Hi Karen, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thank you! I have been pretty good – everyone is healthy, life is weird, new music is out, can’t complain!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Too Strong”?
This song means a lot to me, it really did start out as a message to anyone going though a tough relationship. I feel like so many of us have been there and this was intended to give a message of strength to not give up, because we are too strong to let this break us. As this year unfolded, I felt the song take on a whole other meaning. We are all in this world together, dealing with so much new together. We are strong, and we are too strong to give up.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
More than anything else, this song is what you would call a happy accident. We were done working in the studio one day and one of my producers Jeff Johnson and I were just chatting in the studio kitchen in the middle of the night.
Our chat inspired us to start recording on our phones, especially being that we were standing in this creative space. When we came into studio the next day, we played our rough mix of the chorus, and this was when Chad and Mitch said, “We are totally finishing this right now!”
Within 2 hours of that, I was laying down vocals on it!
All in all, it was a pretty rad chain of events that just came together organically – no writing session, no time booked, just there and then.
Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?
Yes! We have an official video for “Too Strong” that was directed by Meaghan Gipps and we’ve released it on Facebook and YouTube.
How was the recording and writing process?
As I said, the writing on this song came very easily! Everyone had gone through similar ups and downs and so they contributed their own important pieces to this song. As for recording, when you have such amazing producers and musicians in the room, the recording process is pretty awesome. I love being challenged and that’s what they did for me here, by pushing me to places that I didn’t know I could go, and pulling emotions and sounds from me that challenged my craft.
These kinds of creative experiences make me a better writer and a better recording artist. We are never perfect, and forever learning, so I look forward to and love these opportunities!
You co-wrote the song with some pretty big names, especially from Canada, like Chad Kroeger – what was it like to work with these people and how did they get to influence the song?
Amazing! I feel like a pretty lucky girl to be able to call all these boys my friends and to be able to call or text them in a second when I have a question. If you had told my 20 year old self that this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have believed you.
They are masters in their own craft and I have learned so much from them. They honestly feel like family. They were all so excited about this song and we all were so passionate about it while we wrote it. When something like that finishes and you get to sit back and listen to it all done – on your speakers – it’s a pretty wicked feeling.
Do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
I prefer to co-write. I used to write on my own, but I found that for me, I was so critical of my solo work that it never saw the light of day.
Co-writing is so refreshing because it’s an awesome feeling to trust another person so much that you tell them your pains and pleasures and they share theirs with you. You put all of your life experiences together and come up with something new that you are all so proud of. I truly feed off of that.
What role does Canada play in your music?
I love where I live. I have travelled to many places in the world and the minute I step foot back into my own country and my own province, there is something so breathable about it. So no matter where I am in the world, Canada is home, BC is home. So with that said, when I perform at home, I feel like I am looking out to my family and my friends. I feel that way about all of them.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
You bet you can!! We already have the next single ready to go and I am SO excited about it!! I have never released anything like these new songs and it feels really good to have this new material out to the world. Can’t wait to hear what the world things of the next ones, too!
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
I believe we are aiming for a Spring release on the next single…. And I don’t like keeping secrets but I’m going to have to keep this song title in my pocket for a little while longer 🙂
What else is happening next in Karen Lee Batten’s world?
I am a head down, work hard kinda gal. So for me it’s just staying creative and making new things happen.
Outside of music, I also have an organics company called “Earthya” that I launched in April. I have about 100 different products that I hand make – specifically household and beauty products – so that is a fun “hobby” that has become really busy for me, too. Anything to keep me going, keep me pumped and not let me get bored!
Anything else in my life will include Family, Friends, Dogs, Music, Wine & Whiskey (Hey… maybe this should be the next song title haha)…