Karen Harding is a singer-songwriter who is just as passionate about independent and emerging artists as we are! The MIC was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down and chat about her latest Sounds on the Couch project, "Independent Discovery (Volume 1)'!
Hi Karen, so great to have the opportunity to chat about this project!
Thank you so much for having me!
1. The MIC’s mission is to celebrate emerging and independent artists and your mission with Sounds On The Couch seems to share many of our values. Can you tell us a little bit about how you started this community and what it means to you?
K: Absolutely! I think that’s a big part of why we have connected so well Sounds On The Couch always has, and will always be, about celebrating independent musicians and their artistry. The format of this has evolved a lot since it began. In the beginning, the platform was all about live online performances to create opportunities for artists to perform during lockdowns, and we did a lot of interviews with artists and industry professionals. When lockdowns ended, this didn’t seem as beneficial or sustainable, so we built the platform into an online magazine, some workshops, a community and a few other projects. I am really looking forward to seeing how we can develop into serving artists further in the future.
2. What inspired you to create a compilation album?
K: I have wanted to create a compilation for a long time. There is something so special about the memory of compilations growing up that goes so far beyond a playlist or listening to a track on its own. It’s the experience of going through a whole album and not knowing what you’re going to discover. I think it’s a great way to discover more of the independent music scene, and I’m really excited that it’s come to life.
3. You cover a wide range of artists and genres on this compilation album. How did you find the right blend of musicians? Was it challenging to find the right artists with sounds that vary but are not too jarring?
K: The process actually went so smoothly. Each artist that was interested in being a part of the album applied to be involved. There were some great artists that I couldn’t include because they didn’t quite fit the feel, which is always sad to have to say no. I do feel that the result creates a magical journey through the genres, and it moves very fluidly.
4. What was the most challenging part of creating this record? What are you most excited about with its release?
K: I think that the most challenging part was ensuring that I was covering all of the legalities and making sure that I was providing the best outcome for the artists Involved. It was important to me that this project’s purpose was to benefit the artists, and I wanted to make sure that all permissions and royalty agreements were 100% above board and gave the best result to the artists. I am most excited for people to hear it.. the artists involved are all truly amazing, and I want people to hear their music!
5. Which track on this compilation was something that you wish you had written?
K: Oh wow...great question. It’s hard just to choose 1, they’re all amazing! I am obsessed with the sound of divine&acajou and I would absolutely love to be able to create that kind of sound. Madi Leeds always has this incredible laid back, yet fun, catchy vibe that I love, and I love the vibe and emotion that Kaiyah Mercedes portrays in her music.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us about this very exciting project, and looking forward to Volume 2!
K: So am I! Thank you so much for having me, it’s been a pleasure.
Stream "Independent Discovery (Volume 1)" below!