“When I found out I was sent a letter and I think I read it like three times to make sure it was correct and they were talking about me,” she said. “I was very much thrilled.”
Kochkareva was born in Moscow, and moved to the United States at 16 when awarded a full jazz scholarship to the University of Miami.
She continued to pursue music when she moved to Astoria more than three years ago. Her music has a spooky, jazzy-blues sound (her voice is often compared to that of the late Nina Simone) with lyrics about personal struggles through her career.
The Battle of the Bands involves five bands from five different boroughs competing on five different nights at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at 44 Charlton Street in Manhattan. The final five compete on a later night, when a citywide winner is chosen.
Kochkareva was chosen as one of the five contestants for the Queens night on March 2.
The performance nights are set up like a party, with the option to buy a general admissions ticket for $15, which includes two complementary drinks, or an open bar ticket for $30.
“Everyone will be inviting their fans and friends,” she said. “It seems like it's just a cool place to go and have a good time and discover new music.”
At the Greene Space, she will sing a song entitled “Downhill Town,” off her upcoming album “Infinity” which will be released on April 19.
As for the competition, Kochkareva said she's more excited to hear the other music played that night than she is nervous.
“It's a very versatile competition,” she said. Each artist the Greene Space selects for the competition is of a different genre and from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The judges aim to pick up-and-coming artists that bring something new to the music scene, she said.
“I'm thrilled to hear all this new music,” Kochkareva said. “They have picked artists that are different, from different categories - people coming from different backgrounds and creating different music.”
She said her music having to win out of a hodgepodge of different genres doesn't phase her.
“I think that it will be a tough battle because everyone will have something to bring to the table,” she said, adding that “I guess it also kind of makes it fair.”
For more information about the contest, visit Thegreenespace.org. To hear some of Kochkareva's music, visit Ilovetatiana.com or search her name on Bandcamp.