Karmina: Sisters Are Doin' It For Themsleves (With Apple's Help)
Visiting Apple Stores.
Over two months.
It is for Karmina.
The independent Los Angeles-based sister duo of Kamille (left, above) and Kelly Rudisill today (June 11) kicks off a series of performances at five flagship European Apple Stores, beginning in London.
Subsequent in-store dates include Glasgow, Scotland (June 16), Munich, Germany (25), Zurich, Switzerland (30) and Paris, France (July 7).
The pair signed to CBS Records in 2008 and sent debut single "The Kiss" to No. 24 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. Karmina's songs also found placement in such TV series as "CSI: NY," "NCIS" and "NUMB3RS."
After releasing its first album "Backwards Into Beauty" on CBS, Karmina followed with the independent "Rewriting Chapter 2" last year. The duo released its new seven-song set "Car Train Ship Plane" on its own KKR label May 24.
The sibling singer/songwriters visited Billboard's New York offices Monday (June 6) and discussed how the opportunity to reach international audiences through its partnership with Apple could prove invaluable for an independent act.
"We did a show at the 3rd Street Promenade Apple Store in Santa Monica, Calif. The event coordinator really liked it and talked to some friends at Apple," recalled Kamille.
"We (then) got a call asking if we'd like to do a tour across Europe of Apple Stores in five countries. Of course, we said yes.
"At first, it seemed too good to be true. Each time we had another call with (Apple), we'd think, 'this is actually happening?'
"And now," said Kamille, with Kelly then harmonizing as in their music, "... it's actually happening."
While in Europe, Karmina will look to augment its series of Apple-branded dates with additional performances.
With their mother Robin acting as the sisters' business manager, Karmina (the act's name borrowed from the middle name of the singers' younger sister, Petra) isn't likely to be blinded by the lights of London, aware that its own, not an outside label's, efforts determine its fortunes.
"Doing things independently can be overwhelming sometimes," said Kamille, "but it's also been great in that we've been able to have complete creative control."
Ironically, the song whose lyrics include the title of Karmina's new album is entitled "Go to Paris," written before the seeds of the Apple Store tour were planted.
"We wrote it about this whole adventure, that we're going to Paris. We had actually had said in the beginning of the year that we wanted to do that. And now, we're actually going," marveled Kamille.
With the album's namesake lyrics, "car, train, ship, plane / landing on our feet, we'll go to Paris," the song is "really reflective of the journey we've had," summarized Kelly.
With almost a month before their Paris in-store live set, Karmina today focuses on stopping shopping Londoners with its music.
For most, a leisurely chance to stock up on shiny Apple toys.
For Karmina, hard work.
Even in Europe. Even for a month.
Distractions shouldn't be a problem.
"We do want to go to the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre," said Kamille.
"And, go on a Harry Potter tour," added Kelly.
"That's actually the reason we're doing the whole Apple Store tour."