Critically acclaimed English Singer-Songwriter Karima Francis having made a name for herself with her blend of captivating and honest lyrics intertwined through haunting melodies rooted in folk-rock. The singer who first started in the music industry at age thirteen, teaching herself, drums, guitar, and finally songwriting all by eighteen. Seeking new inspiration from her London life, Karima sold some of her most beloved guitars and headed for the west coast. That’s where the idea of her newest single “Shelf Life” came to life. After seeing the devastation of the deepening homelessness crisis in Los Angeles and diving into the Indie-Folk music, she crafted this compelling single. I chatted with Karima on “Shelf Life”, the deepening homelessness crisis, and her artistry. All which you can read below.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I always begin with an icebreaker question and this one is are you more of a CD or Vinyl person?
KARIMA FRANCIS: I am definitely a vinyl person for the sound, but I love CD’s too!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Diving in let’s talk about your song ‘Shelf Life’ and what was the impetus behind writing it? Also how the recording and creative process was for it?
KARIMA FRANCIS: Shelf Life is a song I wrote in LA one morning on the way to a studio. I was looking into the growing homelessness epidemic in LA and feeling extremely uncomfortable to see the amount of people who are helpless on the streets in a place of luxury, I guess it just messed with my head I just felt a natural pull to write about it. The track was written and recorded in Eagle Rock.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You recorded Shelf Life with producer & artist Tim Carr right? How was that process like?
KARIMA FRANCIS: Yes, I recorded it with Tim Carr. He’s incredible. The process was quite simple, I wrote the song out there and recorded it just a few days later. We put the bare bones of the track down on the day, then continued working from the UK and sending stuff back and forth!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: The single Shelf Life’ talks about the deepening homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. What is something a listener or fan of yours could do to help with this crisis even in the smallest way?
KARIMA FRANCIS: I would say , educate yourself, donate, volunteer, show some respect and recognise that most homeless men and women have experienced some personal traumas and have had a lack of support system in place to help these people before it becomes unmanageable. See homeless women and men and say “Good Morning”, wish them well, smile.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: How did the music video for ‘Shelf Life’ come together?
KARIMA FRANCIS: I had the idea to make the video out in LA after doing the recording of the song and listening back to it in my apartment. I happened to have my photographer out with me who had his Super 8. So I wanted to film the day in the life of homeless man or woman. Obviously we needed to find someone who we could communicate our ideas to, so my manager found Terry sat on a bench and once we saw his beautiful blue eyes we knew he was the right person for the film. Obviously he was paid for his time and we accommodated him for a few days.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Do you think feel that writing about important societal, political or environmental issues is something that is essential to being a artist and musician today?
KARIMA FRANCIS: There has been a big movement in indie/ Alternative and post punk bands/artists that have been openly challenging society and political issues with their music. I think with everything going on with Trump and Brexit, it’s a good way to spread a message and I think it’s very important.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What was it like working with renowned produced Flood? He’s produced for some of the biggest Alternative and Rock artists ever. Must have been a dream?
KARIMA FRANCIS: Yes that was a total dream. It’s a memory I will never forget. We had a great time working together I would really love to work with him again in the future.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Switching gears completely… What was your favorite children’s book as a kid?
KARIMA FRANCIS: The Hungry Caterpillar Ha! and I used to collect the Beatrix Potter books.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: If you could collaborate with any artist past or present who would you collab with and why?
KARIMA FRANCIS: I would love to collaborate now with Adam Granduciel from The War On Drugs.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What are three must haves for you while out on tour?
KARIMA FRANCIS: A good wardrobe, Extra Virgin coconut oil and some good books!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And what’s next for Karima?
KARIMA FRANCIS: My next single is coming out in February which I’m excited about! I am going to be announcing some tour dates next year too, 2020 is going to be a good year though I can feel it
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Anything else you would like to add? Thanks so much for your time!
KARIMA FRANCIS: http://www.lascandal.org/9-ways-can-help-homeless/