Interview with Karine Hannah

Written by Divine Magazine

Karine Hannah’s voice hits hard. The Montreal-born and New York-based singer can deliver an overpoweringly emotional ballad just as seamlessly as she can sing just about anything. It’s what makes her self-proclaimed, “over-the-top pop sound”, so magnetic, majestic, and magnificent—appropriately living up to its moniker.

What first got you into music?

I think what started it all for me was knowing that I had the gift to sing and how inspired I was by other artists.

Who inspired you to make music?

I can give you a long list of great singers that came before me that inspired me. But I think the encouragement from my mother was the biggest inspiration.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I would describe it as “over the top pop”, “adult contemporary”.

What is your creative process like?

When I’m collaborating on writing an original song, I usually come into a session with song ideas, and like most people, it’s usually a storyline or an emotion that’s something related to my life experience.

If I am about to record a major vocal, I make sure to get lots of rest the night before and high mentally psych myself up and just go for it.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

I would love to do a duet with Adele, I think our voices would be amazing together, and if I had to pick a male artist right now it would probably be Adam Lambert.

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

The weekend, Adam Lambert, Elton John, Dua Lipa

Are you finding the isolation of the pandemic conducive to your writing or is it hindering the experiences you can write about?

With all the struggles of the pandemic, for me as a recording artist, it has been quite amazing. It forced me to learn how to become my own music producer and vocal engineer. I’ve also become a professional vocal producer. I found out that I have skills beyond being a recording artist which has been amazing.

With the pandemic, how have you found a way to get your music and your message out there?

I’ve been completely reliant on social media.

What is one message you would give to your fans?

A message that I would want To give to my friends is that I will always strive to put out music that I know you’re gonna love.

What would you be doing right now if it weren’t for your music career?

I think that I would probably either be a psychologist, doing some sort of talk therapy, helping people navigate through their life, or helping people be happy.

Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

I performed all over North America, some of my favorite venues were in LA and in New York City and of course my hometown of Montreal.

I’m currently not performing live because of the pandemic. I hope to get back out there this spring of 2022.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

It has impacted the music business almost 100% of the way. I’m thankful for it because during this difficult time in our lives with Covid it’s been a blessing, without it the artist would be lost right now. But at the same time the way that the music industry functioned prior to The Internet with selling records and going on TV shows to be seen & heard, is the way that it should be, but it will never get back to how it once was. When I envisioned my career, that’s how I envisioned the music industry and how things were going to happen.

What is your favorite song to perform?

My gosh, that’s a loaded question. It would be hard to just mention one song. Too many to mention.

Have you got a ritual of sorts when writing and thinking about your music?

I don’t have a ritual, every writing session is a different situation. Sometimes it’s very strategic, and sometimes it’s very organic. I’m sure that most artists could say the same thing unless they are a true singer songwriter who gets inspiration at the weirdest moments and suddenly needs to find a place to write it down because something comes to them while they’re in the grocery store, etc.

That has happened to me only a few times in my life, I am definitely envious of those artists.

What led you to become a music artist and what advice can you give to others aspiring to make a hit?

Advice that I can give to another aspiring artist about making a hit, is that in my experience every time I thought I had a hit on my hands, and felt very confident about it it doesn’t mean that it is all that. But, never stop believing that you have what it takes, you keep pushing regardless. Also, if you feel confident that you have a hit but it’s not being recognized, that’s OK. Just keep at it, someone will recognize it…

In your opinion, how do artists in this industry stay on top of the game when faced with so much competition? What’s the secret to making yourself noticed?

If you spend too much time looking at other artists, you will make yourself crazy. This industry is so oversaturated more than ever because of social media platforms. There is so much talent out there beyond what I would’ve ever believed could be.

You need to put blinders on, you know they’re there, but do your thing because what makes you unique is just being you.

Which famous musicians do you admire?

This would be a long list and ultimately I admire all musicians and artists from the past that are considered classic artists who have written some of the most classic songs of all time. Like Carole King, James Taylor, Elton John, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, and so many more but those are the musicians that I admire the most.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

The best advice I’ve been given is to do what I do best, & stay focused!

What’s next for you?

I am continuing to record reimagined interpretations of rock, the 80s, in pop, and classics for my inspired project. And look forward to getting back to life performance in late spring 2022.

How would you describe your music?

My music is over the top pop

Stream Hysteria

What about your music is rebellious?

I wouldn’t say my music is rebellious, it’s here to get you to feel things in your heart and soul.

unconventional, or unusual?

I think me being who I am makes me unique and that’s what’s unconventional or unusual.

What sets your music apart? What is unique, or at least uncommon?

I think the way that I attack a song and my sound is what sets me apart, I definitely do not try to follow any trends, My singing is more old-school pop and I’m proud of it

Has your musical journey had a deliberate direction or did it simply gradually evolve in whatever direction it found?

Yes, this latest project it’s definitely delivering it. I am reimagining and reinterpreting great songs and that’s what makes it definitely deliberate.

Who are your main musical influences?

My main musical influences are powerful pop and soul singers.

Who are your top two favorite artists of all time? 

Barbra Streisand and Tom Jones

Why those artists?

Because overall if I have to think about their catalog of music, their careers, and their vocals, as a big singer myself those would have to be the two of all time.

What are your top two favorite albums of all time? Why those albums?

I don’t know if these are my top two favorites of all time, there are too many to mention but “bat out of hell” ( Meatloaf) and “Dulcinea” ( Toad the wet sprocket)

What are your top two favorite songs of all time? Why those songs?

Into the night ( Benny Mardones)

I Can Sing A Rainbow ( The Dells)

These songs have the melodies and the vocals that get me right in the heart and soul.

Have you always been interested in music? Was there a particular song/performance that made you say “Woah! I want to do that!”?

Yes, I think that I can say that I’ve always been into music, some of us I think, or just born with a song ready to be sung. The earliest memory of me having that moment of whoa I have to do that, was when I was four years old at a holiday Christmas party and I stood up on a chair and sang jingle bells and I received such roaring applause, and I remember the feeling that I felt from it. I never stopped standing up on chairs after that LOL…

What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

What I enjoy most is that I get to be creative and the feeling that you get inside from it

What does your music say about you?

My music says that I’ve been through a lot in my life, you can hear it in my soul it comes through my vocals and I think that so many people in the world can relate to the emotions that I’m delivering.

Of your own music, do you have a favorite? If so, can you pin down why?

I think my favorite would be an inspirational song that I wrote called “with you” It was released on a gospel record and I’m very proud that I wrote the whole thing from beginning to end on my own, but the reason I picked that song is because of the lyrics and what it means to me.

What are your musical plans for the next 12 months or so?

I’ll be recording for this project called inspired and hopefully performing by the summer of 2022.

Do you have any other plans relating to this release? A video? Online Shows?

I’ll be releasing music videos for a lot of the songs and I’ll be releasing a single at least every month maybe even sooner.

What can we expect from you within the next 6 months? Are any releases planned? Future gigs?

I’m planning future gigs as we speak

What are your plans for any future releases?

I’ll be releasing many many singles over the course of this year stay tuned.

Are you planning any videos for your music?

Yes, I’m hoping to have a music video for most of the song releases this year, if not there will definitely be a lyric video.

Have you written songs for any other artists?

No, I have not written for other artists but I have had placements on TV shows.

What are your ambitions as a songwriter and musician from here?

My ambitions lie more in being a great interpreter of songs and covering songs rather than writing originals.

What is your current music project about?

My current music project is called inspired and its re-interpretations reimagined covers in four categories: rock, the 80s, in pop ( current trendy Pop songs) and classics.

When you create music, what is your personal purpose or goal?

My goal is very simple, reach your heart and soul.

What has been the most challenging aspect of your current releases?

So far I’m not seeing any challenges.

What draws you to your preferred genre?

I think that each artist knows where they need to be, after being in the industry for some time you learn who you are. Your influences from childhood helped mold your genre, and I’m and I will always be a pop singer

What is your biggest musical challenge?

I think my challenge is the same for a lot of people is being exposed and getting enough people to know that you are here.

Are you creative in other disciplines?

No lol

When did you start writing music?

I started writing music in my teens, it felt good to get my emotions out on 

Would you like to collaborate with anyone? If so, who and why?

I would love to collaborate with Adele, she seems to write about things that I would be writing about.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

If it’s not coming to you, you need to stop being anxious, you can’t push it.

Do you enjoy recording and production?

Yes, I love recording and production more than ever since I am doing it on my own.

Where was your last song recorded?

The last song I recorded was in my home studio.

Where was your current project recorded?

Mainly in my home studio, but I do go to some fabulous Legendary recording studios in New York City.

Was anyone else involved in writing, recording, or producing the songs?

Yes, I have to say thank you to Josh Harris who has been with me on this project and is so talented. He was seals musical director and toured with him, he’s an amazing producer, songwriter and engineer he’s done amazing remixes over the years for artists like Britney Spears.

I’d also like to mention Scott Chazlynn who is a New York-based musician. He’s also a singer songwriter and he is really one of the greatest I’ve ever worked with. He’s recorded a lot of the piano tracks for me and created and produced them.

If we were to peek over your shoulder, what does your studio look like? What gear do you typically use?

I use logic and Apollo twin, I have an amazing tube Microphone by Lauten Audio.

How do you advertise your music? 

All on social media, Instagram, Facebook.

Does your music fit into your local scene? If so, how do you take advantage of that? If not, do you see that as an obstacle and what do you do about it?

I think we all fit.

Do you plan your music releases, or do you just finish a song and release it?

I have a team and we discuss it and work it out together.

If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to the next musical generation, what would it be?

Just do your thing, don’t focus on other musicians and worry that you don’t stack up.

Would you have any advice for would-be artists or songwriters wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Keep going, don’t look at your age, and don’t let any factor ruin your dreams. Do what you love, it’s never too late even though people will whisper in your ear over the years telling you that there is a time limit. Ultimately we only have a chance to go around, one time in our lives and if this is what you need to do then you have to do it and do it until The end. Anything is possible so don’t stop.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?

The title would be, “you have no idea if you only knew”

You are a new addition to a crayon box.  What color would you be and why?

I would be blacker than black. Everyone that knows me, knows that I love the color black and that’s all I wear primarily!

If you had to describe yourself as a flavor, what would it be?

Sweet cherry lol 😂 

Which is cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?

Dragons all the way

What do you think the greatest invention has been?

The greatest invention is hands-down electricity





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