Karmin is Amy Ellis’ pronounced rap flow and searing R&B influenced pop vocals married with Nick Noonan’s multi-instrumental talent and smooth harmonies. The duo’s dynamic chemistry results in a perfect blend of hip-hop, acoustic styling and applied theatrics that have taken pop by storm.
Having gained notoriety via their superb covers on YouTube, their fans catapulted them into the mainstream where they were well received by tastemakers like Perez Hilton and Ryan Seacrest as well as entertainment heavyweights including L.A. Reid, Kanye West, Ashton Kutcher, Timbaland, Beyonce, Chris Brown, and Questlove.
Karmin’s organic approach reinforces their authenticity that resonates so strongly with fans, celebrities, and industry insiders alike.
Karmin takes some time out of their busy schedule before heading out to the BET Awards to give an exclusive interview to K4S Entertainment.
Q-1) For those that don't know, how did you guys come up with the name Karmin?
A-1) It wasn't easy thinking of a name to represent what we do. Karmin is actually a hybrid word we invented! It's a combination of the Latin word for song, "Carmen" and "Karma." Plus, "the Beatles" was already taken.
Q-2) How did you guys meet originally to become such a fantastic duo?
A-2) Oh goodness, we met almost 6 years ago at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Nick was a jazz trombone player and I was singing in all the shows he did (Stevie Wonder Tributes, Jazz Concerts, ect). We actually started dating the Fall of 2005 and wrote a few songs together as school projects. We didn't formally start Karmin until January 2010.
Q-3) What inspired each of you to get into music?
A-3) We both had parents with great musical taste, so there was music in our households constantly. Lots of Classic Rock, musicals, and iconic artists like Billy Joel, Elton John, and the Beatles. Nick explored jazz heavily with the trombone and I fell in love with R&B/urban music as a little girl in Nebraska when all my friends listened to country.
Q-4) You guys are notorious for your awesome cover renditions of hit songs, what made you decide to go with the unique acoustic sound?
A-4) We are broke and couldn't afford real instruments. Haha, just kidding. I mean, half kidding. We like the simplicity of our setup and the organic factor it lends to our music. A great song is great no matter what the instrumentation! When we decided to start Karmin, I picked up the guitar and Nick brushed up on keyboard and learned the cajon (that peruvian drum box he plays occasionally).
Q-5) You guys went from viral youtube sensations to performing on everything from Ellen to Ryan Seacrest and even with The well known hip hop group the roots. Did you ever think you would hit the mainstream so hard and be this well received?
A-5) It might sound conceited, but we knew it would happen, we just weren't sure when! We worked really hard and promised each other to continue until we broke. Although, we didn't expect it to hit this quickly and have everyone endorse us the way they have. *Lucky*
Q-6) You seem to pull your cover songs from a variety of genres. Do either of you have any favorites genres or do you just love music?
A-6) Our mutual favorite genre is hip-hop, so you hear lots of undertones of that in our music. I think next would be jazz because of the tasty chord colors we like to incorporate. Amy is definitely a huge R&B junkie, you can hear it in her vocal vocabulary (riffs and phrasing).
Q-7) Some people don't know that you guys actually already have an album out. What is it called and where can people buy it?
A-7) It's a mini-album! Or an EP I guess - you can grab that on iTunes or Amazon. It's called "Inside Out" and it's our first Karmin recording! We created it to use as a fancy demo.
Q-8) Any words of wisdom for those trying to break into the music industry?
A-8) Work hard and find your "purple cow," or what sets you apart from everyone else.
Q-9) What's next for the dynamic duo called Karmin?
A-9) We are heading to Los Angeles to start working on the album! Woo hoo!! Expect lots more YouTube videos in the interim as well as some performances.
Q-10) Any shoutouts?
A-10) Shout out to Kahootz Band in Boston (the best wedding band ever)! The Ring Boxing Club (the best workout you'll ever get)! And to our Karmin family and friends who supported since day one! We love you so much!!