Following the release of her brand new single My Favorite Song, we caught up with artist and songwriter Karma Rivera – to find out more about the music, the live scene in Portland of late, and her plans for the future. Here’s how it went.
* * *
Hi Karma – great to catch up with you, how are things where you are right now?
I’m in Portland just chillin. We are currently on lockdown until December 2. So I’m spending a lot of time at home and on social media. I mean that’s kind of been the whole year really.
Congrats on the release of My Favorite Song – what inspired this one, and how did you come to collaborate with producer Gio?
This is me and Gio’s third release. I collaborated with Gio on my previous releases, Fallout and Can’t Trust. I think me and Gio make the perfect collaboration because of our styles. His sound is very Latin and heavily influenced by Hip-Hop and Rap. My style is very west coast chill energy with a bar heavy lyrical style. I think for now we are just trying to be consistent with our sound aesthetic.
What does the song represent for you?
My way of expressing myself to a girl and how much I’m into her. I’m tryna be cuffed for the winter. I hope this works.
What would you say were the main differences when making this single compared to the writing of Can’t Trust?
My Favorite Song is more of a vibe. The sound is a blend of Latin Trap and Salsa. I really wanted to create this west coast style of a rap song while also tapping into the Salsa genre. I’m Puerto Rican and my grandparents exposed me to Salsa, Merengue and Reggaeton music when I was younger. And so I really wanted to combined all of my influences into one song.
You have an increasingly recognisable style to your music and vocal sound. Is this something that came naturally or that you’ve worked on over time?
I think it’s a combination of both. The talent came easy but I did have to spend time on polishing my delivery and songwriting. There is always room for growth no matter how great you are.
Who or what would you say inspires you the most to create in this way?
I think it’s more of combination of who I am as a person and channelling that through my creativity.
Have the events of 2020 impacted your creativity or your activity as an artist?
Well it definitely slowed down my activity as a live performer. However, I feel like I am more creative than ever.
Do you have plans to tour or perform live much in 2021?
It’s looking more like 2022 when I will get to perform live in front of an audience.
How’s the live scene in Portland lately, prior to Covid, for this kind of music?
Rap music is very appreciated here in Portland. More than ever in the last four years. So it will be interesting what the live scene will resume to.
Will there be a video to accompany the new single?
Do you also produce your own music, or try to focus purely on the vocals and writing?
Oh I’m very hands on with the entire process. I know what sounds and styles I want to work with and so I’m very vocal about that with the producer I work with. And when the beat is finalized, I will then focus on writing the lyrics and the delivery of the vocals.
What are the main values you hope to offer audiences in the music world?
Authenticity. Raw emotion. Wit. And joy.
What would be your dream venue or event to perform at?
I would love to perform in the Dalhalla in Sweden.
Is there a longer project on the way, or do you have any creative plans that fans can look forward to in the coming weeks and months?
Expect more music.
* * *