During the week, I caught with an acoustic-pop duo called “Karmin”. The group comprises of Amy Heidemann who plays the guitar and sing lead vocals while nick slaps a wooden box, called a ‘cajon’ while singing harmonies.
The couple who met at Berklee College of Music in Boston and have been dating for 5 years after writing couple songs together decided to start their own group.
Now the full Karmin interview, hope you enjoy it.
Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this, how are you both doing?
Amy: I’m feeling quite nice today, thank you!
Nick: A bit bloated…but besides that, fantastic. Haha.
Can you give us some background information about yourselves so the YHP audience can get to know you better?
Amy: We are an acoustic-pop duo called “Karmin.” I play guitar and sing lead vocals and Nick slaps a wooden box, called a ‘cajon’ while singing harmonies. We make YouTube videos of our original songs and also cover popular songs. There are some that call us, "The Little Band with a Big Sound."
Why the name Karmin? Who decided on the name?
Nick: After we decided to form the band, we spent 2 months trying to decide on a name. We wanted something simple, but the “Beatles” was already taken. Karmin is actually a combination of the word ‘karma’ and the Latin word ‘carmen’ which means song.
How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
Amy: We met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Nick was studying jazz trombone and I was a voice major. We actually started dating first, but after writing a few songs together, decided to start our own group. We’ve been dating for what, 5 years now?
Nick: Yes, but it feels like 38. Just kidding. No really though, the genre is acoustic-pop but we draw influence from hip-hop, rock, and R&B. For artists, I gotta say John Mayer, Coldplay, Beatles, and all 90’s pop rock.
Amy: Artists for me are KT Tunstall, Gwen Stefani, and VV Brown.
When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
What are you currently working upon?
Nick: I remember it like it was yesterday. We were sitting in a train station two years ago, when Amy turned to me and said “Why don’t I learn guitar, you get a cajon, and we’ll be the modern day Simon and Garfunkel.” At the time, neither of us played those instruments, so I naturally said, “Let’s do this.”
Amy: There is this special thing that happens when we write or play music together, so we were curious to see what it could become or if other people would like it. Now, we are working on building a global fan base through the internet while developing a killer live show.
Do you have any upcoming shows we should know about?
Nick: We do a lot of street performances, but it’s getting really cold outside. We are planning to stream our next live show, so watch out for that!
What made you guys start uploading covers on YouTube? How has that been so far?
Amy: The YouTube covers give us the chance to play really awesome hit songs the way that we hear them! It also puts us in front of new eyes and ears on a regular basis, building our audience.
Nick: It’s totally different from writing original music because you don’t have to think about composing, just interpreting. We also throw lots of humor and dramatics into the videos, so they’re fun to make and hopefully fun to watch, too.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
Amy: Rehearsals happen when we’re both free! Usually, I run the rehearsals.
Nick: I usually run rehearsals, no matter what Amy says. The best ones are spontaneous.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Nick: Our biggest challenge has been the D.I.Y. thing. We literally do everything ourselves. Every time there’s an obstacle we say, why can’t we learn how to do that too?
Amy: That’s true! We’re like, recording studios are expensive, so we learned how to record ourselves and the same goes for video editing and graphic design. Yesterday we designed a Karmin t-shirt that will be available shortly!
What do you guys enjoy doing outside of music?
Amy: I can’t wait to see the new Harry Potter movie.
Nick: I can’t wait to pay for Amy’s ticket to the new Harry Potter movie.
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own band?
Nick: Only do it with people you musically trust and see eye to eye with.
Amy: Get ready for lots of hard work!
What has been your most memorable moment so far as a band?
Amy: Opening our CD for the first time was pretty amazing. We made friends with Janelle Monae and her band, too! They saw our cover of her song “Tightrope” and invited us to a show in Boston.
What are your ambitions for the future?
Nick: We want to spread only a positive message and give people something to smile about. We want every person in the world to get to hear our music.
Get the Karmin album here.
Check out some of their covers and original songs:
"Carbon Copy" an original:
Willow Smith - Whip My Hair (Cover by Karmin)