Take The Pledge Today

Being True: How Karun stayed true and found her SKY

18th September 2020
Congratulations on all your accomplishments Karun! We are such big fans. When did you know music was your thing?

Thank you, I’m so grateful. I really can’t remember when I “knew” cos I’m told from the age of 6 I would tell people that I’ll be a singer 😊 So I guess I always knew and I didn’t allow myself the chance to get distracted from that mission!

So other than music, what else is your thing? And what’s not your thing?

Travelling, nature, gardening, riding bikes, macramé (lol). I love creating things with my hands! I get that from my mum, she’s a designer and we both like being crafty.

What’s NOT my thing?… Hmmm, well, I’m not a huge fan of the turn up. Don’t get me wrong, I love dancing and being around friends, but I’m not about the reckless life. I’m all about taking care of your mind, body and soul.

You became a star as a teenager as part of Camp Mulla and we imagine that must have been crazy! Describe that experience for us and how you dealt with being in the spotlight.

It WAS crazy!

It was a lot of things and I’m grateful for it all, travelling, meeting amazing people and of course performing on huge stages.

I just wish I had a mentor or manager that understood the industry well and could have sheltered me from some of the pressures that come with fame. Thankfully, my mum was very involved, and she helped me stay grounded. Also going through it all with the boys (Taio, Shappa, Kus & Mykie) meant that they always had my back and we went through the motions together.

Did your folks have any issues with you choosing music as a career?

No, they didn’t. They were amazingly supportive for allowing me to pursue music at such a young age.

I know that that’s not the case for most people trying to get into the industry. Having support makes a big difference, and having my mum be there for me when I needed her made sure I was protected. 

Your sound has evolved over the years. How would you describe your music style?

Yeah, it has, I mean I’ve also grown up through music lol.

I tinker between R&B and Afrobeat right now. I think my music has always been soulful, and I’ve always tried to have encouraging lyrics.

We loooooove your song “Glow up” because it is such an inspiring vibe and all about sistahood. What led you to write it?

Yeah, I was in the studio thinking about that chorus, “I never seen you glow up like this before, yeah” and I was like, honestly, I just have so much love for all the powerful, beautiful, creative women in my life, and I would love to make this song for them.

I strive to surround myself with strong women who uplift each other.

Speaking of sistahood, what do you look for in your inner circle of friends?

Well, I generally go by that ‘No new friends’ saying, LOL… but that’s just because there can be a lot of opportunistic people that try to be friends with you, but really, their intentions aren’t good.

I am learning to protect my energy by knowing it’s ok to have fewer friends, as long as they are good people who I know well. I like people who do their own thing so that when we come together every now and then, it’s all love and good vibes. No one is draining the other person -do you know what I mean?

Totally! Let’s switch gears. Tell us about the experience of creating the SKY song. What was your creative process?

I started writing to a very bare beat on logic (the production software) and built it slowly from there. The opening verse is basically inviting the girls to find their SKY, which means to be confident that they can find their own direction in life. I also knew the message I was going to put in both choruses, which was all about girls finding power and beauty in their own truth. 

It was a fun, easy process because I truly believe in always being true, no matter what.

You also have great fashion sense. What is the most important thing to you when you are putting a look together?

Less is more! I am a minimalist these days. I like good quality, simple pieces that come together and compliment my figure. I’ve found that looking good is mostly about complimenting your body type, then adding a pop of accessories to show your individual style goes a long way.

Black, maroon/burgundy, Jungle green, and mustard are my go-to colors now. I also prioritize comfort! You’ll never catch me in heels, even though I think some of them are beautiful… I just wanna be ready to run at any moment! 

So yeah I’ve become a bit of a sneakerhead.

Who are your influences and who do you look up to in both music and life?

Wangari Maathai really inspires me. She went through so much throughout her life for simply being a strong and persistent woman! Yet it never stopped her from doing what she believed was right and making a huge impact. Man! Her book was a little triggering, but it’s those emotions that push me to do things even when it isn’t celebrated in the moment.

Also, Jada Pinkett Smith is a woman I look up to for her work, style, and way of life.

As a SKY girl ambassador, how do you stay true to what you believe in?

They say stand for something or fall for anything. I try to be the girl that stands up for what I believe in. I don’t concern myself with what other people think.

What’s one thing you would do differently as a teenager, given the opportunity?

I had a lot of fun as a teenager and I wish I knew just how valuable every minute was.

What I mean by that is, make the most out of every opportunity you have, things you learn in school and the friends you meet along the way. Every moment counts. Life is all about balance and gratitude. There are some moments you can’t do-over, so be as present as possible.

If all your dreams come true, what does the future look like for you?

I will own a big house faaaar away, probably upcountry, but still keep an apartment in Nairobi where my son can grow up and have enough space to pursue whatever he wants. I’ll have enough assets to retire at 45 if I want.

I’ll have made an album a year for at least 7 years, shot, and directed a ton of beautiful music videos.

I also want to have a couple of studios and creative hubs available for us to use, as well as own equipment available for rent so that creative people can learn and experiment!