Q&A | Karmin
Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan (you might know them better as pop duo Karmin) have been spending a lot of time in Chicago. Last week, they were in town to perform at a VIP Rolling Stone Lollapalooza-related party at Studio Paris (they're in the running to appear on cover of Rolling Stone's "women who rock" issue. You can vote here). And they're returning this weekend to perform at Macy's Glamorama and Market Days. I had a quick phone chat with them last week to discuss the Glam performance and, of course, Amy's hair.
“Brokenhearted” has been in my head for the last two or three months.
I'd say it’s one of the songs of the summer.
Amy Oh, I would say that, too!
Nick Oh, absolutely agree with your thinking.
What’s it like to hear it everywhere?
Amy Oh my gosh, it’s been pretty fun. I mean, we have a YouTube video…as you know, we document everything in our lives on YouTube, so we have—the first time we heard our original hyped single. We had a song called “Crash Your Party.” We videotaped our reaction to hearing it on the radio for the first time and kind of shared that with everybody. Now that it’s become a normal thing, we’ll be in the weirdest places, like the dentist’s office or IKEA and we’ll hear our song come on and we always like look around to see if anybody…
Nick At first, we hear [it] and we both kind of stop. We’re like, “I’ve definitely heard—oh God, that’s us!”
Do people recognize you hearing your own song?
Amy No, they’re just going about their business. Like sometimes the guy will be dancing at the checkout next to you and you’re like, “yes this is awesome!”
Nick And, like, “we got ‘em.”
It’s been a huge year for you guys. What has been one of the highlights so far?
Nick There’s a couple of them. First of all, we did SNL, which is ridiculous and pretty intense. Then we also had, you know, like a two-hour sit-down with Kanye last year when all the covers were going crazy and really kind of talked to him about the creative process and all the lighting, the whole nine. We are massive Kanye fans.
What can we expect from your Glamorama performance?
Nick That’s a good question. You can expect a lot of awesomeness. Where do we even start? There’s definitely a lot of hook-y choruses, a lot of rapping, and a lot emotion, I guess. The band is incredible and everybody’s kind of on the same page. It’s actually really exciting.
Amy We showcase most of our original music that we put out this year including songs like “Brokenhearted” and there’s a crazy fast rap number that we did on Saturday Night Live that the fans really enjoy and then obviously we throw in some old Karmin covers just for good measure.
Glamorama is a fashion show. How do you guys describe your style?
Amy We are very much into fashion. Still kind of evolving. I mean, we started on YouTube and really didn’t have the budget to do what we wanted with our style and our look until recently. So about last year when we signed with the record label and started performing. I would say it’s very retro-inspired. We do a lot of retro hairstyles and silhouettes, but there’s this element of hip-hop in there. Like, gold chain necklaces and big chunky shoes or boots and Nick always wears those bright-colored hi-top sneakers. So it’s a mix of Gwen Stefani and like a little bit more of an urban element.
You mentioned Gwen Stefani, but who are some of your other style icons?
Amy Yeah, I would say Gwen Stefani. Any of the retro babes from the ‘50s and the ‘60s. Any of those icons, I would say. Gosh, who else? Oh, Janelle Monae I really love.
And then your hair. How long does it take to do?
Amy The suicide roll takes between five and seven minutes.
Oh really? It looks so complex.
Amy Oh thank you!
Nick She’s been doing it for a while, though, too.
Amy Yeah. I’ve had a lot of practice. But there’s a video on YouTube for that, too, if you want to learn.