Karmin proved that it takes more than a camera to go viral with their breakout YouTube covers, and with their debut album Hello on the way, the boy-girl act is ready to show the world their artistry.
Interview by Rocsi Diaz • Photography by Mike Ruiz • Styling by Darius Baptist • Hair by Davide Torchio • Makeup by Stephen Dimmick for Aim Artists
Pop duo Karmin easily earned their spot as one of the biggest viral sensations of 2011. Shortly after uploading their cover of Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” to YouTube, real-life engaged couple Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan ascended the pop culture ranks, establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
But it was after they signed with Epic Records in June 2011 that they proved to be more than a one-hit cover band. The Boston natives dropped their catchy debut single, “Crash Your Party,” proving they could hold their own with original music. Their official album single “Brokenhearted” came next in February, followed by a coveted appearance as musical guests on Saturday Night Live.
With Karmin’s major label debut, Hello, due this spring, YRB enlisted Rocsi Diaz, co-host of BET’s 106 & Park, to grill the pair about everything from their dubious fashion choices to getting props from Busta Rhymes.
Amy: I think last time we saw you was the BET Awards last year. Rocsi: It was! It was when you guys were performing on the red carpet. That was one of your first televised performances. That was your first red carpet performance right? Amy: Definitely, it was the first time we met all of our idols.
Rocsi: I remember you guys met Busta Rhymes right there on the carpet for the first time. Amy: That was a magical moment.
Rocsi: That was, like, the time to accredit everything to him. What was the first thing Busta said to you guys? Amy: I think it was somebody that pointed us out to him. We were there doing “Look At Me Now” and a bunch of other covers. Somebody was like, ‘I’m going to get Busta to notice you guys.’ Busta, he was wearing the flyest vest ever, was walking around with everybody screaming at him, and at one point he turned around and he said, ‘You guys killed that cover. I think that we should do a speed rap battle. I’m going to come up with something that’s really difficult for you this time.’
Rocsi: You know he did write a new song with Chris Brown, “Why Stop Now?” Did you hear it? Amy: Yeah, we were in the car when we heard it and he stopped after his third mind-blowing speed rap and was like, ‘Let me see you do this on YouTube.’
Rocsi: Exactly – did you take that as a straight shout out for you? Amy: I mean, sort of, but there were also a lot of people that wanted to tackle that verse from “Look At Me Now” on YouTube. There [are] three-year-olds doing it at this point, so it was sort of for everybody, but we were excited.
Rocsi: But you guys were the most recognized for it. Are you going to try and take him up on that challenge for that new verse? Amy: Ah, I can’t take him up on a challenge. [Laughs] I don’t know… We have a new song. We were on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago and we kind of wrote a song similar to “Look At Me Now” called “I Told You So.”