It was 2009 when Karima Francis released her debut album but now she is back with her new single Wherever I Go which is from her new album The Remedy.
I caught up with the singer/songwriter to talk about the new album and what she has coming up for the rest of the summer
- You have just released your new track Wherever I Go so how have you found the response to the track?
It’s shocked me as it has been very very good as it has been play listed at Radio 2 and the music video has been playing on the music channels so people have been really great about it.
Even though have got big hair and look at bit different people seem to be accepting me and that is really nice.
- This single is from your new album The Remedy so what can Karima Francis fans expect from the new record this time around?
They can expect a more mature record really it is still Karima Francis as it has not gone off and tried to fit in with the fashion or anything like that. It is still just what I do.
- The album marks your return to music after being away will illness so what was it like getting back in the studio and recording music again?
It was just like it was only yesterday when I had done it. When you know that something that you do it the only thing that you do it’s a natural think within so it doesn’t faze you to go back into that environment.
It’s just like someone who has a 9 to 5 job going on holiday and having a good time so it is always just a great feeling to be able to do what you love.
- It has been a difficult time for you since the release of your debut album back in 2009 so how much have those struggles been an inspiration? I read that you said this new album represents recovery & renewal.
It’s weird because everyone wants to talk about this where as I just want to get on with it - people seem to be picking up on it a lot. I guess it’s just a moment in time a record.
A record is almost like a photograph and it’s like taking a picture of a period of time but it’s like picturing your heart and your head and what is going on it.
So it was a great thing to write about because there was a lot there and it is emotional to sing too but it helps me every day.
- As I said you released your debut album back in 2009 so how have you seen yourself develop as both an artist and a songwriter between then and now?
I don’t think that I have developed I think it has been more of a case of getting use to myself. I find that it is still difficult, it is always difficult to write a good song and it doesn’t come as often as id did when I was young and fresh.
But I do write everyday and I am writing towards my third album at the moment, I have about forty songs they are not all great but I have been trying to write a song a day. My voice has developed as it sounds a bit richer and it doesn’t sound as young.
- Flood has produced the album so how did that collaboration come about?
(Laughs) I had just supported The Editors one night in London and I went back to a really fancy bar called The Groucho, it’s really fancy and it’s not my kind of thing.
But I went for a few drinks and I ended up meeting this guy and drinking loads of Absinthe with him at the bar on someone else’s tab - I didn’t know that it was Flood.
I was told that I was going to a meeting with someone just before I made the record and they were like ‘you have met him before and got really drunk with him’ and I was like ‘oh yeah is that him?’ And that is how is came out really.
- So how did you find working with him and what did his experience bring to the record?
He has just brought out the best in me as he took the time to get to know me and find out how I work best. He got the sound and the songs I said I wanted to make a classic sounding record and he said ‘there is not other way to do this’.
So he got it from the very first moment I opened my mouth and that is all that you can hope and dream for in a producer.
- You have also been on tour throughout April and May so how did you find your time on the road? How did the fans respond to the new material?
They responded really well and the keep saying that it is much better than the first album and you can’t ask for more than that.
I really enjoyed it and it was nice to be more there in my own mind, last time round I was more engaged with other things and I wasn’t really experiencing I was suffocating and suffering so I didn’t enjoy it as much.
But this time I really did enjoy it and I am really gutted that it has ended as I don’t like to stop gigging. I am someone who loves to go on stage everyday and that is my purpose and that is why I write the substance to be able to perform it.
- When I listened to some of the tracks I felt that it was a very personal collection of songs so how difficult was is baring your soul, for want of a better word, when penning these tracks?
It wasn’t difficult at all. Sometimes I am a little that I wear myself and my heart on my sleeve but I do think that that is what people connect with.
I am putting myself down there with the rest of the world and saying ‘look I am a human too and I have real feelings going on and you are not alone’ - I want people to know that they are not alone.
- You have written some of the songs on your own as well as working with some co-writers so how do you find writing with other people?
I d like writing with others but I have noticed that it confuses you as an artist and it makes you forget how to write for yourself - which is not a great thing.
- What music have you been listening to recently?
I have been listening to Beach House and the new John Mayer album has just come out and that is really good. But I am just waiting for something to blow my mind.
- Do you find yourself being inspired by other artists?
Yes I do but at the same time I don’t want to take from other artists so I try to stay in my own head and with my own music.
I just want to do what I do, I appreciate other people’s music but I try not to let it in so much because I start hearing other people’s music over the top of mine and that is not good.
- You have a huge fan base so for any of those fans who are reading this interview do you have a message for them?
Thank you, thank you for still supporting me and giving me another chance.
- Finally what's coming up for you for the rest of the year?
Well I have got some festivals coming up; I am playing one in Blackpool on 7th June at Radiowaves so that is a local gig.
I am playing The Secret Garden Party, Lounge On A Farm, Lodestar, and Bakewell Festival and then I am playing a really a big gig, which is amazing, on 15th July I am opening the stage for Paul Simon at hard Rock Calling so that is going to be really good.
It’s at Hyde Park and that is going to be a big big gig for me as it is the main stage. It’s going to be crazy.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw