New Jersey native Karly C (Coleman) recently released her debut country single “You and Your Whatever,” which is taking off faster than a bow and arrow. With sassy lyrics like “while you and your whatever, do God knows what wherever, I’m free to live my life as I choose, and I owe it all to the both of you,” the crossover artist has already proven her heart is in country music.
I just feel like country is more a state of mind and isn’t necessarily defined by the one you live in. I’m not exactly turning my back on pop music, I’m just branching out to where my passion really lies as an artist, and a person, in a genre that doesn’t judge based on looks over substance. I’m not into the whole ‘pop princess’ thing. Sure, I can get made up and play the part — but, I’m honestly just as comfortable holding my fishing rod, bow and arrow or shotgun…almost as much as I am writing and singing songs!
Favorite music spots in your hometown of Hamilton, New Jersey?
KC: Believe it or not, out of all of the local gigs that we play my favorite place isn’t really open to the public. It’s the bar of a place called the Ancient Order of Hibernians where once in a while they hire us and open their bar up to the public for the night. The members there get so genuinely excited that we’re coming and actually sit and listen, and even come up and sing or play harmonica with us sometimes. lol But it’s just a great feeling overall as opposed to the public bars where everyone is either staring at the televisions on the walls or their phones.
Coleman’s rise has come, in part, due to her partnership with her manager/fiancé Mike Matisa. Coleman’s talent combined with Matisa’s contacts has boosted her profile with national and international musicians and producers like Edgar Jaude.
Are you currently creating music for television and film? What is it like working with Edgard Jaude?
KC: Not at the moment. But Edgard is quite honestly a genius. We met back in 2015 through a mutual friend. When I first sat in his studio he played some of his songs for me and showed me a list of over 2000 tracks on his ASCAP profile, all either in publishing libraries or already placed in some major TV shows. He’s a real composer who at the time focused on mostly instrumentals, with a few other singers here and there on pitches that needed vocals. He gets REALLY into his work, jamming out to it as he plays it back for you! lol.
But seriously, the first real placement that we worked on together was in 2016 for the Lifetime TV show “Dance Moms” where he and another writer gave me a track to sing on. It was such a great feeling to hear myself on TV and watch those little girls put their heart and soul into it at the same time. That went over so well that the show’s music supervisor came back to us and asked for four more custom written songs that I had the pleasure this time of writing all of the lyrics, as well as, singing them obviously.
From there, Edgard and I started to pump out a collection of ten originals that eventually became my debut pop album, “Take Me As I Am”, which was signed to a production music publishing deal in 2018, distributed by Warner Chappell domestically and BMG overseas. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t (and still isn’t!) all magical. We butt heads quite a bit creatively speaking. But in the end, we put out our best work that shows in the final product. In fact, the title track from that album has been in steady rotation on SiriusXM channel 303, Venus 6–8 times/day since May 2.
What is your goal as a musician?
KC: I just LOVE to create, record, and sing so much that I want to just be able to say that I am 100% making my living from music someday, and able to share it with the world, not just my home town or a small cult following. I don’t need all of the fame and recognition that goes with it, I’m honestly not very comfortable in. those situations. I just want to share my music with everyone, and maybe see what it feels like to sing on a real stage someday in front of thousands of people who actually came to hear me.
What are you and Mike currently working on?
KC: We’re going to work on a follow up radio formatted pop song for “Take Me As I Am,” and also keep pumping out country singles with the team in Nashville who I recorded “You and Your Whatever” with. They are so nice and unbelievably talented! So generally speaking continue down the path as a crossover artist similar to Maren Morris. I mean, the lines between pop and country are crossed so much now anyway, why not?
Backstories to “Take Me As I Am” and “You and Your Whatever”?
KC: Well “Take Me As I Am” started with just an instrumental track that Edgard sent over. I literally stood at the mic just humming and riffing until the chorus came out. And the line was “Take me as I am or watch me as I go”, referring to everyone having their opinions of who they think I should be as an artist.
“You and Your Whatever” was actually a joke where one of my friends and her boyfriend who basically spend all of their time drinking on the weekends didn’t have much time for me anymore, since I’m not a drinker. So I kind of went with that concept but turned it into a relationship song. It came out quite easily actually! I had all of the chords and lyrics worked out in a few hours.
What song represents your own sound best?
KC: I’m still trying to figure that out. lol. I don’t really define myself in any one genre as I said before. But I do feel like country is more natural for me and my raspy tone. I like the organic sound and sincerity of it. It’s more about substance over style where you’re respected more for your talent rather than making a spectacle of yourself for a lack of it.
Favorite song to cover?
What was the hardest part of teaching yourself to play piano and guitar? What instrument do you want to learn next?
KC: Well for guitar I would say barre chords due to refusing to take my acrylic nails off. lol. I didn’t really find piano that difficult honestly. There’s so many YouTube videos out there, and generally speaking it doesn’t require as much acrobatics with your fingers as guitar. Aside from that I would really like to get better on bass guitar.
Best fishing catch to date? Bucket list place to fish?
KC: lol 4.9lbs! I would really like to try bass fishing in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, or North Carolina. The real bucketMOUTH places where the bass are like three times the size of ours in New Jersey. lol
What’s an average day like for you as an artist?
KC: Well for starters I work a full time 9–5 job at an Orthopedic surgeon’s office. But, when I’m not working I love to hang out in the studio recording. I can do that for HOURS and lose track of the time really easy. But I also spend quite a bit of quality time with my pets and hobbies. Mike and I do a lot of outdoors activities like fishing, archery, going to the gun range, kicking a soccer ball around, and doing outside home improvement projects. We also love our fire pit and hot tub. I’m kind of a homebody honestly and, musically speaking, I have my fits of being hyper focused and other times where I’ll walk away from it (other than our live shows) for a few months until the mood hits me again. I honestly think having that balance helps keep you from burning out.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
KC: Don’t believe everything you see and hear about how other artists made it. There can be so many defining moments in your career that when added up get you where you need to be. These magical stories of being discovered on YouTube, or a singing show, or peddling your music from door to door until that special someone finally believed in it, are all usually made up for the most part. Because if you take me for example, all of the things I’ve done so far aren’t very magical or interesting at all. It’s been seven years of very SLOWLY building up momentum and navigating through all of the BS.
A movie of your life is being filmed — who are the leads?
KC: I guess Lady Gaga. I mean, I already feel like her character in a Star is Born was me to a T. Even the way she looked for God’s sake! lol
What is the weirdest or funniest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?
KC: Well lets see, in an interview? I guess whenever I’m asked where my singing ability comes from. Because to this day no one can figure it out. Both sides of my family are basically tone deaf. lol
Which musician would you like to collaborate with next — writing and/or singing?