"I sing my mind freely"

Nori Kovacs is one of the best known and professionally highly rated performer at the folk and world music genre in Hungary. She is a professional performer since more than ten years. During this period she appaered in more than twenty-five albums and published eight own albums.

About Myself

I was still a child when I became interested in folk music and singing. As I grew up it became evident to me that I should choose singing as my profession. I have been travelling around Transylvania for more than ten years, during which time I have collected many folk songs, which I have adapted to my own particular style and music. It has always been important for me to preserve the original sound and that is why I only use authentic material and some of my songs are accompanied by folk strings or else I sing them with no musical accompaniment.

One of my principal aims is to familiarize young people with folk music and its traditions and that is why I produce music in fusion style. In this way folk songs are given a modern feel which brings them into line with the music sound that is so fashionable in the world today, thereby making them acceptable to all age-groups.

It is essential for me to produce high quality music. Often I sing my own songs, reflecting my own emotions and spiritual journey but I also sing hits. Whether I sing pop, jazz or folk music, my particular forte is to use my authentic and chiselled voice to make the experience of listening to me very special to my audience. The fact that every age-group is represented at my concerts is the evidence that I am moving in the right direction.

I can trace my singing career back to 1986, when I won my first prizes at different competitions. Between 1998 and 2008 I participated in 18 folk music recordings (including the CD series, “Folk Dance Party Gathering,” “Folk Dance Party Folk Music” and “New Living Folk Music”). In 2000 I won the Young Master of Folk Music state award.

As I have already mentioned, for many years I have been travelling regularly to Transylvania in order to acquire more folk songs. A TV channel, called Duna TV, broadcasted a film about one of my trips there. These songs have been adapted and included in my repertoire. In 2002 I represented my country at the 1st Balkan Folk Festival held in Belgrade. The same year, I finished my studies at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. After graduation I worked for eight years as a music teacher.

My first album, entitled “I have something to say” was recorded in 2006. The album was selected by the New Folk Sound Magazine to be included in the year’s top ten Hungarian folk albums. Since 2006 I have been working alongside the Kossuth Prize holder, András Berecz and together we have produced additional albums. I have also worked with other bands including the London based Transglobal Underground (on the album Gathering of Strangers), and the Hungary based Balkan Fanatik band as a resident guest singer for a period of six years. During this period I also recorded four more solo albums as well as two CDs with my Motiva band, the third of which was released in December 2015.

Since 2006 I have produced and participated in a number of ensembles, including, Motiva, Transglobal Underground and Rajkó. I give concerts in Hungary on a regular basis, for example, during events held at St Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, at the Palace of Arts, in churches, at festivals and at EU and parliamentary cultural programs. It is also a great pleasure for me to participate at cultural events abroad. So far I have sung in fifteen countries, including in Canada and twice in the USA. I had the honour of singing the song “Fly bird, fly” (the leading musical theme of the image film of Hungary) during the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2011. It made my voice recognisable, not only to the whole country but also to many visitors to Hungary. In addition, the CD was given, among others, to foreign delegations and diplomats visiting the country.

In 2013 I won the Transilvanian Music Awards in the folk category.