Meet the girl taking notes from the icons of soul.
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“When she sang the high note I was just completely mesmerised.” 19-year-old singer-songwriter, Kara Marni reminisces about the first time she heard Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You” on the school run. “As soon as I got home I was asking for that CD, playing it on my broken fuchsia pink CD player.”
Fast forward to when Marni began making music of her own, the North Londoner would spend six hours each day in a shed at the bottom of the garden. Decorated with leopard print walls and with just enough space for a piano and her recording equipment, she used the DIY hub to dissect the sound of soul heroines like Diana Ross and Patti Labelle.
Describing her own output as “soul with a sprinkling of pop”, she’s just released her first single, “Golden”. “I wrote it about the blissful part of a relationship,” she explains. “The honeymoon period where you can’t see any wrong in the person.” For the track she teamed up with producing trio The Invisible Men — responsible for bangers by the likes of Britney Spears and Rita Ora — and songwriter Sebastian Kole, who has penned tracks for J-Lo and Alessia Cara.
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The single will soon be followed up with an EP, the release date of which is still TBC. “I’ve actually written on all the songs which I’m really happy about, it’s like my little Kara stamp on each song,” she tells me, evidencing the importance of having artistic input and exercising her writing prowess. “I think why it means so much to me is because it’s the only outlet [where] I can really be myself,” she adds.
Despite the fact she’s yet to release a full body of work, the teen has constantly got her mind on the next project, all in the hope of achieving her optimum goal: “I would love one day for someone to hear my voice and feel the same way I did when I heard Minnie Riperton singing ‘Loving You’ and be inspired by that.” Hopefully pink fuchsia CD players will be back in vogue by then.
Taken from the Autumn 17 Issue of Wonderland; out now and available to buy here.