Your latest release is the Live Sessions EP what can we expect from it?

The EP was really inspired by my Myspace fans, a lot of them wanted to know what I sounded like live because I haven’t been on tour yet in the States or Canada and they wanted to feel like they were part of a gig, so they had been telling me for a while that ‘you should put a live EP out so we can pop it into our CD players in our living rooms and it feels like we are right there’. It kind of brought me back to when I was a kid and my mum and dad would take me to the local amusement park and they would have these free concerts there so I would go and see Kool and the Gang and Smokey Robinson, I was four years old and loved these guys. So it made me think that ‘you know what maybe now is a good time to do that live EP’ because my album has got more high production values and I want to do it really old school style, record it live off the floor. So I got my band together, went into this very quirky studio in north London called the Fish Factory, although it doesn’t smell like fish, and recorded it there. It was so excited because it just felt like a jam session, I felt I was back in my Berkley days where we would have jam sessions in our rooms, the studio has no computers it’s just all analogue and reels so we did it the old school way and just recorded it straight off the floor. I was really pleased with the result which was good so that is how it all came to be.

How would you describe your sound our your music?

It’s exotic pop music I went to India in December and recorded all the live strings and the additional percussion from over there because they have that fusion and exoticism that is part of my sound.

My album was very much about embracing my roots as well as blending it with my mainstream influences of growing up in Canada and to get that authenticity you can’t go anywhere but India to get it.

I have been working with A R Rahman, a huge Bollywood composer who has sold more albums than Britney and Madonna put together, he has the five million pound studio there which is so surreal because when you are inside it you think you are in an LA, London or New York recording studio and you look outside the glass windows and there are goats and cattle walking on the streets.

But that was very much part of the journey of going back to Chennai, which is where his studios are and ironically where my and father and his heritage is from, so it was really nice it was not only a journey back to my roots but back to my home.

That was my next question you are originally from North Africa but grew up in Canada how does this east meet west lifestyle influence your music?

Well I was born in the Himalayas and I came to Canada when I was a baby so I felt robbed of having that chance as a child to immerse myself in Shillong. Growing up in Canada was equally tough for a kid who was part Chinese, part Indian, part Jewish because as a kid you just want to fit in and kids can be so mean.

I think as you get older you begin to embrace who you are and you accept your flaws and your good points and certainly when, I come from a really small family and I lost two cousins in an accident, and when such terrible things, that you don’t think can happen to you, but they do and it kind of forced me to do a u-turn and I kind of had my mid-life crisis or identity crisis very young.

But it was so pivotal in the making of my album because the concept was very much about dealing with those things, not in a very heavy way, but it’s funny when you start to write personal things a lot of people can relate to it and it becomes universal.

I just went through my photo album, right from when I was a kid and it all started, right from being in North East Africa moving to Toronto and them travelling so my album is very much an adventure.

And how dos the writing process work for you?

It starts as a very embryonic stage when it’s just an idea in my head, I have pads all over the house next to the bath and my bedside, because you just don’t know when an idea is going to pop up. Just two weeks ago I’m writing a song for my new album and I couldn’t get the melody out of my head but I couldn’t sing the melody into my phone recorder in the middle of a packed train, it’s such an intimate thing but when you get the surge of creativity you have to go with it, so I had to wait until I got off the train at Waterloo and find as quiet a place as possible so I could sing this song melody into my phone.

My songs are like my babies, if you were to ask me which one was my favourite it would be so hard to pick which one, each one is about a different story, my music in that sense has the ambiance of the live strings and the atmospheric stings but they all tell a story, I don’t know if that if that comes from my acting sides because I treat my songs as glorified monologues they are telling a story so each song has a special place in my heart.

How did you get into music?

My mum always said when I was a little girl I was always singing and ever since I can remember I have always been singing and acting and play-rolling in my mum’s high heels. My parent s are very open minded they are not your typical Asian family where they want you to be a doctor, I come from a family of bankers or accountants so I’m definitely the black sheep.

They all have a love of music and culture and have always said ‘if you have a dream then dream big but just make sure while you are at it make sure you get straight A’s and we will support you’ and they were stead fast in that promise.

When I was six years old my father would sit my sister and I down, he wanted us to have these Mensa brains, and he would go through the politics pages, current events, this is so boring for a six year old kid, and he would do this every Sunday at breakfast time.

I got really bored while he was yapping away and I saw an advert in the comic section that was looking for cute kids for a commercial, so I just assumed that that would be singing, so I tore it out snuck into my parent’s bedroom, because that’s where they had the phone, and I just called.

I don’t know why I did I just did I think it was because my parents knew that I wanted to sing and act when I got older and they kept telling me that I didn’t come from a family with those high connections so you are going to have to make those things happen and take the initiative. I ended up getting the part and everything started from there and I went to train in music and that has led me up to this point.

You are set to star in the new Scorpion king movie can you tell me a bit about that?

That sort of happened by accident and it’s always the way if you have expectations and you want something so bad and it just doesn’t happen and you stumble across something so great and it just happens and it seems so easy does that make sense?

I was so busy filming The Colour of Magic with Sir David Jason and Sean Astin, this is back in July in Pinewood Studios, and I was just so busy practising and my agent called saying that I had a meeting for The Scorpion King.

I just though ok and I didn’t have time to think about it and I just went to meeting and about three weeks later they were coming back and forth asking about the situation with my citizenship, I have been a British resident for five or six years and I been meaning to apply for my citizenship and I never got round to it, so they offered me the part but only if I got my citizenship in time so I was so robbed of that moment of being so excited of being offered a lead in a Hollywood film because all I could think about was the clock is ticking and I have to get this citizenship in three weeks time before they started filming.

But it was so surreal I was in a garden centre buying plans for my patio and I got off the phone and turned to this lady who was helping me and telling me about all these plants and I said ‘I think I have just been offered a movie but I have to go now because there is something that I have to do.’ Next thing I know I’m studying like crazy for the test, which you have to pass, but it all worked out in the end.

And what can we expect from the movie?

It’s the prequel to the sequel. The Scorpion King 2: The Rise of A Warrior it doesn’t have The Rock in it because this goes to the beginning of how it all began it talks about Mathayus and how he became The Scorpion King and his relationship with his childhood friend Layla, which is me, so Mathayus embarks on this journey to avenge his father’s death.

My character Layla is a very feisty, tomboy girl who just doesn’t want to settle into the conventions of what is expected of a daughter in those time: get married have kids. I think she is a bit bitter too she very much wanted to be a black scorpion, but she can’t because she is a girl, and she knows deep down that she is way better than Mathayus at sword fighting and she feels that she has something to prove to herself an to her friend Mathayus as she goes on this journey with him.

We end up going in the desert, sun-burning ourselves, passing out, killing demons it was a lot of fun, we shot everything in Cape Town.

How did you find working with David Jason in The Colour of Magic?

He is such a pro! He is so funny, I was playing a baddie, and it was so difficult to keep a straight face in between takes because he would crack a joke, he’s David Jason he’s naturally funny it’s not fair, the camera would cut in-between and I would be dying to laugh and I would turn to him and say ‘You are so mean you are making this so difficult to be mean to you’.

It was so enjoyable and he is such a pro he is always there for you for your over the shoulder shots and says a lot because he doesn’t have to be there, he was there for my close-up and my eye line and you don’t find a lot of actors that do that these days. He was such a pleasure to work with he was so much fun.

The film industry is full of young actresses trying to crack Hollywood how difficult is it trying to establish yourself as an actress?

You know as a kid and being different and being picked on by other kids and even having some of my teachers ay that’s impossible I have never liked that word impossible. I come from a very normal grounded family and if any of us started getting a big head they would disown us but I just think if you have something, and it doesn’t matter if you wanted to be a police officer or a doctor, you just have to be determined and set and focused on making it come true.

It’s so tough because today there are so many ways to make it big but if you want longevity in your career you got to work at it you have got to train and practise and it’s about meeting the people at the right time, but I opportunities present themselves when the preparation is done.

I’m just so stubborn and refuse to give up on a dream that I have had since I was a kid so I think its having a good attitude and a good work ethic and people remember you, the way you were and the way you act, if you have a good attitude, focus and work ethic and that in itself is a winning formula.

I have seen so many rejections from thousands of auditions doors shutting or it coming down to me and somebody else and the other person got it and that’s part of the process because you know at some point it’s going to happen.

How fierce is the competition?

There are so many talented people in the world and I believe, and was told by my mentors, that there is room for everyone and just don’t believe in the impossible believe in the possible and look at obstacles as challenges.

My father always tells me every day ‘Karen don’t forget to enjoy the journey.’ And he is so right even when you have the rough days and things go wrong you have got to enjoy it all because you only have one life and I live it to the fullest.

Finally what is next for you?

Well where do I start (laughs) I’m on a fierce deadline to get the album finished because we are going to be releasing it in Canada in the fall and then over here. Scorpion King is coming out in August 19th so I have got a lot of press to do for that so at the moment it’s crazy travelling and then going into the studio.

There are a few films we are trying to see if I can fit in but I can’t talk about them right now but I’ll keep you posted.

The Live Sessions EP is out now

FemaleFirst Helen EarnshawBorn in Shillong, India but raised in Canada Karen David is a multi-talented singer-songwriter and actress looking to make it big this year.She has appeared in the West End as well as a small roles in Batman Begins before going on to star alongside David Jason in the adaptation of Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic.This summer she leads the cast in The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior the prequel to The Scorpion King which starred The Rock.Alongside her acting work she is put the finishing touches to her Live Sessions EP which is out now.I caught up with her to talk about her music and acting careers and what the future holds.

Your latest release is the Live Sessions EP what can we expect from it?

The EP was really inspired by my Myspace fans, a lot of them wanted to know what I sounded like live because I haven’t been on tour yet in the States or Canada and they wanted to feel like they were part of a gig, so they had been telling me for a while that ‘you should put a live EP out so we can pop it into our CD players in our living rooms and it feels like we are right there’. It kind of brought me back to when I was a kid and my mum and dad would take me to the local amusement park and they would have these free concerts there so I would go and see Kool and the Gang and Smokey Robinson, I was four years old and loved these guys. So it made me think that ‘you know what maybe now is a good time to do that live EP’ because my album has got more high production values and I want to do it really old school style, record it live off the floor. So I got my band together, went into this very quirky studio in north London called the Fish Factory, although it doesn’t smell like fish, and recorded it there. It was so excited because it just felt like a jam session, I felt I was back in my Berkley days where we would have jam sessions in our rooms, the studio has no computers it’s just all analogue and reels so we did it the old school way and just recorded it straight off the floor. I was really pleased with the result which was good so that is how it all came to be.

How would you describe your sound our your music?

It’s exotic pop music I went to India in December and recorded all the live strings and the additional percussion from over there because they have that fusion and exoticism that is part of my sound.

My album was very much about embracing my roots as well as blending it with my mainstream influences of growing up in Canada and to get that authenticity you can’t go anywhere but India to get it.

I have been working with A R Rahman, a huge Bollywood composer who has sold more albums than Britney and Madonna put together, he has the five million pound studio there which is so surreal because when you are inside it you think you are in an LA, London or New York recording studio and you look outside the glass windows and there are goats and cattle walking on the streets.

But that was very much part of the journey of going back to Chennai, which is where his studios are and ironically where my and father and his heritage is from, so it was really nice it was not only a journey back to my roots but back to my home.

That was my next question you are originally from North Africa but grew up in Canada how does this east meet west lifestyle influence your music?

Well I was born in the Himalayas and I came to Canada when I was a baby so I felt robbed of having that chance as a child to immerse myself in Shillong. Growing up in Canada was equally tough for a kid who was part Chinese, part Indian, part Jewish because as a kid you just want to fit in and kids can be so mean.

I think as you get older you begin to embrace who you are and you accept your flaws and your good points and certainly when, I come from a really small family and I lost two cousins in an accident, and when such terrible things, that you don’t think can happen to you, but they do and it kind of forced me to do a u-turn and I kind of had my mid-life crisis or identity crisis very young.

But it was so pivotal in the making of my album because the concept was very much about dealing with those things, not in a very heavy way, but it’s funny when you start to write personal things a lot of people can relate to it and it becomes universal.

I just went through my photo album, right from when I was a kid and it all started, right from being in North East Africa moving to Toronto and them travelling so my album is very much an adventure.

And how dos the writing process work for you?

It starts as a very embryonic stage when it’s just an idea in my head, I have pads all over the house next to the bath and my bedside, because you just don’t know when an idea is going to pop up. Just two weeks ago I’m writing a song for my new album and I couldn’t get the melody out of my head but I couldn’t sing the melody into my phone recorder in the middle of a packed train, it’s such an intimate thing but when you get the surge of creativity you have to go with it, so I had to wait until I got off the train at Waterloo and find as quiet a place as possible so I could sing this song melody into my phone.

My songs are like my babies, if you were to ask me which one was my favourite it would be so hard to pick which one, each one is about a different story, my music in that sense has the ambiance of the live strings and the atmospheric stings but they all tell a story, I don’t know if that if that comes from my acting sides because I treat my songs as glorified monologues they are telling a story so each song has a special place in my heart.

How did you get into music?

My mum always said when I was a little girl I was always singing and ever since I can remember I have always been singing and acting and play-rolling in my mum’s high heels. My parent s are very open minded they are not your typical Asian family where they want you to be a doctor, I come from a family of bankers or accountants so I’m definitely the black sheep.

They all have a love of music and culture and have always said ‘if you have a dream then dream big but just make sure while you are at it make sure you get straight A’s and we will support you’ and they were stead fast in that promise.

When I was six years old my father would sit my sister and I down, he wanted us to have these Mensa brains, and he would go through the politics pages, current events, this is so boring for a six year old kid, and he would do this every Sunday at breakfast time.

I got really bored while he was yapping away and I saw an advert in the comic section that was looking for cute kids for a commercial, so I just assumed that that would be singing, so I tore it out snuck into my parent’s bedroom, because that’s where they had the phone, and I just called.

I don’t know why I did I just did I think it was because my parents knew that I wanted to sing and act when I got older and they kept telling me that I didn’t come from a family with those high connections so you are going to have to make those things happen and take the initiative. I ended up getting the part and everything started from there and I went to train in music and that has led me up to this point.