“I’ve woken up with a big smile on my face,” London-based singer Kara Marni laughs. It’s the morning after the soulstress has debuted her new record, ‘Move’, on DJ Target’s 1Xtra show and she’s in high spirits.
The single follows her seven-track collection, ‘Love Just Ain’t Enough’. Released early this year, the EP garnered praise not only for the 20-year-old’s powerful vocals, but also for its emotional vulnerability, in which she details the experience of young love.
“It covers all the stages of love,” she explains. “‘Golden’ takes you through the honeymoon period when you feel like you’re walking on water, through to ‘Love Just Ain’t Enough’, when you realise love isn’t enough to sustain a relationship.”
Having grown up listening to the likes of Minnie Riperton, Roberta Flack and Amy Winehouse, it’s no wonder her vocals have marked comparisons to the soul greats. “It’s the highest compliment to me,” she exclaims. “These are the people who inspired me. [Minnie Riperton’s] ‘Lovin’ You’ was the record that inspired me to experiment with my voice. I loved how she told that story, manipulating her voice using those ridiculous high notes. I’d never heard that before. To me, it was a new way of expressing an emotion.”
With her incredible range (listen to her goosebump- inducing whistle notes on ‘Nothing Even Matters’), and her heartfelt covers of classics such as Angie Stone’s ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’, Sade’s ‘No Ordinary Love’ and Whitney Houston’s ‘Your Love is My Love’, her potential knows no bounds.
After dropping out of South London’s prestigious BRIT School to pursue her flourishing career, it seems that the decision is working out well so far, as it has finally given her the space to create on her own terms:
“Being an artist is in my blood,” she says. “I eat, sleep and breathe it. I’m constantly thinking about lyrics, writing, or seeking out inspiration to help me evolve as an artist. I feel so lucky, so privileged to do what I love. To wake up and work with the most incredible producers, musicians and writers. I never take it for granted. I’m living my dream.”
Where: North London
What: Soul music with pop potential
Get 3 Songs: ‘Golden’, ‘Curve’, ‘Nothing Even Matters’
Fact: Her Grandma was the first to spot, as a baby, her talent for singing.
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Words: Mireille Harper
Photography: Sophie Mayanne
Fashion: Josh Tuckley
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