Karmin Tells Celebuzz Why They’re Going to Dominate The ‘Sweet Summer Showdown’ Against Jason Derulo
Do you remember that really cute couple who blew Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” out of the water with their cover on YouTube that inevitably went viral?
Well, flash forward a couple years and now the duo, Amy and Nick, are signed artists in their very own band known as Karmin (a name that was chosen for a very specific reason), going on tours, continuing to sing covers and rock the world.
Celebuzz had the pleasure to sit down and talk with the talented pair, about their recent battle for the Sweetest Summer Song against Jason Derulo, what their favorite viral YouTube video is and what the highlight of their tour has been.
Click ‘more’ for the full interview below!
CB: Let’s talk a little bit about this Sweet Summer Showdown! What has it been like to have a “showdown” – so to speak – with Jason Derulo? Has the competition been fierce, or fun, or a little bit of both?
Nick: “Oh he’s going down.”
Amy: “Going down in flames!”
N: “He’s going down to Chinatown! (laughs) No, really it’s actually been great so far! We started off as us covering ‘Summer Nights’ which ended up in the Twizzlers campaign and everything, so we were very excited about that, and actually if you go to the website you can hear the whole song.”
A: “Yeah, we’ve been covering songs since the beginning of careers and I’m a candy addict so it was a perfect match. So we partnered with Twizzlers and they’re like you guys are against Jason Derulo, all summer people will have to vote for you guys and so we love that!”
N: “Okay so what you’re going to do right now is you’re gonna go to the website, sweetsummershowdown.com and you’re listen to the full version of our song and then vote for us!”
A: “Yes, listen to our cover, vote for Twizzlers! And then you can win a bunch of cool stuff.”
N: “Including a tank, a free car…I’m just kidding. No, it’s more like headphones…”
A: “A machine gun! (laughs)”
N: “No, but you could get a meet and greet with us though – so all kinds of cool stuff”
CB: “Yeah, that sounds awesome! And of course you’ll be getting Celebuzz’s vote. Obviously.”
N: “You’re going to say the same thing to Jason aren’t you?
CB: Oh no! You two will definitely be getting our vote! So, had you met Derulo prior to joining up with Twizzlers for the Sweet Summer Showdown? What has it been like having to battle against him for the sweetest song?
N: “Yeah, we’ve run into him a bunch of times actually!”
A: “We do a lot of shows together, sometimes with radio stations. But we see him on tour all the time and actually Jordan Sparks is with him a lot of the time and we always tell them ‘Hey! Let’s double-date!’ and they always laugh at us and we’re like this is way too much of a competition right now!”
CB: That’s too funny! So, “Summer Nights” has a very different vibe than most of the tracks you’ve put out on your newest album “Pulses”, what is it like to have such a sweet summer song in addition to your other songs while you’ve been on tour?
A: “Well it worked out great because Twizzlers are red, for the most part, and our whole album is red. It’s called “Pulses” because we wanted to make it specifically for the fans and everyone that is a fan of ours has a pulse. So that’s great. But the tour has been insane and we do incorporate cover songs in our live shows also still! So it’s a great mixture of the original Karmin songs and you can get to know them and then you’ve got like, Ellie Goulding, a song from Greece, and Macklemore and stuff throughout the entire show.
CB: That’s great! So are you two still currently on tour for Pulses then? If so, how much longer do you plan on being out on the road?
N: “Um, well the actual Tour-Tour finished just a little while ago but now we are mostly playing kind of one-off’s. We do two to three a week now!”
CB: What would you say then, was the biggest highlight of the tour for each of you?
N: “We did two legs of the tour. So for the first leg of the tour, the highlight was playing in Boston where we met and started the group.”
A: “Yeah we sold out, the Paradise Rock Club in our home town so that was amazing!”
N: “And then for the second leg of the Tour it would have to be Nebraska. When we played in Nebraska, Amy’s hometown.”
A: “Yeah, well where I grew up. And we celebrated our birthdays, they’re two days apart, and we celebrated our birthdays on the road and it was so insane because the fans…well, we were performing for the audience but then the audience started singing Happy Birthday to us, when we were on stage. So that was really magical.”
N: “Yeah, lots of fun!”
CB: So, like you mentioned before, the two of you started out as YouTube cover artists that gained a lot of momentum and traction specifically with your cover of “Look At Me Now”. Since then, have there been any difficulties for you in transitioning from covering songs to creating your own original music? What has that process been like for you?
N: “Um, no, we had actually been creating our own music the entire time while we had been doing the covers. So we were kind of honing in and using the covers as practice for our original stuff. So, when it came time to use our original stuff we were just excited to get going on it. So, we’ve kind of been doing our own thing the whole time.”
A: “I mean it has been a little bit of a challenge. I think, because we were doing everything ourselves. I mean those videos were shot on a ninety-nine dollar camera, you know, and then it’s like now we have professional music videos and songs on the radio – so it’s a huge change but we love how much has happened in just a short amount of time.”
CB: Yeah and it sounds like you guys were more than ready for that so it all worked out for the best!
A: “Aw, thank you!”
CB: You’re welcome! So, what is your favorite viral YouTube video ever and do you have a specific favorite from this year at all?
N: “Hmm, my favorite viral YouTube video is probably…‘Shoes’”
A: “Hey, that is not from this year! That’s like 2004!”
N: “It’s not from this year, sorry! (laughs)”
A: “But yeah so this one called ‘Oh My God, Shoes’…”
N: “OH MYYY GOD, SHOES!”
A: “And it’s this guy and he dresses like a girl named Kelly.”
N: “Have you seen that one?”
CB: “Oh yeah. I’ve definitely seen that one – it’s hilarious!”
N: “Dude, it’s classic!”
A: “We quote it ALL the time.”
N: “Yeah, it’s kind of the joke on the road. We are always quoting it. Like, ‘OOOOH MY GAAAWD’”
A: “THOSE SHOES ARE MIIIINE BETCH! (laughs)”
CB: Yeah that one is so great! So on another topic…I was wondering if there is any meaning behind your band name, Karmin? I know that people have confused it to be your name Amy, and I was wondering if there was a reason behind why you chose this name in particular to represent the both of you?
A: We had no idea that people would think I was Karmin and there are days where I think ‘Aw man, we should have picked another name!’ like The Beatles, but that was already taken. So we spent a lot of time looking at a Latin dictionary. We think that language is just so cool and ancient and Carmen means song. And then we took the spelling and tweaked it to look like “Karma” because we are big believers in Karma.”
CB: Oh okay, well that makes more sense – I like that I lot!
A: “Thank you!”
CB: So, what were some of your favorite summer songs growing up? Do either of you have a favorite song for Summer 2014?
N: A lot of Queen. I remember there was a lot of Queen being played in our house, a lot of Billy Joel as well.
A: I think for me it was a lot of N’Sync when I was in middle school. And then ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ is still one of my favorite summer songs of all time! Love Pharell.
N: “And then last summer, with Robin Thicke’s song, obviously, Blurred Lines – that’s a great summer song”
A: “Oh yeah, that’s like an anthem!”
CB: Did it take the two of you a while to decide on a summer song to cover for the Sweet Summer Showdown that you both liked? What made you choose “Summer Nights”?
N: Well, it kind of seems like it’s the obvious choice because it’s so popular, but actually nobody really covers it! It’s one of those ones that everyone seems to stay away from. So we were like, ‘Oh screw it!’ that means we should go after it, try to tackle it. And it’s also perfect because there is the male and female voice already in the parts so it already had a good duo feel to it, so it really just make perfect sense!”
CB: That does seem pretty perfect! Were there any other high contenders then?
N: There were. I forget the other ones though…
A: They weren’t as iconic as Summer Nights. This one won by a landslide.
CB: Gotcha! And last question, if you had to choose your favorite summer candy, besides Twizzlers of course, what would it be?
N: Ahh! Um…see I don’t really pay too much to the brands, but I love sour gummies.
A: Yes, Nick likes anything sour and gummy! And I love chocolate, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, especially dark chocolate!”
CB: Awesome! Well good luck with the Sweet Summer Showdown! We’ll be voting for you and rooting for you!
N: “For sure. Be sure to tweet at us and we’ll retweet you and go to sweetsummershowdown.com to vote!”
To enter, consumers can visit www.sweetsummershowdown.com to vote for Karmin/Twizzlers or Jason Derulo/Jolly Rancher. Votes will tally throughout promotion to unlock content and prizes, including:
Meet & Greet sessions with Karmin or Jason Derulo.
Limited edition Twizzlers/Jolly Rancher headphones.
A limited edition Twizzlers/Jolly Rancher beach towel.
Exclusive downloads of the artists’ cover songs – Karmin’s “Summer Nights” or Jason Derulo’s “Celebration.”
The promotion runs June 1, 2014 through August 31, 2014. No purchase is necessary. Official sweepstakes rules are available on www.sweetsummershowdown.com.