Miami songbird Ms. Karoline is gearing up for the release of her debut EP Elephant In A Song this fall. The Colombian Florida native has always had an affinity for the arts, but it wasn’t until 3 years ago that she picked up a pen and tried her hand at songwriting. Since then, the soulful singer has been honing her craft while simultaneously channeling her ups and downs into her music. SFPL sat down with the songstress to discuss her upcoming EP, some of her favorite artists, and other projects.
Hey, thank you so much for chatting with me. Your upcoming EP is titled Elephant In A Song, can you tell me more about it?
Elephant In A Song is an 8 track EP and each song is about a different person or relationship. “Elephant In A Song” is a record about an ex while “What If” is about my relationship with my father and how things would’ve been if things had gone differently.
What’s the main message you want people to leave with after listening to your EP?
I think honesty and vulnerability. To get the vibe of going from a place of fear to being like this is who I am. I have gone through different situations in my life that I feel people can relate to; but they don’t really know how to express it, so they listen to music to find what connects with them. Mainly sincerity. I would definitely say the theme for the project is honesty.
Awesome, I like that. It’s like your own musical diary. How long have you been working in music?
With my own music I began 3 years ago when I started songwriting. I kind of just was like I want to make an EP. I want to be able to write music and see if it would connect with people. I’ve been singing since forever. I was in musical theater, and I went to school for it. So I’ve been around music for most of my life. I started taking voice lessons when I was 15 or 16.
Is singing something you were always drawn to?
Yes, since I was a little girl. I would grab a brush, stand in front of the mirror, and you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t singing to thousands of people. I just knew it was something I wanted to pursue.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
Amy Winehouse, and you can kind of hear her influence in my style. When I discovered her I had just gotten home from school and I was watching MTV. Her video for “F Me Pumps” came on and I was just like who is this woman? Where did she come from? Why is her voice like that? It’s amazing. I need to know who she is. I immediately started following her. I even cried when she passed. She will always be one of my all-time favorites. Also Lauryn Hill. I actually got to meet her in person. She has such amazing sides to her and soul. I think she’s just very misunderstood. I really liked Nelly Furtado too. Another one is this French singer from the 1930’s, I had a cassette that I would listen to of Edith Piaf.
I love her.
I just really love her story, how powerful her voice was, and how minimal her performances were. It was just her, a piano, and her voice and everyone was so captivated by her. I feel like nowadays you have to give people a lot more because it’s harder to keep our attention for even 3 minutes. You have to have 3D images jumping out of the screen, and all this other stuff that’s going to stimulate our brains. When before it was just like let me hear the pain in your voice, the lyrics, and what you’re going through, and see if I can relate to it. And even if you didn’t relate you still felt that pain and the beauty in that.
Back then the focus was definitely more on the voice. They were also limited by technology but Edith Piaf is one of the greatest singers of all time. She just had a very beautiful and powerful voice.
Nina Simone is another one. Donny Hathaway, I love Donny Hathaway. Alternative music too. Bands like Radiohead. I grew up on The Beatles. My Dad loved them. He was really into The Police, Journey, and Cyndi Lauper. I remember asking him what his favorite thing of being a part of the 80’s was and he said the transition in the music was the best. You had Hip-Hop which was new, and then you had synthesizers and that was funky. He definitely felt that the 80’s was one of the best periods of music.
I can see that. Do you agree with your Dad?
Definitely I feel like the 80’s was a time when music was really changing. I love early 90’s stuff too. I love 2Pac, and Biggie. You know very lyrical rappers. I can bop my head to what’s out now and get drawn in with catchy lyrics and dope beats; but I definitely love a good lyricist. Like J. Cole, I love J. Cole. Kendrick Lamar. Those are lyrical rappers.
I love J. Cole. I’m obsessed. Are there any other artist out now besides Cole and Kendrick that you’re really in to?
There’s this British singer Joy Crookes. She has a bit of an Amy vibe going on. Lizzo. I think she’s very funky, I love her. She kind of reminds me a bit of Missy Elliot. I love all kinds of music. I love people who can do that. Play with different styles. I don’t really think that I could do that. I’m more soulful. But I definitely love to listen to something that’s going to get me going. I love to work out and so I have to listen to music that’s going to make me want to be in the gym. Kali Uchis I mean she’s who I identify the most with. She’s Colombian as well. Jorja Smith, Sabrina Claudio. Sabrina Claudio she’s also someone I really look up to. She’s from Miami too. Her music is so great. I know she had some setbacks with an incident on Twitter but I believe people make mistakes and they learn from them. Ari Lennox is another artist I really enjoy too.
Ari is great. Her last project is amazing.
Hiatus Kaiyote. I was definitely inspired by their music. They’re this band from New Zealand and the lead singer she was featured on the intro track for Drake’s More Life. They’re this jazzy kind of R&B group. They’re super soulful; but their style is really gothic so it’s kind of interesting.
Who would you say is your dream collaboration?
Kali Uchis for sure. I love her voice, and style. She is who she is and doesn’t fit into this box. Especially as an artist who is latinx you can get put in box and at times are expected to fit a mold.
So besides the EP, are you working on any other projects?
I’m actually currently working on an independent short film as well. I also enjoy acting so that’s something else I wanted to tap into. I’ve been putting together visuals for the project too and I have a pretty good idea of what the next project will be about.
That’s cool, tell me more about the short film.
It’s by a local Miami filmmaker. I connected with her through a college friend. She reached out to me and told me she wanted to tell this poetic love story about a girl who finds love in Miami. It’s actually in Spanish. I have been asked before “why don’t you sing in Spanish.” Whenever I sing it’s always been in English, that’s just been my preferred language. So, doing something in Spanish is definitely something I wanted to try. I sing in both languages; but writing wise I don’t know how strong I’d be in Spanish so I’ve been a bit hesitant. I am Colombian so I definitely have to step out of my comfort zone and embrace that part of me.
Is there a title for the film and a release date?
It’s called Corazon Cantando and not release date yet. I believe sometime in November or December of this year.
What does fly mean to you?
Fly is honesty. It is being and owning who you are 100%.
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