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Introducing Karmin, From YouTube to Your Ears

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There’s an old adage about singers and musicians that they start out by emulating their influences until, over time and with experience, they grow into their own artistic voice. And, with a bit of 21st-century plot twists, that’s basically what happened with Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, otherwise known as Karmin.

The two met in 2004 while attending Berklee College of Music in Brookline, Massachusetts, and in the ensuing years began dating (they’re engaged now) and ultimately playing music together as a duo, with Noonan on keyboards and Heidemann singing lead. Not unlike other aspiring and resourceful artists in recent years, Karmin has generated a following through the use of YouTube, with their lively, often cheeky performance clips — they cover contemporary hits as diverse as Sarah Bareilles’ “King of Anything” and Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now,” featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne — garnering an estimated 100 million views to date.

In fact, their cover of “Look At Me Now” has taken on a life of its own, most notably because it reveals Heidemann to be a skilled rapper, and a serious one at that. Her rapid-fire recitations and slick-chiseled enunciation on the track even earned a hearty endorsement from ?uestlove, who invited Karmin to play it in concert with the Roots earlier this year. The video of the live performance, before a raucous and supportive crowd at Tufts University, soon went viral.

The buzz surrounding Karmin blew up even bigger from there, leading to appearances on Ellen and On Air with Ryan Seacrest, as well as a deal with Epic Records. Now with their debut single “Crash Your Party” making waves, Karmin is at work on a full-length album of original material, which is slated for release early next year.

In this first-of-its-kind Blogcritics feature, readers will have the opportunity to get acquainted with Karmin’s music as well as the duo’s journey from YouTube sensations to major-label pop stars on the rise.


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About Donald Gibson

Donald Gibson is the publisher of www.writeonmusic.com and a freelance music journalist whose byline has appeared in such publications as No Depression, Spinner, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cinema Sentries, Blinded by Sound, and Blogcritics, where he was the Senior Music Editor (2011-2012) and Assistant Music Editor (2008-2011). He has interviewed and profiled such artists as Tony Bennett, Lucinda Williams, Jakob Dylan, Allen Toussaint, Boz Scaggs, Johnny Marr, Charli XCX, Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues), Susanna Hoffs, Bruce Hornsby, Delbert McClinton, Jonny Lang, Alan Parsons, Bill Frisell, Rickie Lee Jones, Christina Perri, Don Felder (The Eagles), Jimmy Webb, Katie Melua, and Buddy Guy, among many others.