Anja Kotar


Amanda Blide

Anja Kotar is a 20-year old singer-songwriter from San Jose, CA. She is originally from Slovenia, EU and moved to San Jose, CA almost six years ago. She's been playing classical piano for 13 years - she has played in a piano trio (with violin and cello), competed at many classical piano competitions, and performed at the Slovenian Philharmonic, National Opera House, etc. She has also been trained in jazz dance and ballet for 10 years, with her jazz dance group winning the World Show Dance Championship in Riesa, Germany in 2007. In 2009, she acted as a supporting lead with her brother in the Slovenian movie "Gremo mi po svoje" which went on to become the country's most viewed and awarded movie (they both also acted in the movie's sequel which premiered in the fall of 2012). In 2012, she competed on the Slovenian X Factor, but had to drop after a successful live audition due to her young age.

Upon moving to California in 2012, she started writing her own music along with doing a lot of theatre and jazz. As a soloist with the VC Conservatory jazz band and with the vocal jazz ensemble Room 107, she performed at the Reno, Monterey, Folsom, Lionel Hampton, and San Mateo Jazz Festivals where she was awarded the Outstanding Musicianship Award several times.

She performed at the California Theatre, San Jose Center for Performing Arts, and was nominated for the Rita Moreno Outstanding Actress Award for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in the musical "Anything Goes". While at the VC Conservatory, she also wrote and directed her own short musical, as well as directed a full-length spring production of "Godspell". As a solo singer, she performed at the Conservatory's Top Honors two years in a row and received $2,000 of scholarship both times. While still in high school, she was taking Berklee College of Music Online courses and already earned a Voice Certificate from the school before graduating. In 2015, she performed at the ASEF (American Slovenian Education Foundation) Annual Gala and participated in the President's Business Challenge with her brother with whom she pitched their social media app to one of the biggest VCs in Silicon Valley and won the "Biggest Idea" award. In 2015, Anja also attended the Broadway Artists Alliance Industry Showcase in NYC.

Later that year, she successfully completed a $20,000 Kickstarter campaign for her debut EP album NOMAD, the songs from which she performed at the Slovenian Song Festival 2016 and was subsequently awarded Best New Artist (along with being nominated for Best Performance, Best Lyrics and Best Song). The festival was aired live on national TV. One of the songs from NOMAD EP was also nominated for Best Pop Song at the 2016 American Songwriting Awards. She has also been selected as a representative of Slovenia to sing the official anthem for Elon Musk's project at Hyperloop Technologies. Anja was invited to attend Berklee College of Music Online as she was working on music and traveling. She completed her Bachelor's Degree from the school nearly two years early.

Anja worked with three-time Grammy-nominated producer, Pascal Guyon to finish up her full-length debut album that was released on May 25, 2017. With it, Anja looks to go beyond just the songs and create a new music experience: as the first step, she opened her own online store that connects music and fashion - Too Cool.

After the release of NOMADBitch Magazine described Anja as the "new pop artist you should be obsessed with". To promote her album, Anja's performances included the infamous Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco for a Back to School Concert.

The video for the album's first single was featured on VEVO and is currently being played on all major US college radio stations. So far, the single has generated nearly 100k streams on Spotify and is continually being added to many notable playlists.

Press Releases

09.28.18//Anja Kotar Channels Marilyn Monroe in New Music Video

Anja Kotar Channels Marilyn Monroe in New Music Video

Singer-songwriter Releases Retro Visuals For “Coltrane”

Los Angeles, CA – Slovenian native, Anja Kotar, takes the pop world by storm with her latest jazz inspired single, “Coltrane.”  Alongside the single, the visuals for “Coltrane” portray Kotar’s internal struggle of two souls pushing and pulling against each other. Watch “Coltrane” on Kotar’s Youtube Channel and stream or download the track on digital music platforms worldwide.

Teaming up once again with three-time Grammy nominated producer, Pascal Guyon, “Coltrane” creates an incomparable relationship between instrument and melody.

The gritty tone in Kotar’s voice captures the desperation in escaping the complicated relationships one experiences. Mirroring that relationship, director Jani Ugrin, visually captures the importance of self-care through the absence of a partner. While the song narrates a story of two people who find themselves in a strained relationship, Kotar is the sole focus of the video. Marilyn Monroe also plays a role in the music video, influencing Kotar and guiding her through the struggles of the heart.

A sample-full hip-hop beat with signature jazz guitar riffs showcase Kotar’s artistic versatility and creativity. “As a songwriter, I pull influences from different genres; I would like to be recognized for my versatility and ability to perform in different genres,” Kotar explains. These efforts are shown through her ability to incorporate different types of sounds to create an edge of desperation throughout the music video. Ugrin uses his cinematic portrayal of a Pretty In Pink hotel room, decorated with Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, to combat that desperation and isolation with female empowerment and elegance. Outside of her musical involvement, Kotar was involved behind the scenes of the project, doing her makeup and wardrobe on the set of the video. Kotar not only wears her own products, but her online store, Too Cool, has products including a keychain, earrings, socks and more that are featured throughout the video.

With the piano being her first love at the age of five, it was natural for Kotar to venture into songwriting and music studies. Studying at Berklee College of Music, Kotar focused on her craft and grew as an artist. “I learned to not only play the notes, but find within them feelings, characters and stories,” said Kotar. After moving to  California, Kotar found herself in front of a piano without sheet music formulating her own melodies and was able to find those feelings, characters, and stories she spoke about. Since releasing her debut album, NOMAD, Kotar’s music has accumulated over 230K streams on Spotify.

“Coltrane” is available to stream and download on all digital music platforms worldwide. The music video can be seen on YouTube. Keep up with Anja Kotar by visiting