Blackbird

Blackbird (‘s-Hertogenbosch, March 21, 1987), stage name of Merel Koman, is a Dutch singer. The singer rose to fame with her EP One of the Wild One. Her stage name is the English translation of her first name Merel.

In 2020 she released the album Blackbird as a follow-up to the success of her EP. This album contained the singles Lost in the Middle, I’m Like You and Tell Your Mama. She won an NPO Radio 2 Top Song with all three. A deluxe version of this album followed a year later.

Lifecycle
Koman was born in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, but grew up in Kessel, Limburg. She was inspired at a young age by singers such as Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette. Koman studied jazz and pop at the HKU in Utrecht and then settled in Amsterdam where she studied at the conservatory.

Her debut single Wicked Song was released in May 2017. This self-written song earned her the title of NPO Radio 2 New Name. The success of this song ensured that Koman was allowed to perform as a special guest during Douwe Bob’s tour in Carré. Her second single Lost in the Middle became the 5-star track for Gerard Ekdom and Rob Stenders. The song was awarded NPO Radio 2 Top Song, just like the third single The One.

Koman’s first EP One of the Wild Ones was released in 2018. She wrote songs for this EP in Berlin and New York, among others. Four radio singles were released from this EP: Wicked Song, Lost in the Middle, The One and One of the Wild Ones. The EP was recorded at the Electric Monkey Studio in Amsterdam-Noord, with Ennio Morricone’s old analog mixing console and produced by Paul Willemsen. In the fall of 2018, Koman had her first club tour, the ‘Wild One club tour’.

In 2020, Koman released the album Blackbird. Exactly on the first day of the corona pandemic. She had supplemented her EP with new songs such as ‘Tell Your Mama’. A song written about her relationship with a man who cheated on her. At the time, Koman called his mother to tell her this, hence the title of the single: I’ll tell (it) to your mother. This single was also declared NPO Radio 2 Top Song. Due to the success of the album, Koman was asked to play at various festivals such as Ilse DeLanges festival Tuckerville. In 2020 she won the Limburg Pop Prize as ‘Best Artist’. With the single I’m Like You, Koman won her fourth NPO Radio 2 TopSong.
Blackbird made the cover Lean on Me for Omroep MAX Gouden Helden, an English version of Leun op mij by Ruth Jacott. Not without success: the song had more than two million streams on the streaming service Spotify by the end of June 2022.

Together with the Metropole Orchestra, Koman released the single New Year’s Morning on New Year’s Day 2021. She subsequently released other singles, none of which were part of a new album. In June 2022, Koman’s first single for a new EP was released: Green Lights. The second single for this album was Built and Broken. The new EP was released in February 2023. She toured the Netherlands with this album in March 2023.