Putting his refined vision at the forefront of his creativity, London based alt-pop artist Karim mystified us only moments into his latest track Dance.  Now sharing the bold visual representation, Karim is making flawless pop ballads for the modern day and we spoke with Karim to get an insight into his mind.

Hey Karim! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. To start with, how would describe your sound and how you came to it?
Thank you for having me! I write pop music in a pensive way. In Dance, for instance, you can hear bittersweet tones in the strings, and melancholy in the lyrics – but the upbeat arrangement turns it into an empowering ballad.

When I started out songwriting, I used to make a lot of piano love songs – harmonic laments on my personal experiences. As I listened to more and more music I realised I could reach people in different ways, and my sound developed into what it is today. I still love to write ballads by the way – in fact I sing a few at the core of all my shows!

Can you narrow it down to a song, album or artist that inspired you to start making music?
This is a very hard kind of question for me. Stromae is a Belgian artist who I have always been in complete awe of. His music is so honest yet very contemporary and pop, and I love that about him. And there is just something about his whole vision that fascinates me a lot.

What influences your music that we wouldn’t expect?
I’m proud of saying I’m a big 80s pop fan. If I scroll through my library I’ll stumble upon a huge list of songs by Madonna and ABBA. As I said somewhere else, I find pop has an incredibly fascinating way around things: if I’m writing a ballad that makes me feel very heavy-hearted, I’ll quickly change the beat into pop and suddenly I’ll be able to dance to it – without changing one word of the lyrics. It’s surreal!

For such a new artist, you have a very refined artistic vision, can you speak any more to it?
My idea of self-expression (a.k.a. vision) includes but isn’t limited to music. On an equal level, there are visuals, poetry, performance, theatre – all of which I care about just as much as I care about my songs sounding right. If the project comes across as thorough (which I’m very happy to hear) it’s just because to me all these factors weigh the same.

It’s hard to know what I’m doing sometimes though, because art and ideas are so intangible and immaterial and abstract. Visionary artist Marina Abramović once said that ‘the hardest thing is to do something which is close to nothing because it is demanding all of you’. It is so true. Sometimes ideas come so suddenly and I don’t have time or the right occasion to put them into practice. In fact, some of the concepts I used in ‘Dance’ I though of a few years ago!

Can you tell us something about yourself that our readers might not know already?
Growing up, I did acting for 9 years! I was part of a theatre group in my town. I learned a lot about stage presence – and also about who I am and life in general. It’s when you have to play someone else that you realise how little you know about yourself.

What’s next and on the horizon for you?
To promote ‘Dance’, I will be playing a few gigs in November, including The Troubadour (London) on the 30th of November. I am then planning to release one more single and eventually put out a bigger project next year – an EP or an album. It’s so exciting!

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