Some of you might know them as Karmin Covers and from their incredible rendition of Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now", which has gotten over 45 million views. Overnight, YouTube sensation Karmin were thrown into the viral spotlight, making an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show and being poached by every label. Just a few months later, they've now moved from Boston to Hollywood, are signed with music legend L.A. Reid, and have a new album under their belt set to release early 2012.
The musical duo, Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, explained how phenomenal it feels to be the inaugural American Music Awards New Media Honoree for Best Group. Amy joked, "I thought we were gonna have to put out an album before we won an American Music Award... It's awesome to hear from the board that they want to start recognizing people that are doing things online. The online world is undeniable at this point and a lot of the industry ignores that aspect of it, so it's really exciting," said Heidemann.
When the talk turned to the record deal that Karmin recently signed with Sony Music, the team explained how it was perhaps more unique than a typical deal. Specifically, they wanted to be able to keep doing the YouTube videos that had helped them build their 640,000+ fanbase. "It was all fan driven, which was kind of new for some labels," explained Noonan. "Bieber came up through the Internet... we're like if we're gonna sign with you, you need to help us not change us," he continued.
So how do the two balance their passion for the digital space as they push through the mainstream music world? "We haven't stopped doing the Karmin covers which is what got us here, but we did spend some time with YouTube in San Francisco chatting about the future. They're rolling out this new merch feature, so you can start selling stuff on your channel," added Heidemann.
The couple also told me why they felt that Grammy Award-winning X Factor judge, L.A. Reid, was the right person oversee their new album:
"Many people ask is he a scary person? How tall is he? He was the most excited and relatable executive we met, which is why we chose to sign with him... We kind of matched energies. He felt music the same way... We played our music for him live in person, just a piano, Nick and I and L.A. Reid and he was just excited about the songs we were excited about and told us his vision for the label. You see him on X Factor and he's kind of a hardball, but he really believes in what he believes in. He's like 'I love it' or 'I don't care.'"
Check out Karmin's first single, Crash Your Party. The pop song has already hit the radio circuit including Los Angeles' KISS FM, where they have gotten airplay and tweets of approval from the one and only Ryan Seacrest.
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