opened up multi-gates to music collaborations around the globe.

In the last 15 years I had the honor to share stages, open shows and tour with the greatest names of contemporary music and jazz.

Even though my heart is  used to constantly beating on the road, I, sometimes, still cannot hide my excitement when I meet someone that influenced my visions as an artist. Last week, we opened for Toni Braxton and Tamia. But the moment I met Mr Will Downing, my heart rushed into thousand beats per minute -when we shared a moment on the Capital Jazz Fest stage. I giggled like a child and I also felt like one too.

A Handful Of Heartedness

Time of truth. This songbird is fighting asthma. Sometimes I just hide it somewhere between my music realities. Sometimes I simply take longer pauses to re-breathe. In the moments of silence, my “back up players” come to life and I blend within the chorus of visual arts. I paint the world with poems and I photograph the corners of my mind.

Of course there is also that one greatest master-class of all discoveries when it comes to being an artist. The art of unselfishly passing your craft onto the other dreamers and believers of the world. Teaching. It is our way of learning to share and create a better world for every creative being of our blue bubble called earth.

Recognition, dedication and talent. A handful of heartedness and a spoon of “soulizm”. I believe those are the crucial elements of success. Thankful for all the challenges, opportunities and blessings, I am continuing my journey through the stars,  dreaming on the wings of a songbird.

Ivana Kotov | Serbian- born, American Songbird, Berklee Alumna and Multiverse Artist, currently touring the world with the Acid Jazz pioneers- The Brand New Heavies |