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Jake Kohn Surprises New Listeners at AMERICANAFEST 2023

September 23, 2023 10:56 pm GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 7:14 pm GMT

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Holler Country Music
Holler Country Music
Holler Country Music
Holler Country Music

Jake Kohn is a 16-year-old from Winchester, VA who is taking the world by storm. Earlier this year he had a video of his self-written song, ‘Frostbite’, go viral and just this month, he made his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry and signed to Atlantic.

While Kohn had some technical issues with his guitar to overcome as he stepped on to the intimate stage of Nashville’s The Basement for AMERICANAFEST, the opportunity to break the ice seemed to settle his nerves instead of exacerbate them.

Joking that he got some “new ink” - dawning black Xs on both hands - Jake absolutely stunned the audience as soon as he began his performance with ‘Junk’.

An old soul trapped in a young man’s body. Jake is one of those lighting in the bottle, once in a lifetime types of artist. A 16-year-old who has the sage wisdom of a man five-times his age with a voice like he’s spent a lifetime in the mines.

Jake showcased his exceptional songwriting by performing songs like ‘Dreams’, with lyrics that'll break your heart “I woke up from a dream and I wished that I was dead”.

Jake closed out the night with his aforementioned viral sensation ‘Frostbite’. Following the song that is quickly making him a household name, he gave the audience the option of choosing a happy song or a sad one as his finale, naturally the crowd chose sorrow.

There’s so much joy to be found in Appalachian life, but there is also quite a bit of struggle. A place that often gets used up and abandoned, Kohn is finding a way to showcase the affects of poverty, heartbreak and addiction in a profound way, making even the most sad things beautiful.

The teen has a reach that resonates with all ages and a way to view the world that very few possess.

For more on AMERICANAFEST 2023, see below:

Written by Laura Ord, Images by Laura Ord
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