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Karmin Discuss Amy’s Rap Roots

Duo Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan of Karmin recently visited Fresh 102.7/New York. Best known for their covers of Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass”, that’s all quickly changing since the release of their debut album Hello which is complete with original songs.

Amy, who has become well known not just for her music with Nick but also for her rapping skills, says she was never allowed to listen to rap music as a kid. Being from a very conservative, mid-western family, she had to sneak listens and eventually began to emulate her favorite rap features from pop songs – like Jay-Z’s verse in Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker” and the “clean version” of Lauren Hill’s album – in the shower. Her sixth grade boyfriend eventually burned her a copy of Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001, which changed her life.

“When you go from no rap to Chronic 2001, it’s like going from zero to 2000 miles an hour,” Noonan said.

Fast forward a few years, when Nick overheard Amy practicing her skills. “We gotta put this on YouTube,” he urged. And the rest is history.

These days, Amy and Nick are creating original music and are climbing up the Top 40 charts. Although the writing process that takes hold with two musicians can get a little messy, it always comes together in the end.

“The collective process is very similar [each time]. We start with the beat, form and melody and then we put lyrics to that,” Noonan said.

“But it’s always gibberish,” Amy confessed, joking that the first version of “Brokenhearted” had no actual words.

– Joe Cingrana, CBS Local/Fresh 102.7


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