With talent just as potent and infectious as her ambition, Kara Marni goal of becoming a celebrated artist is close to be fully realized. The youthful UK singer and songwriter has studied the greats like Amy Winehouse, Minnie Ripperton, and Lauryn Hill to create her own lane that fuses pop sensibilities with richly deep lyrics and unfettered soul.
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In fact, it was Minnie Ripperton who Kara spent numerous hours with her listening to her iconic whistle register, Kara mastered it and then would go on to learn riffs and runs by Roberta Flack and Anita Baker. Fast forward to 2018, and Marni has become a growing name on everyone’s lips. Her “soul [music] with a sprinkling of pop” has endeared her to us here at Okayplayer, so much so that she became a worthy entry in our First Look Friday series.
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In the wake of her debut single “Golden,” Kara Marni unveils her debut project, Love Just Ain’t Enough, which came out yesterday (May 10). Armed with a voice that can soar as high as the stratosphere and a distinct sound that sets her apart from her contemporaries, Love Just Ain’t Enough ensures that Kara Marni is in her own lane. To celebrate her impending success, we spoke with the 19-year-old vocalist about her influences, any obstacles that she overcame, and how she prepares for live performances.
Lastly, to get a taste of her sound, we have the stream of Love Just Ain’t Enough, a seven-track effort, for you to listen to below.
Okayplayer: To music snobs the world over, you are making an impact. What is it that those in music game are seeing and hearing that the rest of the world has yet to discover?
Kara Marni: Hopefully it’s my love and passion for soul music that I translate through my songs [that resonates with others].
OKP: For those who have a passion for music, they honed their skills and practiced their craft. Who are your most cherished influences in music and why?
KM: As a vocalist I think it is good to always try to be working on something vocally and a couple of years ago Minnie Ripperton inspired me to learn how to whistle [laughs] at my families expense I practiced until I had it down!
Amy Winehouse is definitely up there, it goes without saying her voice was world class but her writing really was too. The way she was so candid with her words and feelings is something I really admired and connected with and it’s the same with Lauryn Hill.
OKP: Can you talk about how your life was while developing as an artist? How did you react to your first bits of press?
KM: I think being genuine, strong, open, and keeping [myself] earthed has been important and being nocturnal with the creativity [has helped]. I was honestly overwhelmed seeing my name and backstory in print but I felt proud and humbled and felt thankful to those who wrote about me and happy that they connected to my music and voice.
OKP: With incidents involving people of color, police and racist occurring almost on a daily basis around the globe — how can your music help to relieve the trauma that is being experienced by the masses?
KM: My songs may not have a direct message about any particular incident but I would like to think that at the very least it offers an escape, a level of understanding, a relatability about love and relationships and maybe even hope.
OKP: What have been the most definitive obstacles that you’ve overcome in your career thus far?
KM: The most difficult aspect of my career so far has been the writing process, hand on heart this is due to the reliving of past emotions that as a vulnerable human being, I would often prefer to forget or bury my head. When you’re writing there is no wiggle room or hiding place, so I’ve had to dig deep and be as open as I can be. The period that sometimes follows laying myself bare has been cathartic so I’m grateful that I’ve learned to be honest with my writing and music.
OKP: Can you also talk about the importance of the music industry scene as how you’ve experienced it? How do you see it evolving in the next five years?
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