Introducing: Kara Marni

  • Interview: Iman El Kafrawi

20-year-old singer-songwriter Kara Marni has been drawn to music for as long as she can remember. Kara first fell in love with music after hearing her mum playing “Loving You” by Minnie Ripperton, and since she has been infatuated by soul icons such as, Lauryn Hill, Roberta Flack and Anita Baker. Kara began listening and covering to her favourite soul tracks, for her to then to find her own voice. Last year, the singer-songwriter released her debut single ‘Golden’, produced by The Invisible Men (Zayn, Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding, Iggy Azalea). Since, Kara has toured with winner of BBC’S Sound of 2017, Ray BLK and is awaiting the release of her debut EP.

Hey Kara! So firstly, how did you first discover your voice?

When I was sat in the back of the car age 3 I was warbling continually and my grandma turned to my mum and said this child is enjoying the sounds she’s making with her voice and that continued! I never stopped.

Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with music when you were growing up?

My dad played lots of great music round the house from loads of different genres and I really loved the soul records he was playing. 

Who are the artists that you listened to growing up that you feel have really influenced your music?

Diana RossMarvin Gaye, Minnie Ripperton really inspired me to learn the whistle register, I would listen to her in mum’s car on the school run! Chaka Khan. All the big voices! 

You were recently on tour with RAY BLK – what was it like touring with her? What was your favourite part?

It was magical and inspiring to be working alongside someone who was such a consummate professional in every way. My favourite part I would say was the incredibly warm welcome from her fans they were so welcoming and loving towards me and it’s hard to fully to put in to words the energy I gained from that. 

What can we expect from your debut EP? What was it like writing it?

It’s been a rollercoaster writing my first EP. It’s actually finished and I can’t wait to release it this year. The sound is definitely inspired by what I grew up listening to so there are loads of references to old soul from different eras but with my twist on it.I put alot of heart into it! 

We love your recent single, ‘Golden’! What inspired it? 

Thank you! What inspired it was the initial stage of a relationship where you see each other without any flaws. I call that the golden period.

What was it like working with MNEK?

He is a dream to work with, we actually wrote a great song together! He’s so unbelievably talented and on top of that very funny! 

Can you talk us through the lyrics of ‘Golden’? What process did you use to write it? 

What I found myself doing was I would recall specific times where romance was at the forefront of my mind and I would tap into those feeling “lazy days we lay are amazing, I’m so faded breathing you” was a translation of one of those feelings! The process was about living the feelings out and when you’re experiencing those feelings it’s enabling when you put them down in a song because you’re almost reliving them.

For the track you teamed up with big-names such as producing trio, The Invisible Men and songwriter Sebastian Cole. What has it been like working alongside these names?

It has been incredible, I was already a massive fan of Sebs work prior to working with him and with The Invisible Men in the mix too the inspiration was definitely flowing! Its great in the studio being around experienced people as it pushes me and teaches me lots.

‘Golden’ video – What were you trying to get across when you were coming up with that video?

I was trying to encapsulate further with the use of light and the aura and mood of love. The video  was filmed exclusively on super 8, it felt fitting with the retro sonic of the song.

Who would it be your dream collaboration and why?

Really loving Daniel Caeser at the minute. I could listen to him all day, his voice and songs are beautiful and I think ours worlds work well together!  

What are you looking forward to most this year? Do you have any shows planned?

Releasing the songs I have been working on and an EP – maybe collaborating with another artist and selling out another headline show would be amazing.

Finally, what kind of advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in music?

Love and be passionate about what you do and give your all to each and every aspect of your craft.

Thank you Kara! Listen to Kara’s debut single ‘Golden’ here: