Nineteen-year-old UK songstress Kara Marni is steadily building a buzz with her divine blend of retro soul sounds and celestial vocals. Plus, we can’t dismiss Miss Marni‘s otherworldly luscious locks!
Kara‘s alluring, raspy voice takes centre stage on all five of the exceptionally brilliant singles she has shared over the past year. Golden, the major standout of the collection so far, has made waves due to the way Kara‘s honeyed vocals luxuriously gloss over the song’s intense 80s-styled bass stabs, booming kicks and glistening synth melodies. The lyrics to Golden are equally delightful: “This is golden / So cover me, in the colouring, of you loving me / This is golden / So bright and bold, so bright and bold / This is golden / I wanna be, lost inside of the lovely / This is golden / The sky can’t hold us, so bright, it’s golden” Kara gorgeously sings during the powerful chorus.
Ahead of her performance slot on Rita Ora‘s upcoming European tour, Miss Marni spilled some tea about her upcoming EP, the inspirations behind her seductive soul sounds as well as the pros and cons of coming up in a digitalized music industry.
Is there a significant experience from your life so far which influences your music?
I come from a family that is very demonstrative; that, coupled with the soul greats that were played around the house, embedded soul into me from a young age.
You are so young (only 19!), but super inspired by the soulful sounds and vintage looks of Minnie Riperton, Roberta Flack and other artists who came from generations before you – why does this resonate so much with you?
I guess despite them being from generations before me, the music these incredible soul greats made are classics and once I discovered them I was captivated and wanted more!
Branching from that, what are your views on the consumption of music in today’s digital era? It’s totally different from the consumption methods used during the eras you’re inspired by.
I definitely think there was something really special about saving up to go to the store and buy that album by your favourite artist and listening to all the songs on it on repeat. By the end of that day, knowing EVERY single song inside out, reading the credits and lyrics from the little booklet that came with it and being able to play it in your CD player… there is a part of me that is sad when you struggle to even find a record store these days!
Obviously, the way we consume music has changed over the years where digital and online streaming has become the main source of consumption. As with everything there are positives and negatives, but I think now with online platforms like Spotify/Apple Music it’s so much easier to discover new artists. Contrary to that, we are saturated with music from so many artists that it’s difficult to stand out. Our attention span as listeners is very short, but ultimately, I think it’s exciting, as the potential reach for unknowns is better than ever before!
The singles you’ve dropped so far have been great, but is there an EP or maybe an album on the way?
Thank you so much! I’m really excited to announce there is an EP on the way dropping in May. I’m beyond excited to release it as have been working on my writing and songs for what feels like a long time!
What’s the rollout for your upcoming music going to be like?
I still have another single and video to release and then my EP in May. I’ll be making announcements on my socials very soon!
How are you feeling about joining the iconic Rita Ora on her EU tour later this Spring?
I am really looking forward to touring with such a hard grafter! On top of that, being able to perform in different places to different audiences gives me such a buzz! It’s going to be amazing, so I hope to see you all there!
Which female musicians would you like to collaborate with?
I’m currently really loving Mahalia, Ray Blk (who I also toured with) H.E.R, SZA… there is so much incredible female talent right now it’s hard to pick one!
Are there any female artists you’re particularly into at the moment?
All of the above, but to add to that list – obsessed with NAO (Nostalgia is on repeat) and always into Erykah Badu & Lauryn Hill.
How do you feel about the representation of female musicians? Is there anything that you’d like to change?
I think there is definitely a pressure on us females to look and dress a certain way… if I could change anything it would be that we have the same choices as men do in how they want to be perceived.
From the perspective of a female, is there anything about the music industry that frustrates you?
Touching on my previous answer, what I find frustrating is the automatic assumption that as a woman we are expected to look our best at all times – which we all know in reality isn’t possible. I think that as women we are our harshest critic and under the spotlight, that’s then amplified.
What issues do you think female musicians are facing today?
Living up to unrealistic expectations.
Have you ever felt pressured to fit a certain ‘mould’ as an artist?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by a team that get and understand my vision, so thankfully not.
Do you think there are any misconceptions the public hold about what it takes to be a musician?
100%, I think it’s hugely misunderstood that, because they see us at the end phase or “developed” phase on stage with a spotlight, it’s hard for them to understand that to get to that, it takes years and unimaginable amount of grafting and hard work. Then to maintain it is even harder.
What can we expect from you during 2018?
Obviously, the Rita tour that we mentioned and some festivals (Live at Leeds and Isle of Wight).
I will be putting out another single & video, my EP in May and a headline show to follow. So, stay tuned!
Is there a quote you consider to be your life motto? Has it helped you at all during your music career?
Yes, and Mama Marni is constantly reminding me – nothing that is worthwhile ever comes easy.
It’s helped me because I know that although it seems sometimes tough and slow, I know that it will all pay off in the end.
Vibe With Kara Marni on Spotify