Jaz Karis, the Soulful and Honest Voice to Look Out For.
In a time where the music scene is booming across every genre imaginable, it can be hard for artists these days to distinguish themselves and cut through all of the noise. However, what makes artists tend to stand out and make it to the next level is their ability to clearly define themselves and distinguish their own style and sound. One artist who has just started to embark on her journey and is making her own distinction as an artist is South London girl Jaz Karis. The R&B/Soul singer released her debut EP Into the Wildness and has been making the waves with the release of her Colours performance of her song ‘Petty Lover ‘. We caught up with Jaz and to find out more about the singer and discuss all things music with her.
If you haven’t heard of her, it’s probably because you have not been looking in the right place if you want to familiarise with the sound of Jaz Karis you might have to find yourself in a playlist that is chilled. Her music is soft to the ears and very much pushes her vocals to the front.
Growing up in a church her musical beginnings hailed from when the singer was in a gospel choir. After discovering her voice and her interest in music she started doing talent competitions and came to the discovery that singing was something she wanted to pursue when she decided she wanted to attend performing arts school The BRIT School in Croydon.
Her musical influences come from a variety of artists and when you listen to her music you might be able to pinpoint them. Karis sights artists such as Erykah Badu, D’Angelo and Corrine Bailey Rae as having a huge impact in terms of her artistry, however one artist that she personally feels really played a role in her sound is Chris Brown. When speaking on that inspiration she stats she the R&B artist was one of the first people who played a role in her sound.
“One of the first people I really liked as a fan was Chris Brown. I just loved him and his was the first concert I ever went to and I saw him perform and really knew I wanted to do this. Since then I’ve realised that listening back to his earlier stuff he has influenced my sound a lot.”
What these influences have led to is to the sound that Karis describes as herself. Not anyone who is labelling herself and putting herself in a box, she is experimenting with her music on a regular basis.
“I find new stuff that I like every day every time I am in the studio so I’m always experimenting and I’m always open. I feel like as an artist your music doesn’t necessarily always stay the same, because as you grow your music is going to change because it reflects you.”
Her thoughts on her sound that has changed over the years that she has been singing also translates to her approach when it comes to making music. Whilst her music tends to have a common thread that makes her identifiable as the artist. No one song of hers is the same. And you’ll find that the approach to creating each song various from song to song.
“Usually I find that if I am not in the studio notepad is filled with different rants, or melodies work lyrics. If I’m in the studio and I’m not in a specific mood or whatever then I can always refer back to them and also depending on who I am working with (in terms of the producer) and the mood they are bringing, I like going in and starting something fresh unless I have to refer back to my ideas.
The clear demonstration of this approach was clear in Karis’s debut EP ‘Into The Wilderness released in 2017. The 6 -track project was a variety of sounds that came together and while proved to be a difficult process for the songstress was a good learning lesson. “It was stressful but at the same time, it was the best thing in my life. I did it all by myself and it was really difficult, but I learnt a lot and I defiantly loved what I got out of it.”
Now with the release of her second EP ‘Live from The Dairy’ which is a complete departure from the first. When it comes to the differences between the two for Karis it seems like the second time around was a much easier process.
“This second EP was definitely a lot easier than the first one. It was recorded live. I did it with my band and it was more of a natural process. I wouldn’t necessarily compare it to putting together a whole produced piece of work because as its own work it's different than what I did before.”
Most artist would choose to expose themselves to audiences and record a Live EP. However, in a space that is filled with a lot of lost voices, one finds refreshing when you can experience an artist in their purest form with nothing but the live instrumentation and their raw voices. This is something that is clear when you listen to ‘Live from The Dairy’. The entire EP shows of Jaz’s vocals and takes the songs that have been layered with instrumentation and production and brings them to their raw form. For Karis, this process is was something that she wanted to do and took the opportunity to do.
“Live is my favourite thing in terms of making music. I find that I always prefer singing live and performing live than being in the studio. So, to be able to record something live with my friends was such a different process compared to making a full produced EP. I just felt that it was such a different process that was natural for us and I felt that I wanted to put that out as opposed to a fully produced EP”
The catalogue that Karis has started to develop has shown her authenticity as an artist and has displayed her vocal talent that she has developed over the year. In terms of how her music represents her as a person the one that she stands for is growth and the one thing she wants people to get out of her music is clarity. “I think it just represents my growth. I don’t think as people you stay the same and we are evolving and growing all the time. People will find that the music I will releasing after this EP is going to different and will be a transition. “
With all this being said, we look forward to seeing where Karis’s journey takes her next. Speaking of her upcoming plans, Karis plans on releasing another body of work as well as playing more shows that will allow fans to experience her talent up and close and personal for themselves.
Live from The Diary is available on all digital platforms and you can follow Jaz Karis on social media @Jaz_karis
Words: Seneo Mwamba
Images: Isha Shah