In collaboration with VERO, the rising singer-songwriter tells us about her Greek heritage, how London fuels her creativity and the biggest achievement of her career so far.
We’re proud of our knack for spotting tomorrow’s next superstars, from Dua Lipa to Winnie Harlow. That’s why we’re happy to introduce you to Kara Marni: the rising singer-songwriter with her hopes set on chart domination.
This August, Kara has been taking over our VERO account and giving our followers the lowdown on her creative inspirations, influences and process. And because she’s anything if not generous, she’s also debuted a special, paired-back version of single “Young Heart” alongside a neon-drenched video directed by Rankin’s Jordan Rossi.
Kara will be waving us and our VERO followers goodbye on 21 August so, before she leaves us, we’ve called her up for a chat about her Greek background, favourite spots in London and what you’ll catch her doing when she has some (much-needed) downtime.
How did you first get involved in singing and music?
According to my yia-yia I could sing before I could speak!
Makes sense that you were always destined to be a singer! Who are your main musical influences?
Growing up in a household where the great soul artists were played, my inspirations are Roberta Flack, Diana Ross, Minnie Riperton and Sade — as well as more recent artists like Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill. Their voices and songs resonated with me in different ways at different times.
To people that aren’t familiar with your work, how would you describe your sound in three words?
Honest, soulful and passionate.
As a songwriter, what’s your writing process like?
Each time can be different but I usually have a concept I want to write about then the lyrics flow as I experiment with different melodies. Some days can be heavier than others depending on what I’m talking about.
You’re outspoken about your Greek background and growing up in London. Has your heritage impacted you as an artist?
I think that the warmth and passion of my culture has influenced me and my creativity. We definitely wear our hearts on our sleeve and I think that helped to nurture my desire to express myself. Living in London there is a lot of diversity and a lot to experience so it definitely gives me even more fuel to be creative!
Tell us a song that’s changed your life?
When I originally heard “First Time I Ever Saw Your Face”, I felt something that I hadn’t felt until then, a sense of awe that left me feeling inspired and which moved me so much.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played? And why was it so special?
Hard to choose one but Glastonbury was a dream come true and the fact that I was headlining the stage made it even more surreal! I’m going to break the rules and add Wireless Connect too because playing a festival I’ve spent many years going to, watching lots of my favourite artists, was just insane. It was my first virtual show too, which was a super cool experience!
Who’s the artist you would most like to collaborate with and why?
There are loads of people I would love to collaborate with but at the minute Pink Sweat$ is at the top of my list. He’s incredible!
What’s the biggest achievement of your career so far?
Releasing my latest song “Young Heart” featuring Russ. I just feel really honoured that he reached out and helped make it happen as I’m a big fan of his and respect him hugely. The track has also made me realise how far I’ve come.
Outside of music, what are five things you want people to know about you?
I love fashion nearly as much as I love music, I used to dance competitively, being Greek I obviously I love food and cooking, my yia-yia instilled a passion for growing herbs in me and if you date me please don’t be shocked when I start writing songs about you!
As a London native, tell us your top hotspot in the city?
Camden Town has always been somewhere I’ve associated with one of my idols, Amy Winehouse. When I walk around there, I always feel like there’s a bigger presence.
Where was the first place you went after lockdown started to lift?
Nando’s and the nail salon!
Let’s talk downtime, what TV shows do you unwind with?
I’ve just finished Orthodox which was crazy good and I highly recommend it!
Since you’ve been taking over our VERO account, you must have been spending a lot of time on the app! Who has become your favourite account to follow on VERO?
British GQ! I love seeing the BTS stuff they capture in the fashion world.
Looking ahead, what do you hope to achieve in five years’ time?
To release an album…or two. And to be living my best life touring around the world!
VERO is an authentic social network – no ads, no algorithms, just great content. Go to vero.co to sign up and follow @hungermagazine for more exclusive content and to catch Kara Marni’s music takeover.
20 August 2020