I've been on the music scene for around ten years, as a producer. I've been a solo pianist for the last two. I stopped producing hip hop because of the wants and needs of this generation of MC's. My ideas were always too grand. People just want simple beats with minimal themes. My tracks were always too musical. So I stopped making beats, and started composing music.
What did 7 year old Karim want to be when he grew up?
It was mentioned in the monthly OutSpoken night in Camden that you are a self taught pianist. Can you tell me about that?
Anthony made that up. I had lessons from the age of seven til I was 14. Stopped playing for 10 years, then taught myself how to play again at 25. But throughout that time I was always connected to music in a performance capacity.
Are your compositions written as sheet music?
I compose and play everything from memory. I only write things down for the purpose of copyright law.
Who are your inspirations?
If we are talking from a strict piano perspective, then Ryuichi Sakamoto is the reason I'm a solo pianist.
What do you want your audience to get out of your performances?
We've forgotten how intimate, intelligent and passionate our music can be. I want the audience to remember that performance isn't simply about getting on stage, doing a few covers, and then promoting your twitter handle. Its about intimacy, conviction and passion.
It's been reported that you're a 'self-proclaimed urban pianist'. Can you elaborate what that means?
My M.O as a performer is to try and bring the piano to places where you would least expect to hear it. Outside a train station. In the middle of a supermall. In the centre of a high street. In other words not in the quiet rural halls a gardens where most concerts take place. When I say urban, I mean in the true geographical sense of the word. Not in the sense of the institutionally racist connotations that the music industry has applied to the word.
Tell me more about Outspoken. You are part of the team alongside Anthony Anaxagorou and The Ruby Kid that puts on the monthly night in Camden. How did that come about?
Theres no elaborate story to this unfortunately. I had known the Kid and Anthony for little while before hand, and they needed someone to document the night and take pics, so thats how I got involved.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Have you got any advice for any inspiring performers?
I could write a whole dissertation on this, but I think the most important thing is to find one thing, be it style/genre/political ideology, that you can do comfortably and well and run with it until you have found your footing. Don't try to be everything and impress everyone. Aim to impress one person, and then take it from there.
Do you feel as though you have had any barriers to overcome?
Trying to find ways and venues to record and showcase my music has been quite hard but that's kinda of the same for everyone.
Are you a fan of any new and upcoming talent that's not quite on the radar yet?
Not really. Everyone I'm into right now is already established, if not locally famous.
What's next for Karim Kamar?
I've got a new collection of music coming out in October called 'Songs Without Words' so I'm gonna release that and also try and hire somewhere to do a recital of the pieces. Either at 1901 Arts Club in Waterloo, or failing that then possibly at the forge. I'm going to stay independent for as long as possible, but my next move is probably trying to secure some funding for my next projects or get a publishing deal. But we'll see.