Karolina Rose

May 24, 2018

Today, let's go to Big Apple, and more precisely Brooklyn, where the beautiful Karolina Rose is waiting for us. Artist until the toenails, she publishes today an amazing single called "Goodnight, Mr. Moon", available on all platforms, and for streaming on Spotify. The artist tells us a little more about her musical universe, and you will discover that she has a special link with France!

Hi Karolina, welcome on the Indie Music Center. First, could you tell us how is your relationship with Music, in general?

For as long as I can remember, I was always singing something. It came involuntarily as breathing does. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even notice that I was doing it. I had a roommate tell me once, « you know, I don’t mind, but do you realize that you literally sing alllll the time? » hahaha, I always loved karaoke—I’d sing songs by Shakira, Alanis Morissette, 'Sweet Dreams' by Eurythmics (my go-to’s), but I didn’t think of myself as a singer in my own right. My epiphany actually came when I was on a work trip in Paris, I was feeling quite lost with what to do with my life, and one night coming home there were a few European musicians casually playing on a corner near the apartment where I was staying. I noticed I knew the song, so I came over and started singing with them. I thought to myself—"I could hang with them. I could do this. » When I returned to New York, I started taking music lessons and taught myself to play the guitar. I had always written sort of poetry, so I started using that as my lyrics. I started spending more and more time writing music and performing at local open mics. It got to the point where all I could think about was music and I knew I had to take any savings I had from my Wall St job and take a leap of faith to give it a try.

And it was a good idea! What inspires your music?

I tend to philosophize about my life experiences, I write it down when it comes to me, which sometimes turns into lyrics. I try to write about the ignored aspects of human emotion. It can be something very dark, or also just exploring anything that breaks my heart, passions and pains. Maybe they are things unspoken or left in the subconscious. I keep all my journal notes. When I go to write a song, I usually draw inspiration from those notes. I also write down my dreams. If I write the dream down as soon as I wake up, I can usually remember a good amount and then it fades away from conscious memory "poof" so I have to be quick. When I read those dream notes, weeks or months later, I am sometimes so shocked to read what came out of my half-awake mind. I also love museums and art exhibits so much and when I finally have freetime, that’s where you’ll find me (The Met and MoMa PS1 being my favorites). Art contains all the relatable aspects of life. I feel you can find everything beautiful that you’re searching for there. I’ve always had this lurking feeling of being unusual, like I didn’t belong. Luckily, we are currently in an age of empowerment for outcasts and underdogs to come forward and be themselves. At least in my mind, I feel we are encouraged more than ever to let our authenticity shine no matter our color, preferences, gender and religion. How lucky are we? It’s a good time to create and enjoy art. I tend to be very idealistic and always hopeful for people, and people make up the world, so there’s hope. Being a quixote, I think that hope and that quixotism tends to inspire my music as well.


Wow, art is really present in your mind. But artists, too! Who influenced you?

I don’t always tell my American audience this since they may not know the artists, but I actually am very influenced by French music. I absolutely adore Françoise Hardy, Charles Aznavour, Edith Piaf and some of Jacques Dutronc’s songs (j’adore, j’adore 'les cactus’—it’s the best). Aznavour is probably my most favorite. I speak fluent French and used to live a short time in Geneva and spent several months in Paris. Being Polish-American, I also love Czeslaw Niemen. He is our Polish Mozart. His voice is incredible. Please take a moment to listen to the depth of his soul. Other pop influences include: Madonna, David Bowie, Chairlift, Florence + The Machine, The Cranberries, Shakira, Radiohead, Lykke Li, Kate Bush, Lana Del Rey and Debbie Harry from Blondie. Just a ps: the first song I ever learned on guitar was Carla Bruni’s 'Quelqu’un m’a dit'.

Indeed, for us, it seems incredible to learn guitar with this song! And what about this single, "Goodnight, Mr. Moon"? Where does the story comes from?

There were a few inspirations for the song. The initial spark came from a conversation with my friend & visual artist, Heide Hatry, who occasionally runs some artist showcase nights in conjunction with her work. She asked me if I could write a song about death and perform it at her showcase (which I did at the end of last year). She told me her project 'Icons in Ash' all started with her dealing with the loss of her father. I felt her emotion that she would do anything to bring him back. He was cremated, so she took the ashes from his body and created a portrait of him in his utmost essence. She felt a lot of relief in having that portrait in her apartment. Her project caught on by word-of-mouth and before she knew it she was commissioned to make portraits of clients' deceased husbands, wives, sisters and even pets. Here is the site for the project: iconsinash.com/portrait-mosaic.html. She's received quite a bit of press regarding her work as well. Fast forward, as soon as I left the concert in the LES here in New York where she and I had met up, I had the song coming to me in my head and was singing it as I was walking down the street. Initially, it was just "How do I get you back? All the pieces in one. How do I get you back? All the pieces came undone". I kept thinking about the theme of putting the pieces together to bring one's loved one back. Further, I have suffered from nightmares for many years. I often have hallucinations when I sleep. I wake up and see things in my bedroom or projected onto the walls or something within my room takes a different shape and moves. It's frightening. The first verse of the song takes inspiration from one of my nightmares where I woke up and it literally looked as if the moon was projecting a spotlight onto my wall and it looked like a scene was playing out. It may sound magical, but it was quite frightening. I started coming up with the visualization of someone hallucinating in the middle of the night, bringing back their loved one by talking to the moon, and so the loved one becomes "Mr. Moon". She communicates with her lost love in the nighttime. She processes her grief in her dreams. She thinks it is totally real until the end of the song when she wakes up from the dream and knows that it's really time to say goodbye, indicated by the last lyrics: "Goodnight, Mr. Moon". There's a climax to the song at the moment of awakening—that's when it picks up. If people listen through the entire song, it has a definitive journey that was quite intentional. I enjoy writing and performing all my songs on stage, but as far as my songs to listen to personally, 'Goodnight, Mr. Moon' is my favorite one.

Anyway, we can say that the inspiration was good! Thank you for telling us a bit more about you, and good luck for your future projects!