Born to Jewish refugee parents fleeing the crumbling Soviet Union, Kholod grew up with his father’s bootleg MP3s of Russian alt rock acts like Zemfira and t.A.T.u. and, at 13, began teaching himself piano with YouTube Regina Spektor tutorials. His roots lie in contemporary songwriters like Amanda Palmer, Perfume Genius, Mitski, and St. Vincent, from whom he found inspiration for his nom de plume.
After graduating in 2016, Kholod moved to New York and survived by busking in subway stations, adopting a theatrical and immediate storytelling style caught between German cabaret raunch and 70s Troubadour oration. Noticing a lack of queer spaces in the New York open mic scene, Kholod co-created “The Troubadour Lounge,” a monthly queer singer-songwriter showcase giving rising talent a platform to perform. His third single, “Mars & Nails,” was released May 2019.