Friday, 3 July 2009

Karima Francis 'The Author'

I first came across Karima Francis as her single 'Again' was featured as iTunes Single of the Week, and therefore free to download - well worth checking out, by the way, as it is always brand spanking new music, and is a good way of finding some real gems! Anyway, I added it to my collection on my iPod, and a few weeks later it came on shuffle as I was walking to a lecture in the sun. Well, I listened to it once, and had to repeat it several times just to try and take it all in, I loved this amazing new voice and wanted more. By chance, my sister bought the album a couple of weeks later after seeing Francis as a supporting act at a gig - I sort of had to 'borrow' it right away. This was all a couple of months ago, and I'm still hooked. 'Again' is probably one of the more commercial, upbeat songs on the album. The majority of the album takes on a slower, more soulful feel where Francis showcases her amazing voice that can change in a second from sweet and ethereal to gutsy and full of emotion. Her lyrics match her voice perfectly, both of which are particularly heartbreaking in the song 'Remember Your Name', in which Francis seems to be desperately trying to connect with an alcoholic mother - I must point out I don't know if this song is autobiographical, if not, then she can add an amazing capacity for empathy and imagination to her melting pot of talent.
At only 21 years old, Birmingham-based Francis has been on an 18 date tour, some of which was spent supporting the likes of James Morrisson, and the Daily Mail has already tipped her as 'The Next Big Thing'. Whether other singles from her album are going to be marketed more aggressively, or she is simply going to take the music industry by storm with album number two, I think Francis is sat on the precipice of a hugely successful career. She will be joining a very busy market of alternative female solo artists, but unlike many, Francis does not try to make herself noticed with an impressive array of costumes and awards outfits. She is very unassuming. While a huge, theatrical stage presence is great, there is certainly something endearing and refreshing about Francis' concern with just keeping it about the music - no sequins, feathers or latex needed. Thank goodness.
I would really recommend giving this amazing voice some ear-time, you won't regret it.

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