Pina Kollars was signed by Peter Gabriel but where is she now?

What has happened to Pina Kollars?

Q magazine used to always run a "Where are they now?" feature, which looked at what famous acts that had vanished from the public arena are doing today. The Austrian singer-songwriter I am writing about comes into this category and I have been trying to find out where she has disappeared to.

But let me explain how I first discovered the amazing voice and music of Pina Kollars and why Peter Gabriel and I share a very high opinion of her singing. I discovered Pina at Glastonbury Festival in 2003 and became an instant fan. I was walking through the Green Futures field on the Sunday morning when I heard this incredible voice and the sound of a band coming from across the field where the Jazz Stage was and I just had to investigate further. My ears guided me to the source of the music, which I found to be Pina, who was fronting her band and performing songs all of which were totally new to me.

When she finished her set and I had joined with others shouting enthusiastically for more, she made an announcement to say that she had an album on Real World Records if anyone was interested. I most certainly was and scribbled the name down on a scrap of paper

Peter Gabriel signed PIna

When I got back to Wales after the festival had ended I lost no time in finding the website for the label and ordering her debut album Quick Look. The story goes that Peter Gabriel had heard Pina's voice doing backing vocals on a track on the Afro Celt Sound System album and, like me, was instantly hooked by it that he got in touch and signed her to his label.

I wanted to get in touch with Pina too, and having found her then management company Head On in the sleeve notes of her album, I sent an email saying that I had been at Glastonbury Festival as a compere for the Avalon Stage and asking if they could either pass my mail on or send me her email address. I was delighted to get an email back from Pina and this set up an ongoing correspondence by email and letter.

Pina, although from Austria originally, had split up with her husband Helmut and moved to Cork in Ireland where she was living with her new partner Andy Hogg, who is also in her band, and her little girl Luise.

I was making plans to leave the country of my birth too at the time and in December 2004 I relocated to Tenerife, but before this I got the chance to see Pina live again and to meet her. She was playing at Moles Club in Bath and promoting new songs for a forthcoming second album on Peter Gabriel's second and new label Pre Records. It was wonderful to meet Pina and have a chat at long last backstage in the dressing rooms.

Pina's voice reminds me very much of Melanie, who had hits many years ago with folky pop songs like Brand New Key and Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma. Her vocals reminded me of Melanie but there was a harder folk rock sound to her songs.

The new songs Pina played with her band went down well with the crowd and I ended up writing a review of the gig for the Moles Club message board. I was looking forward to getting her second album Guess You Got It but it wasn't being released until the following year of 2005. By then I had settled into my new life in the Canary Islands but was thrilled to get an email from Pina saying she was getting ready for the new record's release and was going to send me a pre-issue copy, which she would like me to review, if I would be so kind, as well as a DVD of the gig I attended.

Unfortunately, the recordings must have got lost in the post but I thought it would be wise to wait a while because mail here often takes a long time. Pina's parcel for me never did arrive and not wanting her to send it all again after this I sent for a copy of Guess You Got It from her label.

I only heard from Pina a few times by email after that and I assumed all was going well - she had been playing in Spain and I thought that once the reviews of her new album started to appear in the music press things could only get better. But then the time went on and I began to wonder what the news was on PIna and her new release. I tried writing and emailing but never got any reply and I noticed that her new website on Pre Records was not getting updated. There was hardly any information on her anywhere online but I found an excellent interview and reviews by Scott Gianelli so I got in touch with him to ask if he had heard anything more of her but he hadn't.

So it has become a real mystery as to what has happened and I have even been contacted by an American fan of Pina's at Myspace to ask me if I knew anything about what she is doing. I have tried emailing the record company but have had no reply and the email I originally had for Pina no longer works. It's as if she has suddenly vanished from the world of music just after her second album came out. The last references to Pina on websites were back in 2005 and 2006 and then nothing. I can only hope she is OK and that one day I will find out what happened to the musical career of PIna Kollars, a singer-songwriter who is so brilliant that her voice could call me across two festival fields?

Copyright © 2012 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.


At last I have found out what happened to PIna and it is all good news.

She emailed me and has explained that she had a baby girl in 2006.

In 2007, Pina finished her studies of nutritional therapy and has continued her academic study since so that she is now ready to enter a dissertation on postnatal depression for a masters degree course.

Also in 2007, Pina moved back to Vienna from Ireland, and is very glad she did but naturally it has taken a lot of time getting everything sorted out and getting settled.

Pina tells me that she has written some new songs and still has a deal with Realworld but cannot say any more at present.

Pina and Andy got married in July 2009.

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Comments 32 comments

Karen Ellis profile image

Karen Ellis 8 years ago from Central Oregon

It is a real strange feeling when someone not only drops out of your life, but seems to drop off the earth. I hope you find her. It's just nice to know that an old friend is okay.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

It's really weird, Karen! Her website has gone too and the Pina section now redirects to an apology for lack of service from Real World/Pre Records and it looks like the site was down. When Pina's site was up you could see the last date she replied on the message board and there were videos and song clips but all that's gone. She seemed excited about the new album launch and everything so for it all suddenly to go all quiet seems so odd.

I even thought of contacting Q magazine to suggest they did a feature and went to their website but even the contact email there failed!

The How To Hub profile image

The How To Hub 8 years ago from Australia

Intriguing stuff....after reading your hub even I wonder what’s happened to this artist that previously I had not heard of. Great writing as always.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you very much for posting, Shaye!

Anon 8 years ago

Pina has now moved back to Vienna and is studying

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for the information - I am glad to hear she is OK!

livila 8 years ago

A little while ago the Real World records datbase was hacked into and they lost a lot of pages. The new pina page is a combination of the first and a tiny bit of the Pre Records site. I wish they'd release, at least to download those sessions that were posted there. The version of Butterfly was superior to the one on the album.

*Sigh* I too have bee searching high and low for any information. I saw her supporting in Edinburgh, back in 2002. Went straight out and bought her album the next day.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for posting that information, Livila, and if you ever hear any more about Pina please let me know!

livila 8 years ago

Sorry about the typos! I certainly will, I was hoping she emerge again with another album. People who've actually heard of her are few and far between.

I worked in a record store at the time and she was filed under "folk", which never seemed right to me.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

It's a real mystery all round!

RyanMCFC 7 years ago

I'm glad to find out that I'm not the only one who's wondered what happened to Pina. I love Quick Look (which I randomly found as a promo at the record store I work at) and I always talked her up here, but was really surprised when she never took off. I didn't even know a second album existed! It's too bad, but completely indicative of the music industry today, that someone like Pina could fall through the cracks.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for posting, Ryan! I am no further forward in fnding out what happened despite discovering that I have an old friend living in Vienna now. He asked around on the music scene there and tells me he found out nothing about Pina being back there. I did actually find that I still have emails from her in my Outlook archives from 2004 and 2005 and then nothing. It really is a mystery.

Rob 7 years ago

It beggars belief really. I first heard "Bring Me a Biscuit" on cork campus radio which was a revelation and have been a fan ever since. have both the albums and am lucky enough to have caught her live a couple of times in Cork. Her music has always been vital to me, I hope she eventually gets the recognition she deserves.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Hi Rob! I am glad to hear you discovered Pina and saw her live too when you had the chance! Sadly it looks as if her music career is over for whatever reason but we can live in hope that she will make a comeback and we will get news about what has happened!

Adam K 7 years ago

Thank you soooo much for this! I saw Pina open for the Indigo Girls years ago and instantly loved her stuff. Got Quick Look when it came out and went to see her perform solo at the old "Spitz" club in Spitalfields, London. i wasn't as crazy about the follow-up, I'll admit, but I've been waiting and waiting for something else from her, and today I decided to google and see what came up. Now I know! Good to know there are other fans out there, too.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Hi Adam! If you read my update I added above you will have seen that I have heard from Pina. There may well be new songs released at some point but getting married is what she has planned for this summer.

Grinderman 7 years ago

Thanks for the good news, i have some great memories of seeing Pina in the Lobby in Cork and meeting them both in Tuam. Hopefully there will be new tunes in the future.

In the meantime i have fallen in love with the voice of Emiliana Torrini after seeing her in Dingle last Christmas.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for posting, Garry! I am glad you are a fan of Pina's too.

fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 7 years ago from Momence, Illinois

Sounds interesting. I am going to have to find some of her music and she what she sounds like. I do so love a wonderful female vocalist. Nothing on Napster will keep looking. Bard have you ever listened to Colbie Caillet. She has a wonderful voice.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I hope you like Pina's voice as much as I do! Good luck finding some of Pina's music. No, I don't know Colbie Caillet.

livila 6 years ago

Thank you so much for the update. That all sounds very good news from Pina. I'm happy for her :)

I wait patiently for anything new, I really love her music.

I shall keep checking back here ;)

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for posting, Livila! I have not heard anything more so assume Pina has been enjoying her new married life.

Paul Fogarty 6 years ago

she is awesome. I heard her on ABC Coast FM radio back in Australia in 2002 and immediately went out to buy her album. Had to wait for it to be ordered in (took three weeks) and loved every song. Glad to hear she's still writing and having a full life. Thanks so much for tracking her down.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for posting, Paul! I am glad to hear you have discovered Pina's songs too!

Gioan! 6 years ago

Hi, i'm italian fan of Pina. Sorry for my poor english. Any news on Pina?

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Hi Gioan! No news since she got married!

Livila 3 years ago

Hello, again. Pina seems to be posting her own videos on youtube in the last couple of days. Including the acoustic versions of 4 songs from her 2nd album. She's also on Facebook. Word is these may be a new album coming. :)

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Yes, I am in touch with her over at Facebook.

Livila 3 years ago

Thought you might be. ;) Just posted on the off chance you weren't.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you! She emailed me the other day as it happens!

pia 17 months ago

Pina Kollars is such a powerful artist. I still listen to Quick Look - can't turn it off once she begins singing. Her voice evokes ancient wisdom - depths of human suffering - heartbreaking beauty and survival. She is masterful and it feels effortless for her.

I sure hopes she finds her way back to music.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 17 months ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for commenting! I am glad you have discovered Pina too!

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