Karra divulges on being an artistic chameleon, her prized memories, and more [Q&A]
Singer/songwriter Karra has certainly made a name for herself in the electronic music scene over the past few years. After growing up on the East Coast, she moved out to LA to pursue her music career — a move which has paid off tenfold. The vocalist has worked with some of dance music’s biggest stars — including the likes of Seven Lions, Riggi & Piros, Breathe Carolina & Unlike Pluto — a huge accomplishment for someone so fresh within the industry. In fact, one could easily put her in the same category as Julia Michaels and Skylar Grey, both of whom have had an immense writing and singer career.
We got to speak with Karra about her journey to stardom, some of her favorite collaboration experiences, what’s coming up in 2018 and much more. Some highlights discussed were her collaboration with Bad Royale & Henry Fong on their future-bass cut “Boombox,” and also the release of her own vocal sample pack through Splice. While 2017 might be coming to an end, Karra has plenty of more music coming as she continues to be one of the most renowned vocalists and writers in all of EDM.
How did you get your start doing vocals on EDM tracks?
When I was 16 I started listening to electro/pop artist, Lights, and ever since discovering her music I knew that I wanted to do some type of electronic music for my career. When I came out to Los Angeles I viewed EDM as a fun way for me to have my own artist project, but collaborate with various artists of different genres at the same time. It also allows me to continue writing pop music for other artists. I’m a chameleon, and I never wanted to limit myself to one thing, thats what I love about EDM.
You obviously played a huge role in crafting the lyrics for Gareth Emery’s hit “Saving Light.” What other releases were you a part of that we might not know about?
Since co-writing ‘Saving Light’ I have co-written many songs with the vocalist, Haliene, including her collab with Ferry Corsten “Edge Of The Sky”. I’ve also written “Summit” by Sober Rob, “Fight For You” by Fareoh ft. Ethan Thompson, “Quicksand” by Feenixpawl & APEK (which I am the vocalist on, just was not featured), “Borealis” by Metrik, and a few others. In 2018 I will have many more co-writes released of songs that I have written but not featured on including artists such as Darude, Steve Aoki, ATLiens, pop artists who shall not be named, and MANY more!
You’ve worked with so many great artists from Breathe Carolina to Ryos to Seven Lions and now an upcoming single with Boombox Cartel. If you had to pick, what has been your favorite collaboration so far?
Thats such a difficult question because every song and experience is so unique! I would have to say the unreleased collaboration that I’m most excited about is a duet with Cade. His voice and style is so in line with who I am as an artist that it just clicked, and the release is going to be massive. In terms of a released song, I would have to say my favorite experience was with Seven Lions. His live show is on a different level, and his fans are so dedicated to him and the music he puts out. Being able to work with someone who values his artistic integrity was such an honor. Its one of my favorite songs too!
What factors do you consider when choosing which artists to work with/songs to add vocals to? Do you write the vocals and then send to producers, or do they mostly approach you?
When I first started writing I was hustling and taking whatever opportunity I could get. Now that I’ve been doing it for 2 years I’m finally at a place in my career where I can be precious with my time and creativity. I would say half of my collaborations come from my team doing an outreach to my favorite artists at the moment. The other half are people who come to me asking for songs! Most of my sessions are done separately from the producers. Since they are constantly touring there isn’t much time for them to sit in studio sessions to work on the music. That being said, my favorite collaborations are the ones where the producer is actually in the room while I write the topline! For me it makes the song more personal, and when we’re both involved equally it strengthens the connection.
You mentioned that you began to produce your own vocals. Do you see yourself ever starting your own electronic project down the road like other vocalists such as Aruna and JES have?
I don’t think I will have my own project in the same way they do. Since I’m also heavily involved in the pop world, I see myself running my own empire within the music industry, which includes developing other writers and talent like me. I always release original music every few months just for fun, and I will continue doing that with no pressure of wanting to headline my own shows. Working with DJ’s and other artists is a skill set of it’s own, and I feel like at this stage in my life I have mastered that process. I know what people want and need, and that’s why I have invested so much time into building the best studio I could build, and learning the ins and outs of vocal production, writing, and collaborating. I definitely see myself doing live performances with the DJs I have music with, and I also see myself building my Vocal Sample Pack business with Splice. I would feel trapped if I limited myself to my own artist project, and I enjoy having the freedom to do whatever I feel like doing that day. I’d say I have a pretty dope life, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!!!
Who is one artist that you have yet to work with that’s on your bucket list?
One artist that is on my bucket list is Zedd, but I have a feeling that’s going to change very soon! He’s been my biggest inspiration in EDM music, and I know in my heart I will have a song with him one day.
What do you have in store for us as we head into the new year?
Lots of music, lots of live performances, and lots of vocal sample packs! I can’t reveal too much information on what will be released in 2018, but what I can say is that it’s not just EDM, and the artists are getting much bigger. Get ready to see my face and hear my voice a lot more next year!