interview. Kärma Sounds: Crafting ‘Getting Better’ through experience and empathy

"With all that's going on in the world, we may lose sight of the people who are in need and vulnerable in our own communities"
14 January 2024

In a candid conversation, Kärma Sounds delves into the story behind her latest single Getting Better, a poignant piece shaped by her stint at a women’s shelter and her partnership with Grammy-winner Chin Injeti.

Kärma Sounds recounts how her involvement with organizations such as Dress For Success and Beauty Night kindled the creative spark for Getting Better. The halt in her volunteer efforts due to the pandemic steered her towards songwriting, where she found a way to voice the strength and resilience of the women she encountered.

She outlines her path to collaborating with Chin Injeti, crediting a mutual friend for the nudge towards this significant partnership. This alliance, she notes, was a milestone in her musical journey.

Her approach to songwriting, as Kärma Sounds describes, centers on authenticity and simplicity. She strives to create lyrics that not only conjure clear imagery but also strike a universal chord, making her music relatable to a diverse audience.

In discussing her alliance with the YWCA, Kärma Sounds underscores the significance of standing with those in need. For her, music is not just an art form but a means to highlight and support crucial social causes.

Lastly, Kärma Sounds imparts the wisdom she has gathered along her path. She emphasizes the importance of individuality, the art of knowing the rules of songwriting to effectively break them, and the need to savor music in its full spectrum. Her guiding principle – “Start now. Allow yourself to suck. You’ll eventually get better” – reflects her belief in the power of persistence and continual growth in both life and music.

I don’t like to overcomplicate my music, I want people from all walks of life and from different countries/languages to be able to relate and understand what they’re hearing

Getting Better draws inspiration from your time at a women’s shelter. Could you discuss how these experiences influenced the song’s message?

Yes most definitely, I have been volunteering with different organizations over the years, Dress For Success, which helps women with employment seeking, training and provides wardrobe outfits for job interviews. Beauty Night, which provides free beauty and spa services for unhoused women. Throughout my time as a volunteer I encountered some wonderful women, who against all all odds were striving for a better life and trying to give their children a better life. During the pandemic, I was not able to continue volunteer work, and I began writing music. The very 1st lyrics that came out of my mouth, was the 1st line of the song. I didin’t initially know what the song was about just yet, but knew I had something special and important that needed to see the light of day. Also myself and everyone in the room got chills, which is always a good sign.

Your collaboration with Grammy-winner Chin Injeti marks a significant career achievement. Can you elaborate on how this partnership formed and Chin’s distinctive contributions to Getting Better?

After writing and recording several song demos for my upcoming album, I started looking for producers to work with. I had always been inspired by Chin’s music and had followed him on social media. I reached out to a mutual friend, and collegue, who he had collaborated with and asked their advice if I should reach out. He said ‘yes! Just go for it’! So I did. I nervously reached out to soon after and he was very gracious and kind. I played him my song and we began working together on it. We re-worked the entire track and edited it down to the core, key parts. He completely re-freshed the sound, giving it a unique and mysterious vibe, as well as the RnB / Hip Hop elements and I couldn’t be happier with the result. It still hits me right in my heart and soul!

Known for its deeply moving qualities, your music, particularly Getting Better, touches many. What is your process for crafting music that deeply connects with listeners?

That’s a good question! I try to keep my lyrics very relatable to all humans. I add specific details to paint a vivid picture, keeping the listener interested and intrigued, but at the end of the day I always want my listeners to identify with the themes and stories. I don’t like to overcomplicate my music, I want people from all walks of life and from different countries/languages to be able to relate and understand what they’re hearing.

The launch of Getting Better aligns with the start of the New Year and your birthday. What personal and thematic significance does this timing have for you and the song?

This was actually the 1st song out of the lot that was completed, almost 1 year and half ago, but I held out from releasing it because the timing didn’t feel right. I instinctively knew that I will find the right time to drop it. I believe starting off the new year (which happens to be my birthday) with this message is very timely. After a very intense few years, pandemic, inflation, wars…I know in my heart that the only way is upward and onward. What better message to put forth in the world!

You’ve teamed up with the local YWCA to support women and youth in need. Why is this cause so important to you, and how do you envision your music aiding in these and related efforts?

With all that’s going on in the world, we may lose sight of the people who are in need and vulnerable in our own communities. I wanted to highlight the important, good work the YWCA provides, especially since I’ve worked with them, so I naturally felt aligned to partner with them.

Your music blends ’90s R&B with electro-soul. How do these varied genres shape your songwriting and the sound of Getting Better?

It’s the music I grew up with and feel the most myself when I listen to it. I wanted to create a sound that felt like ALL of the music that shaped me throughout the years. You’ll hear elements of Soul, Hip Hop, Funk and even some grunge rock guitar!

What can fans anticipate in terms of future projects or collaborations, and how will these ventures continue to embody your dedication to creating socially impactful music?

Every song I write has a different vibe, purpose and intention…this one in particular was important to share the message and raise awareness for those in need in our community. Going forward with my next releases I will be singing about some completely different themes, one upcoming one, I worked again with Chin Injeti on a funky jazzy track talking about social media overconsumption, following that are some fun, groovin’ love songs. When I’m writig music, I never go in with a speicific clear plan, it usually happens very organically, so you’ll have to wait and see.

​What is your musical guilty pleasure?

I honestly can’t think of any haha! Well.. I do love me some Smooth Jazz and Yacht Rock. But in my world All music is welcome, nothing to feel guilty about. If the chords, bassline or beat hits, it’s all good and I will gladly listen on repeat!

​Where have you performed? What are your favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

I have performed on many stages big and small around the world. From the main stages of The International Jazz Festivals to my favorite local cabaret, Guilt & Company. I have some fun shows coming up, so you’ll have to follow me on social media or check out my website for updates! iamkarmasounds.com

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Here’s a few…

It’s never too late, so don’t give up on your dream.

Don’t compare yourself to others, ’cause there’s only 1 of you.

Lean into what makes you YOU (that’s my personaly advice!)

Songwriting;
Learn & understand the ‘rules’, then break them.

Start now. Allow yourself to suck. You’ll eventually get better

Playing/performing; don’t give it all away in the 1st few bars, you can show your feathers, but use a little restraint. Appreciate the music between the notes.

©FM

instagram.com/karma.sounds