Karina, a Brooklyn-based and Miami-bred alternative-pop duo (comprised of vocalist Karina Fernandez and producer Jorge Guarch), releases their new track “My Skin” today. This marks their first release since their five-song EP The Space Between.
“My Skin” was written by Karina and Jorge, who also produced the record. It was mixed by British Tony Award and Drama Desk winner Kevan Frost and mastered by Miami- based artist and producer Nick León.
“My Skin” portrays what it feels like to live in the United States as first-generation Hispanic-Americans and the facade of “freedom.” Vocals like “Freedom in disguise, thief in the night, crawling under my skin” also explore the larger concept of cultural freedom–and what it means as an individual to escape the shackles of expectation from society, friends and even family.
Guarch’s bouncing bassline serves as the heartbeat for Fernandez’s haunting vocals. Mesmerizing arpeggios and pounding toms give the track a dancy jungle vibe, while ambient rattles and ethereal vocal loops add an undercurrent reminiscent of a perilous journey. This serves as the impetus for the powerful image painted by Fernandez in the track’s lone verse, as she reflects upon the expedition her grandparents undertook fleeing to the US from Cuba.
Karina and Jorge were both born and raised in Miami, and were linked by Jorge’s sister for years but never shared more than a hello and goodbye until they reconnected in 2017. Guarch was looking for the right voice to fill an instrumental he’d been working on and found perfect harmony in Fernandez’s sultry vocals and somber lyrics. Three days after being reintroduced, they recorded the vocals to their debut single “Cold.” After that, the two decided to stick together and put out their EP, The Space Between, which explores the back and forth of feeling grounded and out of control during a relationship.
Karina will be performing at this year’s III Points Festival today, alongside big-name artists SZA & James Blake. Fernandez also just completed a six-month world tour as a backing vocalist with Boy George and Culture Club.
Karina is currently working on new music to be released in the coming months, so keep your ears open.