On Wednesday, March 21st Curt and I met our new musical crush, Karmin. Much like us, they are young, vivacious, started there own “business” aka band and of course, have been dating for the past five years. You could imagine how happy we were when they suggested we go on a double date, as we were “their kind.” The dynamic duo has had quite the year appearing on The Ellen Show, I Heart Radio Festival and Saturday Night Live (SNL). Being in Buffalo at the same time, we sat down with them at a Tim Horton’s (how fitting) and the rest was history. Below is our intimate interview with Amy & Nick, masterminds behind ‘Karmin.’
Photo courtesy Steven Duarte
KC: So first things first, why are you in Buffalo?
Amy: “We were actually chosen to be here. We are on a radio tour with Kiss and they ran a competition where local high schools had to text into the station. Whoever texted the station the most, won a concert by us. Lakeshore High School won, so that’s why we’re here! We’re promoting our new single, “Broken Hearted” however the album comes out May 8th, tentatively – so stay tuned.”
KC: Can you give our readers a little background about Karmin? How exactly did you get started?
Amy: “Well I’m from Nebraska and Nick is from Maine. We both attended Berklee College of Music. I was a singing major and Nick was a jazz major and an amazing one at that. Nick was working at a boxing club and I was working at Berklee Music online.”
Nick: “There came a point where we thought, “why don’t we start our own shit.” Everything happened from scratch, but we did it.”
KC: Can you tell us what Karmin stands for and how it came about?
Amy: “Well the Beatles was taken, so we couldn’t go with that. We wanted to go with something simple, but that could become as classic as a band who only had one syllable in its name. So we decided to put two words together, Karma and the latin word, carmen, which means song. We basically made up our own word.”
Nick: Since we were new to the game, we knew people wouldn’t just listen to our music. We decided to cover songs, basically “tricking” people into listening to us through Youtube.”
KC: So who are your biggest influencers, who do you most compare your music to?
Nick: “Jesus, next question.”
Amy: “Kanye. I fell in love with hip-hop at a young age, but growing up in Nebraska I couldn’t really listen to hip-hop.”
Nick: “Definitely Kanye, but I love Coldplay too. Amy is an amazing rapper. ‘Twisted Dark Fantasy’ put us over the top.”
KC: Any tips for those who want to start something with their significant other?
Nick: “Don’t do it!” Just kidding! – Make sure you set a foundation before doing anything.
Amy: “Yes, set a foundation. Set rules. Trust each other and always put your relationship first. Make sure you see everything together and do everything together. I couldn’t imagine us not doing this together. Like coming home after a meeting with Kanye West and telling Nick all about it, it just wouldn’t even be real.”
KC: Have you had any unique or funny responses from the celebrities you’ve covered on Youtube?
Amy: “As a matter of fact, yes. The very first video we covered was Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, ‘Look at me Now’. We had no idea the response we would get! Six days later we were on The Ellen Show!”
Nick: “At 2:30am we received a voicemail from Jermain Dupree telling us how much he loved what he saw and how badly he wanted to work with us. Amy had put up her personal cell phone number on the Youtube video we uploaded. You could imagine how that turned out.”
At this moment into the conversation, we had to take a small break. One of the students from Lakeshore Highschool very politely explained that a girl he likes in his class loves Karmin and he would greatly appreciate an autograph. Coincidently, his name was also Nick. Hopefully his love story ends up as amazing as Nick & Amy’s.
KC: Best experience yet?
Nick: “My birth was pretty cool. Oh, and the I Heart Radio Festival. We got to meet so many amazing people. Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, The Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Alicia Keys.”
Amy: “I agree, the I Heart Radio Festival was amazing. We also got the chance to sit down with Kanye West in New York for about two hours. Of course, SNL is up there as well. We still can’t believe that even happened. It just so happens while we were there Steven Spielberg was sitting in the audience watching. Apparently he really liked us and asked about Karmin. He loved the second song we performed, “I Told You So.” Oh, and we can’t forget about The Ellen Show!
KC: If you weren’t ‘Karmin’ what would you be doing at this moment?
Nick: “A chiropractor. My Dad is one.”
Amy: “I’d still be a wedding singer. I was actually in a wedding band for seven years. I really miss them a lot.”
KC: Can you tell us something people don’t know about you?
Nick: “I was born a woman. Oh, and we’re both left-handed.”
Amy: “Our birthdays are also two days apart in the same year!”
KC: How did people around you respond when you told them you were starting this together?
Nick: “Everyone around us was super supportive. The way we told them about it was convincing enough to not make us sound crazy. We’re firm believers in the less you say the more you know.”
Amy: “Everyone really was supportive. It only made sense, Nick being one of the best jazz trombone musicians at Berklee and me being a singing major, it was meant to be. It was so crazy, that it was going to work.”
KC: What do you guys want people to view you as?
Amy: “We like to call ourselves the “daringest duo.” Like Sonny and Cher minus the break up. There’s really never been anyone like us.”
Nick: “We stay out of Hollywood to avoid that stuff, the distractions. We want to make some ‘cray’ shit.”
Well there you have it folks, Karmin. Having only sat down with them for a mere forty minutes, we could instantly tell they were two of the humblest and down-to-earth people. A quick shout out to our dear friend, Melissa for setting this up – we love you! Their new single “Broken Hearted” can be purchased on iTunes here, we’re sure you’ve heard it all over your radio.
Want to keep up with the daringist duo? Follow them on Twitter & Facebook.
Hey guys, don’t forget to call us when you’re ready to plan the wedding – winkwink.
Karina, Curt, Amy & Nick
KC & Karmin
– @karinalynlopez & @curtrgrs