• Lillie Burke

Artist of the Week: Holla Koala

Holla Koala will make you dance with one catchy beat after another. The dance-rock group formed by Connor Kaos has been aiming to encourage the dance and electronica music in both Nashville, Tenn. and at Belmont.

How did you get your start with Holla Koala?

 I got started with Holla Koala my junior year at Belmont. I just noticed that there wasn’t a dance scene here in Nashville or at Belmont. I grew up listening to indie rock. I was raised on it, so I wanted to mix it with EDM and try something new.

I met my bandmate, Josh Bandstra, living in Thrailkill. He was working on house tracks, and basically the two of us had a shared love for electronic music. So from there Holla Koala was formed.

Where do you draw your influences? 

Most of my musical influences come from The Killers. Anytime I write or collaborate on something, there is always a part of me that wants to achieve a similar sound. I was also really influenced by the local scene I was around growing up. I’m also very influenced by 80s music, in particular Tears for Fears as well as Alt-J.

What has been the biggest accomplishment for Holla Koala?

I think my biggest accomplishment as an artist was getting to play the 2013 Urban Pop Showcase. What’s so special about it is that we got to perform and close the showcase without ever having played a single show before. I had collaborated with some friends before the showcase, but I never imagined the success we had.

I also had my song “Calling You Out,” which features Sam Pinkerton, at a fashion show for Sacer and Savive. They used the track for their runway walkout.

Holla Koala got to perform at the Urban Pop Showcase last semester. How did you feel about the opportunity? 

It was great to be around such a huge production. Everything about the showcase just felt so professional and epic. Working with the student staff also made it relatable, and everyone cooperated. The best part about it, though, was performing original songs for the first time and having everyone getting to experience our extension of art.

Can we expect any upcoming projects in the future?

 I just got a sync placement on a song I produced for the artist Teddy Robert in an upcoming film called “Butterfly Kisses.” The song is titled “Butterfly Kisses” and will be available for release on her EP in the early January 2015. I also plan on performing around Nashville and writing new songs.

Keep up with Holla Koala on social media.

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Photo By: Theo Miesner

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