Get to know PFS Co-op Member Kora Feder before you catch her performance Wednesday, June 24th at the PFS Digital Concert Venue!
After two years spent wielding a backpack and guitar across Asia, Kora Feder (Feder rhymes with Peter) returned to the U.S. in 2017 with a Global Studies degree and a collection of songs written along the way. A self proclaimed “songwriter and concerned citizen,” she has already gained international recognition for her craft (International Songwriting Competition, Kerrville New Folk, Telluride Troubadour, etc.). “The most talented new singer-songwriter I’ve heard in the past decade,” says Rich Warren, host of Chicago’s acclaimed Folkstage. Kora’s 2019 debut full length record ‘In Sevens’ spent four months on US Folk Radio Charts, with one track reaching over half a million streams on Spotify. NPR described a performance of a song off the new record as carrying “an emotional weight that can stop you in your tracks, even long after the song is finished.” Although originally from Northern California where she was a touring member of her mom (Rita Hosking)’s folk-Americana band in high school, Kora lived in NYC for a couple years after college and moved to Philadelphia in 2019.
You just moved to Philadelphia recently-how are you enjoying your new city?
Yes! I’m glad I moved here. Coming from New York City, Philly feels like a small village with city benefits. I wish I could be taking advantage of it more these days, but looking forward to water ice in the park as soon as possible!
How have your travels impacted your music?
Living and traveling abroad for two years (mostly in Asia, a little in Europe) humbled my view of the world and of myself. Much of my early songwriting work is directly in response to experiences I had outside of the States. I think I’d be writing a lot more love songs and a lot less oh-my-god-the-world songs if I hadn’t spent my early twenties growing in cultures outside of my own.
Do you have a method for tackling difficult topics in your music?
I try to write from details as opposed to sweeping statements. I think that makes difficult topics more accessible, and also attempts to veer away from being too cheesy or gaudy.
Are there particular artists or other people or things that inspire you?
Patty Griffin was one of the first songwriters I got totally swept up in. I listened to Paul Simon’s Graceland over and over and over during my four months in China – Simon and that record hold a special place in my heart. I’ve recently grown attached to Dan Reeder and Bonny Light Horseman. So many more!
You toured with your mother’s band before venturing off on your own. How did performing with family shape your music and career?
Yeah! I was lucky to get a taste of the folk world without pressure to be the face of anything. Music and performing were as normal as yard work in my household, so although it wasn’t pushed on me, it felt like the natural thing to do. It’s hard to say how that kind of upbringing has specifically shaped my music or career; I can’t imagine my music or career without it.
What else would you like PFS members to know about you?
I don’t know! I am licensed to captain boats in the country of Canada? 🙂