Photography: Chelone Wolf
2011 saw the very earliest traces of Koven hit our ears. The brainchild of producer Max Rowat, the Koven sound was cinematic and emotional from the off. Sitting most comfortably around the 140 end of the spectrum, it took a few years to percolate before the act really bubbled over with support from Viper Recordings and grabbed the ravers by the short and curlies.
More Than You in 2013 was the first track to truly establish Koven in the big league. It was followed shortly after by Another Home, the first Koven record to feature Katie Koven who has been a permanent member of the act ever since. We interviewed them both just weeks after they joined forces way back in March 2014 and learnt that Max’s first ever production was a gabber tune and Katie was in an ABBA tribute band as a teenager!
Back to the future, fresh from lockdown (during which they released their debut album and had their own VR club, among many other projects) Katie and Max are currently signing out from the summer we were worried we were never going to have again. Weekly footage on our feeds from events such as Let It Roll, Rampage and Reading & Leeds proves that Koven aren’t just back; they’re also buzzing on levels we’ve never seen before and they’ve never felt before. With a massive new single Say What You Want right here on UKF matching their energy levels, we called them up for 10 of many favourite memories from their journey so far…
Exit Festival, Serbia, July 2014
This was our first major festival we played together, and it felt absolutely insane. We were both so nervous but so excited, one we will never forget.
Releasing our debut album Butterfly Effect, March 2020
We released our debut album the same week the pandemic really started to take shape – it was such a crazy time, we were so happy and proud of what we created, but also conflicted with the timing – but I think if we didn’t have the album to get us through the year it would have been even harder.
Max falling down the side of a river bank into a stream – New Zealand March 2017
This one if mostly a favourite for me. It was such a hilarious sight to see Max fall backwards off a log and roll down a hill, the fact he did it in front of loads of people made it even more perfect.
Zane Lowe playing More Than You, March 2013
Back in 2013, before Katie was part of Koven, we had such a huge surprise when Zane Lowe played the single More Than You on BBC Radio 1. I can vividly remember sitting in my kitchen eating a bowl of overcooked pesto pasta when I found out. Think the bowl ended up on the floor due to the excitement.
Viper Presents, Fire London, March 2014 – Our first show together
This was such a fun and exciting time; we’d been rehearsing loads for our first official show together since the announcement of me joining Koven. It really felt like the start of something incredible and was exciting to be part of the Viper family who had our backs all the way.
Beats For Love Festival, Czech Republic, July 2019
Such an overwhelming and special show. We had been in a bit of a rut at the start of 2019, we had no agent and we were struggling to get shows. Once we started working with Tom from Gram he started pulling us in some incredible bookings and things really snow balled. Beats For Love was the biggest and most responsive crowd I had played to date, it was so special.
Liquicity Family Day, Amsterdam, September 2018
Max’s travel anxiety was getting worse and it was becoming more difficult to commit to multiple shows so we had to make the decision for me to start playing shows alone. This was the first event I turned up to solo knowing this was how it was going to be from now on, so the nerves were very high – but it went so well. It was such a signature part of our journey, when we realised this new format was going to work for us.
Rampage Belgium, July 2021
This one was very recent and very very magical. All the shows since festivals and clubs coming back after the pandemic have been very special but since Rampage 2020 was the first of all the big festivals to be cancelled when the pandemic hit, it just felt absolutely electric to be there with that crowd. You could just feel the gratitude and love from everyone. It was insane!
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Losing my voice at Let it Roll, August 2019
Let It roll has always been one of those festival you dream of playing at, so when we got booked for 2019 it felt so surreal. I was feeling little under the weather the day before and could hear my voice giving up on me. By the time our set time came around – about 3am – I could hardly make a squeak. I was absolutely devastated and announced to the crowd I was sorry I wouldn’t be able to sing but I’ll make up for it by giving ten times more energy behind the decks and the crowd gave me the biggest cheers and support it was madness, I felt so grateful, and it ended up being one of my favourite ever sets.
Get This Right music video shoot in Croatia June 2015
It was the first time going to Croatia for the both of us and it was stunning! We got to go to the most beautiful spots because that was the whole point of the video – just us within incredible backdrops so it was just such a special and unforgettable few days.
Getting it right for 10 years and counting, Koven – Say What You Want is out now on UKF