Karika is a newcomer to the South African music industry, but on the evidence of her debut album she has every chance of becoming a leading light in the adult contemporary market.
'Tienduisend Engele' is the title of Karika's first recording – and already it's causing a stir internationally with its beautiful set of songs, all written by the artist herself.
TAXI, one of the world's leading Independent Artist & Repertoire Company, has already described 'The Thought Of You' as "haunting and evocative", boasting a "great melody and beautiful vocal". 'African Sun' also earned high praise from TAXI, which commented on the song's strong melody and the sincere emotions contained in it.
'The Thought Of You' and 'African Sun' are just two of the magnetic songs on 'Tien Duisend Engele' – a 10-track album that offers deeply satisfying listening arising from a combination of exquisite melodies, and intriguing lyrics of love and longing and the emotions that come with living in the modern age.
It's her ability to craft songs that sit effortlessly in the heart of listeners that sets Karika apart from others in the Adult Contemporary landscape. In these times of thrown-together cover version albums, the sincerity that imbues Karika's work is compelling and anyone listening to her debut will be richly rewarded with memorable songs that live long in the mind.
That Karika is so skilled a songwriter has much to do with the journey she has taken from Langebaanweg's Air Force Base on the Cape West coast where she was born to her standing as one of Gauteng's most accomplished and successful music teachers.
Of her early inspiration, Karika says, "I had a great love for that little place and it's people - and still do." The daughter of an Air Force man meant Karika spent her high school years in Lephalale/Ellisras. Passionate about music, Karika earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music from the University of Potchefstroom, majoring in African music and Music theory. She was one of the first members to join the conservatory's Marimba Band, which went on to perform at the Aardklop Art Festival.
Though she has now recorded her debut solo album, Karika's first love has always been songwriting. "With the encouragement of my family and friends I started to experiment, compose and perform songs for piano from an early stage. It's only recently that I decided to sing them as well."
Even before the recording of her first album, Karika has been involved
in many music projects. As a teacher at Craighall, a government
Primary School in Johannesburg, she composed the school anthem, and played a pivotal role in the recording of the school choir's first CD, which featured a guest appearance by Ed Jordan. Two of Karika's compositions – the school anthem and 'African Sun' – are featured on the album. Karika also made her professional live debut in Johannesburg in 2006, receiving a standing ovation and being named a "rising star' by the local newspaper which described her voice as "beautiful and melodious".
Indeed, as heard on 'Tienduisend Engele' Karika is a wide-ranging talent. Not only is she a gifted adult contemporary songwriter, but her piano-playing is entrancing and is part of what makes her debut album such a wonderful listen. What's more Karika has a melodious voice that adds yet another compelling dimension to the set of songs on 'Tien Duisend Engele'. Of her range, she says, "I like to create songs that range form soothing to something a little more upbeat."
It's not easy breaking into the formal music industry, but Karika is determined to make an impact – and the triumph of songwriting and performing on her debut recording will ensure this happens.
In the end, Karika cannot ignore the compulsion in her to create music. " I think that songwriting is not always something that you can choose, but rather that it chooses you. I find it difficult to ignore those nagging song ideas that keeps popping up when you least expect it. That's usually the time when some of my best songs are born!"
Die volgende is in die Citizen gepubliseer: Published: 2008/07/06