Pic by Aleksandra Shira Dubov
INTERVIEW: Karen Atkins
Hi Karen, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Great! Thanks for the welcome!
Can you talk to us more about your upcoming single?
“Lovertown” is a song about feeling and spreading self-love and being happy wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Lyrically, the song was inspired by an experience I had in India in 2009. I had a realization that I didn’t need to be so obsessed with accomplishments…that there was nothing but love and that I don’t need to do anything but let love radiate from my pores…if I spend the rest of my life doing nothing else, that would be a beautiful life.
I’ve struggled a lot in my life with overdoing or doing things that come from a place of insecurity rather than love…so this was real and impactful.
How was the recording and writing process?
I knew I wanted to write a song that was largely driven by the bassline because I was going to have the amazing Reggie Hamilton play bass on the song. I started jamming with my producer Xeno on guitar and me on the bass and the initial bassline came about.
Sometimes when I’m writing a song it sit will flow through me as though it’s writing a way out into the world and that’s pretty much what happened with Lovertown. Before I knew it, I was singing, “you got to hang down in lovertown.”
And then we knew that “Lovertown” wasn’t really a place, it was a state of mind. So the line “I was given the love and now I’m giving it up” emerged. And then I later refined it to, “I was given the love, so it could fill me up. Now I live in the love, Get it when I’m giving it up.”
I feel like when a song comes through like this in an inspired way, the recording process also goes smoothly. As soon as I had the guitar and vocal scratch tracks, drummer Curt Bisquera (Elton John, Sarah McLachlan) and Reggie (Mariah Carey, Seal) nailed it in one take!
What is it about the acoustic guitar that you enjoy so much as a writing tool?
Well actually, I’m more of an electric guitar player and I often get more inspired writing on the electric. That being said, the acoustic is also nice to write with because I can just pick it up wherever I am and start playing. Sometimes, when I’m sleeping alone, I’ll keep a small bodied guitar next to me in the bed, so I can grab it and start playing early in the morning when I wake up and I can catch the inspirational morning energy while still between worlds.
As someone who tries to promote good vibes through your work – how and when does that take place during the writing process?
Great question! There are a number of ways that I prepare myself for the writing and recording process. Since I’ve studied Martial Arts and Meditation extensively, I use various exercises and meditations to get me, my brain and my heart into the optimal state for creating and encoding the music with high vibes.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are covering someone else rather than in your own?
Yes, I like to do something different for covers than the original artist’s version. I’ll often take a non-acoustic based song and make it acoustic or vice versa. For example, with my cover of Paul Simon’s “Slip Slidin’ Away,” I created an acoustic fingerpicking texture underneath the vocals that caught Paul’s attention which inspired him to offer me the opportunity to release a music video for my version of the song. Apparently, this is a rare privilege.
Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes! I have another single coming out in the fall and I’m currently working with an amazing hip hop/rap writer/producer. We’re creating a unique blend of acoustic and retro sounds combined with some seriously cool beats! Working with him has given me a whole new appreciation for that style of music and a whole new way to express myself through poetry and spoken word. So stay tuned!
The first song was inspired and co-created by my best friend who passed away a few months ago. The lyrics are about her moment of transition and the different perspectives of experience; hers, mine, her family and the angels.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
We’re planning on the single release in September. That song is called “She Rises.”
Any plans to hit the road?
Not for this material. That will come later. I’ll be touring with the work that I do as a vitality lifestyle coach. I do keynote presentations for businesses, associations and schools. In these presentations, I share my new take on many time-tested methods of creating long-lasting energy to unleash latent creativity and become super productive and successful.
What else is happening next in Karen Atkins’ world?
I’m launching several new programs for healthy living and abundance manifestation. I created a new program called “Abundance Mastery with Qi Gong.” It teaches you how to magnetize abundance into your life with simple exercises. I’m also working on a book and companion series of micro courses called “Master Your BodyIQ.” It’s a combination of the 40 healing tools I’ve learned plus music to help cultivate and maintain potent levels of vitality so we can…well… in a nutshell, be badass humans!
I’ve also just launched a course on pregnancy called “Your Vibrant Pregnancy” that I’ve been working on for a while. I’m crazy excited to share this because it’s information on pregnancy that I’ve never seen anywhere else.
Why? Because It’s Christmas is a new Christmas album featuring cast members from all seven …