Interview: Sundara Karma

I recently headed down to the BBC Music Presents opening show at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City, where the US tour with Sundara Karma, Izzy Bizu and Spring King was kicking off. The music showcase was curated by the BBC and Sundara Karma, a four piece indie-rock band were the name to focus on, whose members include Oscar, Hayden, Ally and Dom. With the hit single ‘Flame’ and the release for their new album – Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect – approaching, I was eager to speak with frontman Oscar Lulu regarding the band’s success and life on the American Road. We took 5 and had a short but sweet chat, as the band travelled from NYC to Washington DC.

Tell me about Sundara Karma and the inspiration behind it.

Well we’ve been together for about six years. We’ve really grown up with each other. Our original inspirations were like The Doors and Pink Floyd.

Is this your first U.S. tour? And are you traveling with the other artists from the BBC showcase?

Yes. We are, it’s good, we are getting on well.

How do you like the U.S. so far?

It’s pretty amazing. Being in New York was like being in a movie, it was our first time.

New York or London, what’s more Rock’n’roll?

It’s very different. I mean New York is so amazing with all the history. The history of rock but even the underground stuff like the underground hip-hop too.

Who writes the songs?

I write the songs.

Who is the greatest rock star of all time?

Ziggy Stardust, not Bowie, specifically Ziggy Stardust because of the performance and the tragedy behind it.

Are there any current bands that you are into?

I would say Parquet Courts and The War on Drugs.

After the tour what is on the horizon for Sundara Karma?

We have an album coming out in January and we are also playing South by Southwest. We want to play as many shows as possible.

And when you’re not touring or playing music what’s important to you?

I like to be alone, take long walks, and meditate as much as I can. It really grounds me and connects me to the flow of things.

Check out more from Sundara Karma and pre-order their upcoming album ‘Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect’ here.