Karmin has come a long way since rising into the spotlight a couple of years ago via surprisingly adept hip-hop covers posted to YouTube. The colorful duo transitioned to sharing its own originals with an EP last year, but they’re just getting started. With a full album coming by year’s end and plenty of performances under their belts, Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan visited NYC’s Mophonics Studio recently to talk stage style and perform two songs, new song “Acapella” and “Brokenhearted” for this installment of Billboard’s Tastemakers video series.
PHOTOS: Karmin’s Tastemakers Session
“We wanted to flip the meaning of a cappella,” Heidemann says of the pair’s new single. “Instead of singing without instruments — I can do it by myself,’ or ‘I don’t need a rich boyfriend.'”
“Actually, 90% of the track was done a cappella,” Noonan adds. “We went back there and made all kinds of weird sounds and chopped it up and put it in the computer.”
As crucial as both Heidemann and Noonan feel their recorded music is, Heidemann is quick to say that performance is the key to Karmin. “The live show for us is the most important element,” says Heidemann. “That’s where you go to show your fans what it’s all about.”
To that end, what the twosome wears on stage is also top of mind. “Super comfortable” and “sweatproof” are the watchwords for Heideman.
“We both have very loud and colorful personalities, so you want to make sure that you wear something that represents that,” says Nick.
Lately, that’s translated into a unified, single color look. “We wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so we’re actually dressing monochrome, pretty much all one color all the time,” says Amy.
“She’s more of a risk taker than I am,” Nick says of Karmin’s fashion choices.
“I was always confused looking at the celebrity gossip magazines because the worst dressed pages were my favorite outfits,” Amy says proudly, with a smile. “It’s awesome because I’ve been in there a couple of times now.”