1. Tell us a bit about the type of music you play and about you as a musician?
My musical style is a mishmash of all the music I like to listen to, with my tastes and style expanding and growing as I do. I am influenced by world music, in particular Indian classical music (I also play the Harmonium) and Brazilian Bossa Nova, having spent a long time in both India and South America. I come from a background of folk music and storytelling through song, with my dad introducing me to singers such as Leonard Cohen, Melanie and Kate and Anna M from a very young age. I have found myself gravitating back towards folk from all corners of the world as my music style matures.
2. What made you start with your music and when did you start?
I started singing from a very young age. I decided at the age of 8 to volunteer for a solo singing spot in the end of year play at my primary school and haven’t stopped since then. I remember that I bought myself a small keyboard at a car boot sale for £3 when I was 9 and would sit and sing as I taught myself the melody. I think that this is when I realised it was also writing and not just singing that gave me a buzz. It always felt like such a release of expression – a way to communicate things I wasn’t old enough to articulate yet. I went through all of my schools singing and creating bands with friends. Finally when I turned 13 I auditioned for the BRIT school where I spent the next 4 years singing to my heart’s content J I think everybody knew from a very young age that music would always be my happy place!
3. What is the best thing about being a musician?
The best thing for me about singing and writing music is that I am able to express my innermost feelings in a way that most people can relate to and yet it is always kind of left to interpretation. Music is so special, in that most people like music and listen to it, and so being able to spread messages, or tell stories in this way feels like a really lovely form of sharing. It’s always nice to know that someone else can connect to something you have created, either through the story in your words, the melody behind that feeling or the energy in the song. In the same way that listening to music is therapy, so is performing and writing. My songbook is in many ways my diary. I can see change, growth and memories when I look back over my songs.
4. What is your biggest challenge to your ultimate dream? (whether that is writing your own songs, making a living from playing in pubs/events, or being signed to a record label)
I personally have always struggled with creating a healthy balance with working and marketing my music and still feeling the creative urge. I notice that as soon as I feel I may be getting close to a place where music could become my daily job, I feel the desire to take a step back. Making my ultimate dream/passion into ‘work’ for me has always felt somehow unnatural. I love performing and writing, and this is why I feel the unconscious need to protect that from becoming something I could lose the spark for. Unfortunately, I think this is a curse of many creative people who worry they will lose this Love and freedom if they make any financial success with it. This battle between love/passion/work/fear of success and whether it is ok to make a living from something you love so much is quite common amongst many artists I know.
5. What advice would you give to people wanting to follow their own musical dreams?
Do it! In whatever way you feel attracted to, go and explore it. Don’t be too afraid to be successful. Whether that success is on a large scale or much smaller, much more subtle scale, don’t let fear hold you back. Concentrate on what it is you want and focus on that and don’t be swayed by the words of others. You may have an interesting relationship to music, but it is all part of your growth as a human and it will shape you in the most wonderful ways. Never stop singing, playing your instrument or producing/writing music! When people tell you the industry is hard, listen, but also listen to the voice in your own heart.
To find out more about Karis and her music, click here: https://myspace.com/karisbunney