Get To Know: Kareen Lomax
Fresh off the release of her new EP 'Hard Feelings', we talk inspiration, influences and career highlights with rising star Kareen Lomax...
Born and raised in the U.S. state of Georgia, Kareen Lomax grew up surrounded by an eclectic mix of music influenced by her surroundings and those close to her. From the old school R&B and gospel music her parents loved - Americana and folk influences popular in rural Georgia - to the rap, R&B and soft rock mixtapes her sister used to compile when they were growing up, these all helped influence the distinct sound you can her in her music today.
Kareen first blew up with her track 'Melatonin', and has gone on to write for Maroon 5 and work with Diplo and Paul Woolford on the platinum selling single 'Looking For Me'. Her new project Hard Feelings is somewhat of a homecoming for Kareen, having been previously disillusioned by the industry and relationships. It represents “her life coming full circle, back to the place where it all began.”
With life returning back to normal, Kareen has a virtual show to come and will hopefully be touring next year – we can’t wait to see what she has in store!
1. For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
I am a recording artist, songwriter, producer and visual artist from Marietta, Georgia (about 20 minutes from Atlanta).
2. Who/what inspired you to start a career in music?
Well I was nudged into the church choir by both my mom and my grandma when I was a kid but it was more just to be active in the church, I wasn’t anticipated to be the "singer" in my family outside of church. Singing didn’t stick with me or become something I wanted to take seriously until high school. I found myself primarily alone and misunderstood by a lot of people but I always had my headphones in and I just became drawn to the idea of creating it.
I saw a guitar at a pawn shop and immediately asked my dad for it. He said no first and then later caved in and bought it for me. I kept messing around with it until I got into home recording and really finding a sound and here we are.
3. Who are your biggest musical influences?
I can’t pinpoint exact influences because I am really a melting pot of everyone I grew up around. My parents are devoted Christians who heavily listened to gospel and classic soul artists like The Temptations, Gladys Knight, and all of Motown. My sister on the other hand was really into making mix CDs and would have Tupac, Linkin Park, Jodeci, Coldplay, SWV all on one CD which sounds so random but they were FIRE. So I would sneak into her room to listen. Also, growing up in Marietta, kids were listening to Americana and folk artists such as The Lumineers and Alabama Shakes so I just developed such an eclectic taste that I listen to whatever moves me.
4. Tell us about the writing and recording process of your new release…
The whole project began with the title song, 'Hard Feelings'. I had booked a random vocal recording session late November 2018 for a song that will never see the light of day. As I was recording in the booth I saw someone walk into the control room through the window and ask who I was. It was the producer of that track and several others on the project, Sensei Bueno.
It took a few sessions to find the sound but we spent 2019 getting to know each other and the music. A year later (November 2019) we finished all but three songs in a cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains in Georgia. There was one song, 'Big Facts' that was written three years ago in LA and another song, 'Real Life' that was written end of 2019 in LA also . 'GET RIGHT' was the last song to be completed in early quarantine.
Like I say in 'No Regrets', I wouldn’t change a thing or ever question the process of this project because it was a true learning experience that forced me to grow and become the artist and person I am today.
5. What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
'Looking for Me' with Diplo and Paul Woolford without a doubt. The platform my voice was given to shine and be heard worldwide is incomparable. I’m grateful for that record and everyone who made it their summer anthem during quarantine.
6. Who would you be your dream collaboration and why?
I would love to collaborate with an Atlanta legend like Andre 3000 or Big Boi, also I really wanna do an acoustic collaboration with Future, Lil Baby, or Gunna. I would wanna do it for the culture.
Honorable mentions are definitely Frank Ocean, Bon Ivor, James Blake or Coldplay.
7. Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
8. If you could only listen to one song on repeat for the rest of time what would it be and why?
It's impossible to chose one song but it would probably either be 'Solo' by Frank Ocean, 'The Scientist' by Coldplay or 'Ms. Jackson' by Outkast because they all sound like they’d play during the credits rolling after a movie about my life listing all the people in my life and the ups and downs of it all.
9. What’s on your playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
Maybe the "alternative" vibes I have on there like the first three The 1975 albums or that I still listen to music that came out years ago. I still play 'Redbone' by Childish Gambino like it came out yesterday.
10. What can we expect from your live shows?
An experience. My dream has always been to create that and bring the music to life on stage. With my live show I want to set my artistry and brand apart starting by just being myself. I’m currently taking the time to curate the set and plan since shows are coming back.
11. Have you got any fun livestreams/online events planned for this year? / When can we see you live?
I’m doing a virtual show, it’s called "Studio on Sunset" in about a month or so!! Working on some other things for the rest of this year and hopefully touring at the top of 2022.