Today’s Feature – June 28-29: Karmina

June 30, 2008 at 1:04 am (Today's Feature)

Talk about a power duo – sisters Kelly and Kamille of the hard working pop group Karmina own a venerable wish list of accomplishments:

– At the ripe old ages of eight and ten, they enrolled in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where they took classes that included music theory, composition and classical voice training.

– Before things had even started to take off with Karmina, Kelly and Kamille were successfully competing in prestigious music competitions, including the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, ASCAP’s Lester Sill Songwriters’ Workshop, the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra Competition and the California State Vocal competition (which they won 27 times!)

– Both attended the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, and earned their Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Industry.

And if that wasn’t enough, Karmina could have very well never came into existence – Kelly was on the Olympic development soccer team and Kamille was singing classically; so well that Grammy-winning producer David Foster teamed her with Josh Groban to perform at several high-profile fundraising affairs. All of this is the long-winded way of saying that Karmina, one of the crown jewels of CBS Records, has the “chops” to stand on any platform with just about anybody.

A rarity today, the sisters write, sing, produce and perform all of their material, owning their success entirely. They pride themselves on music that “possesses a soulful, seductive embrace that tugs at the emotions without sacrificing the hooks, melodies and exuberant sense of fun found in the very best of pop music.” Their debut album, “Backwards into Beauty” defines the duo, crafting songs exactly as they originally formulated them, without over-production or overload from battling producers.

As you might imagine, Karmina expresses sincere passion during their live performance. The new record demands it. They’ll be on the road supporting “Backwards into Beauty” while writing new material for the next album, so check out a show near you. Jump into the XXQ’s to learn more.

XXQs: Karmina – Kelly and Kamille
PensEyeView.com (PEV): Tell us about how you first jumped into becoming musicians? Was it an instant connection from the start?

Karmina: We became involved in music at a very young age, starting with elementary school choirs and community musicals. Music went from being a hobby to an obsession.

PEV: Kelly was born in Germany and Kamille in Hawaii, then moving with your family to San Francisco and finally to Los Angeles. Growing up, what kind of music where you listening to?

Karmina: We’ve listened to all kinds of music… from the Beatles to Stravinsky. Some of our favorites include Michael Jackson, Toto, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alanis Morissette, Third Eye Blind, and Bjork.

PEV: Tell us about your creative process? What kind of environment do you have to be in to write music?

Karmina: All we need to write music is our instruments. We could be anywhere-a hotel room, a bedroom, or even in the car! The more inspiring the better, but typically our inspiration comes from emotion and current experiences, not environment.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Karmina performance?

Karmina: Live karmina is a lot of fun because our fans/audience can get to know a little bit more about us as well as the songs! We are in an extreme giving mode: this is our opportunity to put on a show and express our music to the fullest, and meet our friends/fans afterwards!

PEV: Tell us about your first performance as a duo. How have you changed since that first show to where you are now?

Karmina: Our first duo performances were classical and musical theater duets. We then started singing cover songs, and filled them with harmony. Now we perform only original compositions. And we don’t look at our hands while we play our instruments any more!

PEV: What can fans expect from your debut album, “Backwards into Beauty”?

Karmina: Expect to hear songs that describe all the things you’re going through… A roller coaster of emotion!

PEV: How is “Backwards into Beauty” different from your past projects?

Karmina: We co-produced this album. All our ‘pop/rock’ lives we’ve been searching for a sound that best defines us. It was our chance to bring the songs to life exactly how we envisioned them.

PEV: Do you think being sisters gives you an advantage as a team to create great music since you know each other so well?

Karmina: Absolutely…..we learned music simultaneously, hence we understand music in the same light. Honesty is so important–we can be openly critical and complimentary of each other, which leads to the best collaborations.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Kelly and Kamille?

Karmina: If kamille wasn’t a musician, she’d be a secret agent. Kelly has a tattoo of an eighth note.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

Karmina: In the womb! I think it was around high school that it just became a given. We had invested all of our time and energy into music, and it was something we were very passionate about. It’s what we loved doing most, and we were set on doing what we loved for our careers. It worked out well!

PEV: What one word best describes Karmina?

Karmina: SparkleRock.

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts?

Karmina: Life on the road is literally an adventure (check out our mini videos on our site for some of that fun!). Best parts? Well, meeting so many great people, visiting countess cities and states all over the U.S., performing up to four times a day, etc. Worst parts? The luggage!! We have to travel around with our bags and instruments, in a different hotel room every night, and we usually have crazy hours!! No time for jet lag!! We’ve had to learn to put on fresh faces and a great show no matter how tired we are.

PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or International)?

Karmina: Probably we would have to say New York. There is such an energetic vibe, and the city is very welcoming to all types of art. New York is colorful, and it makes you feel alive!! (not to mention all of the great restaurants!).

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success?

Karmina: We have had nothing but support from our family and friends. If it wasn’t for their on-going encouragement, we wouldn’t be where we are today. They’re our biggest fans–go to all of our shows, etc.

PEV: What can we find both of you doing in your spare time, aside from music?

Karmina: Kelly has an affinity and talent for knitting scarves and beanies, and making jewelry. Kamille still loves to dance, and has been involved in a few local dance troupes.

PEV: Which artist would be your dream collaboration?

Karmina: John Williams (who spoke at our graduation for U.S.C.’s Thornton School of Music) and/or Timbaland. We’ve always wanted to collaborate with genres and artists that are very different from ours–it makes for a new and interesting sound. Both of these artists are so incredibly talented, and they have been revolutionaries in their fields.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for?

Karmina: Yes!! Keaton Simons, Sharon Little, Will Dailey, and PJ Olsson!! All amazing bands that are well on their way to extreme success!

PEV: What is your take on today’s mainstream music scene?

Karmina: It’s a tough time for music, but we feel as though it’s going to get better. There’s definitely a lot of average music on the radio, but there are still those quality bands that are carrying on the authenticity of music . It really comes down to taste. If the music moves you, then it’s doing its job! Because we’ve had extensive musical training, we tend to seek out artists who inspire us and challenge us to progress.

PEV: Ten years down the road, where will Karmina be?

Karmina: Touring around the world, collaborating with amazing fellow artists, having multiple top selling albums out, still writing songs like crazy, and making a difference…

PEV: So, what is next for Karmina?

Karmina: Promoting our debut album, ‘Backwards Into Beauty’, and writing album number two simultaneously!! We’re going to get our music out there–“we wish the world could hear”….

For more information on Karmina, check out www.Karmina.com and get a FREE download of “The Whoa Song” at www.LoudBytes.com. Enter the redeem code: 644341f5d3314ea2.

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2 Comments

  1. Devin Blixt said,

    Power duo indeed. Usually I’m not into pop music but I do show much respect for those who really understand and love music (these two studied music and have been playing and studying for years) and I have nothing but respect for Karmina. Aside from being very talented, their musical experience and background gives a certain maturity to their music that is pretty rare in the pop scene.

  2. Bryan Brown said,

    I am a fan for life, Karmina writes songs that I know people can still love years and years down the road and the best part is they are true to themselves and make music that they themselves love and it really shows through. Furthermore they are even better live because they have been performing for years already and they know who they are. Unbelievably they are always getting better and always working harder. I have had the privilege to be from Northern California and I first saw the girls preform the National Anthem at an Oakland A’s game about 7 years ago and when I first heard them play their own music I knew they had that special something I literally fell In love. Anyhow I hope that success beyond their wildest dreams comes to them because they are an awesome family and good people. Thank you for the Inspiration you bring into the world girls.

    Knows always my intentions love lives everyday.
    Peace love and harmony

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