Karmin: "I never thought people would take me seriously as a rapper"
Karmin’s current hit, “Brokenhearted”, fuses dance pop with rap. How did the US pair develop an interest in hip hop and how do they make it work? Singer Amy Heidemann walks NovaFM through it…
"I’ve always loved rap music but I never thought people would take me seriously as a rapper,” Heidemann, who has been rapping for two years, says. “I mean, I’m a white girl with a pinup hairstyle!
“We knew it was a risk and we knew that people would respond, but we never knew how fast it would explode. I mean, that “Look At Me Now” video on YouTube just went viral – I think it had like 60 million views or something.”
Heidemann and fiancé Nick Noonan, who makes up the other half of Karmin, made music independently before being discovered on YouTube in 2010 with their covers of popular hip hop songs, from Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” to the aforementioned Chris Brown tune.
The unique thing about the pair is that they seamlessly mix harmonic vocalising with fast-paced rap – something Heidemann says was inspired by artists like Lauryn Hill.
“Back in the 90s she put out her Miseducation album and it’s got a lot of R&B influence and she did jump between rapping and singing like it’s no big deal,” Heidemann explains.
“We were very careful about it, we wanted to make sure that it felt kind of smooth and flawless. It was a fun process too, because there was a lot of experimenting.”
Though these days Karmin’s focus is more on their own original songs, having freshly released new EP Hello, the pair is still stoked when it comes to the covers and meeting the stars behind the hits.
“We were lucky to be able to meet Chris Brown and Busta Rhymes and we met Nicki Minaj several times,” Heidemann enthuses. “She’s a big supporter, she put our video on her website for a while.
“It’s just really cool, I was surprised. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but you get to meet a lot of cool people through this.”