After online fame and chart hits, the quirky duo finally releases an album

Covers of songs by Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown found Karmin an Internet following and a record deal, and songs like “Brokenhearted” brought chart success, but it has taken the duo three years to produce an album. For the couple behind Karmin—Nick Noonan and Amy Heidemann, both 28—that time was spent developing a personality outside social media.

“Everything happened so fast,” says Noonan. “We’d blown up on YouTube, viral videos—everybody loved us. We had a hit song. Then life happens. You put out a couple of songs that aren’t hits. You go back to the grind. Now we have to actually build a foundation.”

Their full-length debut, Pulses, is the product of a year in the studio as the duo forged their identity. “During one of the first sessions we did the title track ‘Pulses.’ That shaped the rest of the album,” says Noonan. “We wanted to make songs that translate into the live show and have more of a duo in them.”

“We had to get Nick on there, singing more,” says Heidemann. “We definitely butt heads with the label, but we need to do our thing. You can’t just put us in a box of a Katy Perry thing. We’re a duo, and it’s got to be different and unique.”

What they consider unique is how the pair works together. “Nick will wake up in the middle of the night with a melody,” says Heidemann. “The next day I’ll listen to it and do some editing. He’ll come back and fill in drums or change a chord progression. It’s usually drums first and then melody. Then we spend time on the lyrics.”

Karmin teamed up with different songwriters and producers, including Claude Kelly and Emily Wright—who worked on their hit “Brokenhearted”—but they don’t have specific criteria for their collaborators. “We thought, ‘It’s got to be somebody with hip-hop roots,’” says Heidemann. “With a few people we weren’t sure what was going to happen—like Martin Johnson, the lead singer of Boys Like Girls. We thought we’d get a rock song and ended up with ‘Acapella,’ which is left-of-center hip-hop-pop music.

“We don’t really know what we’re looking for,” she adds. “Probably the top priority is talent. We were lucky enough to work with everybody we respect on this one—except Kanye West.”

–Amanda Farah

Subscribe to M Music and Musicians. $12 for one year >>




comment closed

Copyright © 2014 M Music & Musicians Magazine ·