Karen Hardy is a Pop/Soul artist from New Jersey who brought her stirring hooks to Nashville, Tennessee in the fall of 2017. Karen’s sound is often compared to the likes of Ariana Grande, Sza, and Tori Kelly, with a voice that’s said to be “sweet and smooth like honey”.
Karen was surrounded by music at a young age, from musicals at summer camp to her Dads love of The Beatles and Martin guitars. At the age of 15, Karen picked up the guitar herself and immediately began experimenting with writing songs. She left public high school at 16 to allow more time for her craft and got her diploma online. Karen released her debut EP “Clouds” in June of 2017 in October, she released her debut single “Never Do”.
Danielle: What got you into music? When did you begin singing, writing songs and playing guitar? When did you know this would be your passion and future career?
Karen: My dad plays guitar so we were always dancing and singing together. But when I was in the 2nd grade my mom got me a Carrie Underwood CD and from then on I knew that I wanted to do what she does. When I was 15 I tried out for the Xfactor (because I really thought that television shows were the only way to make it in the music industry). At the audition there were hundreds and hundreds of girls my age who looked just like me and wanted the same thing that I did. So when I didn’t make it onto the show, I went home and decided that I needed to make myself different. I picked up guitar and after learning a few chords, I began writing songs!
Danielle: You are compared to the sound of Ariana Grande, Sza and Tori Kelly. Are these artists some of your influences and did you have other musical inspirations in your creative path? What genre do you consider your music to be?
Karen: Absolutely! I mentioned before that Carrie Underwood was the one who kickstarted my dream of being a singer, and when I was 8 years old I really thought that I wanted to be a country singer. But once I started listening to the radio more and more, I realized that I wasn’t in love with country music, I was just in love with Carrie Underwood’s voice and the way she sang. It took me a while to figure out my sound. I started listening to more Carole King type music (soul from the 60s-70s) and then more current R&B and I was HOOKED. I’ve really found my place sonically and it just works so well with who I am, but it took my 6 years to figure it out. So – to answer your question, I would consider myself Pop/R&B 🙂
Danielle: You are originally from New Jersey, but are currently living in Nashville. How long have you lived in Nashville? What opportunities have you encountered since you moved to “Music City”?
Karen: I moved to Nashville in September of 2017! Nashville has been amazing. Literally everywhere you go you meet a musician. I feel that I’ve been able to start to assemble a small team of people who get my sound and what I’m trying to do. I’m so in love with this city.
Danielle: Your latest Album is called “Never Do”. Do you write all of your own songs? Can you explain what inspired you for the title of the single and the meaning behind the song?
Karen: I write all of my songs, including “Never Do”! “Never Do” started with my cowriter, Chelsea Balan, and I. She played me a voice memo of the chorus and I loved it! But then we ended up sitting there for 2 hours and couldn’t write the rest of it. We then took it to our producer/writer friend Brandon Meagher (who also produced it). We really worked for this song and I’m so proud of it.
Danielle: If you could have your fans remember one thing about you, what would that be? If there was one message you could give to your fans, what would that be?
Karen : Thats a really hard question! I think my ultimate dream is to be a safe space for music fans. I want to create a place for fans to feel whatever they’re feeling.
Danielle: Do you have any live performances planned? Where can your fans find your music? Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?
Karen: Next year will be filled with performances in Nashville and the New Jersey area! I’m hoping towards the end of the year I can venture out of those home bases and tour some other cities! Also a few more singles in 2019 can definitely be expected 🙂
Never Do – Karen Hardy