Karine Hannah is a gifted singer/songwriter who has collaborated with renowned producers/songwriters like Jim Steinman, Diane Warren, and Sezen Aksu. Her powerful performances have garnered fans worldwide including Celine Dion, who personally asked Karine to perform at her wedding. Karine kindly joined Artist Spotlight to discuss her career and her dedication to breast cancer research and autism awareness.
Describe your experiences working with legendary songwriters like Jim Steinman and Diane Warren.
Working with songwriters of this caliber was a dream come true. Jim Steinman ( Celine Dion, Meatloaf, Bonnie Tyler) would work me to the bone in the studio even if we had achieved the vocal performance hours earlier, he would have me do take after take just to make sure he gets every bit of emotion. It was taxing, but worth it. It taught me stamina.
Can you tell us more about performing at Celine Dion's wedding?
I had just performed on a local t.v. show and my manager at the time knew Celine's manager and asked that they watch me perform the song "The Power Of Love" (which she recorded soon after and had a massive hit with). She loved my voice and asked if I would sing at her wedding reception. I was so young and just starting out, so you can imagine what a big deal it was for me. The wedding itself was magical, and included fairy dust being released from little elves sitting above the crowd on a platform as people walked in to the venue. I sang for her and the 500 guests the whole night including her opening dance which was "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face". I remember at the end of the night, I was gathering up my belongings and Celine walked back in to the reception hall and we sat on the floor together and began chatting about the night and about the fact that her elaborate head band was weighing her down and how she wasn't able to get it off. We were laughing about it. After the wedding she had to cut her hair very short because of it.
Tell us about your albums, "I'll Be Alright" and "Karine". What is the greatest inspiration for your songs?
I would have to say that I'm inspired by knowing that my voice can touch someone deeply, as I know how other artists have done that for me. Also, having tragedy, sadness, struggle, mixed in with some ultimate happiness and appreciation for the little things, helps me shape these songs in to what they become.
Do you have a favorite song you have recorded or a song that is particularly dear to your heart?
There are many, but the 3 that stand out in my mind are "And Now", "Someday" and "Marquee". "And Now" is about losing someone you love and will never see them again. "Someday" is about losing touch with a dear friend and hoping to reconnect with them someday. "Marquee" is about my struggles in this music industry and how I'm trying to achieve longtime goals as I'm only getting older. This song is featured on my latest project that has just been released in which I'm the featured vocalist for the producing team "DNA".
What is your all-time favorite song (by another artist)?
I have so many favorites...But if I had to pick one at this moment, it would have to be "Into The Night" by Benny Mardones. I actually just recorded a version of this song and can be heard on my myspace page.
Is there any artist you dream of performing with someday?
Obviously I would love to share the stage with all the performers I've listed as my musical influences and also I wouldn't mind singing a duet with Natasha Beddingfield or Adam Lambert. I think that would be fun!
What message would you like your music to convey to the listener?
I hope that the listener feels different emotions depending on the song. Most of all I want people to feel hope and motivation in their lives.
Name five adjectives that describe you as a person.
kind, sensitive, funny, passionate, easy going
Name five adjectives that describe your music.
emotional, powerful, raw, uplifting, sad
Name five performers who have influenced you most as an artist.
Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Jennifer Holiday, Patti Labelle, Ronnie James Dio
Can you tell us more about the charities and causes you support?
My mother had breast cancer, so I am very active in helping in any way that I can and have been donating for years. I have a son named Julian who has been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and I am very active in spreading awareness and have donated for further research.
Which performance do you consider the highlight of your career, thus far?
I think the highlight performance was my latest performance at the Metropolitan Room in NYC. I had the opportunity to sing some of my all time favorite songs along with my favorite selections from the album I was promoting. I sang one of my favorite french songs which is something I love to do since I'm originally from Montreal. I got tremendous feedback from this performance and prompted a call from Benny Mardones, the writer and artist who sang "Into The Night". That was such a thrill. That's what led me to record a version of his song.
What projects will you be working on this year?
I just finished work on the cd "DNA" featuring Karine Hannah which is now available on iTunes, and I'm also working on a french album, and a "covers" album. As well, I'm about to hit the road with a new live show called "Guilty Pleasures". The concept is all great melodies of male songs that females have never sung and I will be putting my own spin on. A lot of the songs are "AM GOLD" 70's and 80's. These are songs you've heard growing hearing on the radio that you may not remember by artists name, but when you hear the song, you remember those great melodies, such as "Just when I needed you most", " Crazy Love", "The Air That I Breathe", "Kiss You All Over", "Wildflower", "How much I Feel"...Hope to see you all there! :)
KARINE'S ADVICE FOR ASPIRING YOUNG ARTISTS:
The Most important thing to know about the music industry is that you should always stay true to yourself and not try to fit in to a style just to try and appeal to the moment.
There is an audience for every musician/artist.
All my best,
Thanks to Karine for sharing her time and talent. Check out Karine's pop/rock albums I'll Be Alright and Karine, available on Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes, and DNA, now available on iTunes.
For more information about breast cancer research, please visit http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org//
For more information about autism awareness, please visit