Mastering Keys w/ Niko Kotoulas
Niko Kotoulas is mastering the keys of the piano in the big city with up to date covers reinterpreted for the single instrumental. Let’s find out more about how he got to where he is now, with 2.5M streams under his belt.
SB (StarBeat): Quick Start: How did you get started in music?
NK (Niko Kotoulas): I started playing on a child’s keyboard at the age of two and began taking piano lessons at the age of four. During my middle school and high school years, I conducted and sang in choirs, played in a few bands and continued to grow as a pianist. At Johns Hopkins University, I began to post my content online, which started to generate some buzz.
SB: Growth Chart: How did you grow your profile online?
NK: Consistently posting covers of well-known artists helped me organically grow my social media and streaming service (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.) platforms. The Chainsmokers, Steve Angello and other major artists have reposted my content and Kygo has liked my Instagram posts of his covers. Spotify placed my cover of “Starboy” on its official Acoustic Calm playlist, which was a huge exposure opportunity as the playlists boasts 350,000 followers – over the past two years I have had over two and a half million people stream my content on Spotify alone.
SB: Crystal Ball: What are your plans for future projects?
NK: While I am going to continue to post piano content, I am working on producing and releasing my original electronic dance music. Also working on original, instrumental piano music.
SB: 9 to 5: Why did you leave your job on Wall Street (Morgan Stanley) to pursue music?
NK: While I enjoyed my time as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley and learned a great deal about business and finance, my dream was to always be a musician. Given the level of online engagement and opportunity the internet provides musicians, it made sense to take the leap from Corporate America to Music Entrepreneurship.
SB: Origins: What musicians inspire your music?
NK: Yanni, Beethoven, Ludovico Einaudi, Armin Van Buuren and Martin Garrix.
SB: Starting Out: Any advice for aspiring musicians?
NK: 99% of artist’s success did not come overnight – while it may seem that way, it is not the case. Years of dedication and commitment to honing and mastering the craft is extremely important (applies to all fields). Focus is important – no iPhone, e-mail, social media while in the studio. Finding team members to delegate responsibilities to is also important because you can only achieve so much by yourself.
Niko on Social: