The Slovakian singer Karin Ann has been making music since she was 15, and now she’s set to be the next Gen Z alt-pop sensation. Karin’s first English language release, 3AM, came back in 2020, and the last few years have seen her rise to fame. More recently, she released the EP side effects of being human, and new songs are continuing to drop.
Having grown up as part of the LGBTQ+ community in a conservative country, Karin Ann is no stranger to making space for herself. Karin has spoken about the effort to make sure the music she creates is what she wants, and not simply what the music industry wants her to be. That push against social norms and the call to be recognized comes through strongly in her music.
Pop star Mel 4Ever talks the real-world experiences that shaped her music and why she refuses to be boxed in by genre.
For Karin Ann’s latest songs, a stranger with my face and favorite star, the musician collaborated with Tusk to create the music videos, creating a two-part narrative that extends the story. Starring alongside Karin Ann in the videos are Gus Kenworthy and Ashley Moore, the videos explore romance, toxic feelings, and queer identities. Ahead of the October 13th release of favorite star, we spoke with Karin Ann about the videos, the importance of queer platforms, and more.
We had like three 15-hour filming days, so it was a lot of hard work, and we were really tired, but we had a lot of fun on set and I’m really happy with how the videos turned out.
What record are you currently obsessed with?
There’s so many, but something I’ve heard on replay for the past couple months is Unreal Unearth by Hozier.
Your new song, favorite star, deals with topics related to identity, romance, and specifically the loss of identity within a relationship. How did you feel about the different natures that story takes on in pure song form versus in the video with the additional dialogue added?
With the videos for a stranger with my face and favorite star, I didn’t wanna go super on the nose with the story, but I still wanted the videos to relate to what the songs are about, and I think Tusk and I did a really good job of that.
If we gave you a budget to produce a biopic about your favorite queer icon, who would it be, and what would be the Oscar-winning scene?
I would have to say Freddie Mercury, but it’s already been kind of done with Bohemian Rhapsody the movie.
You’ve spoken about the struggles with growing up LGBTQ+ in Slovakia. How does it feel to have found an international platform where you can be accepted for your identity and be compared to music figures like Billie Eilish?
I’m trying to use my platform to talk about important issues like a lot of musicians these days. I’m also trying to build a community for the people who feel like they don’t belong and have nowhere to turn or nobody to turn to. But the thing is that that community is also for me. It kind of works both ways. When people find a community in my music, in my platform, they also in turn kind of make a community for me, and for me to feel like I belong.
What were the last three emojis you used on your phone?
I use the most random emojis because I have a really weird sense of humor, so please don’t judge:
Who is a queer pop culture creator that deserves to be recognized?
I feel like all the names that come to mind have already been getting recognition or at least lately have been getting recognition, but somebody that’s really cool and I had the pleasure to work with, and I followed for years before I even did music professionally is Kailee Morgue and I feel like she definitely deserves a lot more recognition
What are you working on next, and what are you most excited for in the future?
I am working on a lot of things, a lot of new music, some new music videos, hopefully some concerts but people will have to wait and see for themselves.