Call Redialed: Karine Hannah: "Guilty Pleasures" at Feinstein's/54 Below
Guilty Pleasures is something that everyone needs to see and hear. Karine interprets over 20 “AM gold” – soft rock & pop classic songs from the ’70s and ’80s that we’ve all heard on the radio (remember radio?) – featuring “Come Sail Away” (Styx), “How Much I Feel” (Ambrosia), “Baby Come Back” (Player), “Could This Be the Magic” (Barry Manilow), “Broken Wings” (Mister Mister), “Reunited” (Peaches & Herb), “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (Elton John), “Into the Night” (Benny Mardones), and so many more tunes that you’ll somehow know and love more than you realize.
Guilty Pleasures will play at Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) on Friday, November 1 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!
1. It's been just nine months since our last interview. What have you been up to? Time flies Adam! I just finished up two performances in NYC and recordings for a winter album release.
2. One thing I know, is that you are returning, once again, to Feinstein's/54 Below on November 1 with a new show entitled Guilty Pleasures. What excites you about this show? Yes, what excites me about this show, is that the music that I’m singing is undeniable and loved by almost everyone. I’ve carefully selected 38 incredible songs/melodies from the ‘70s and ‘80s and I’ll be interpreting all male songs (with the exception of some duets).
From 2011 till 2014 I was touring with this show and received a tremendous reaction, but then I had to put it on hold for my recording career. I had just been signed to Cash Money Records and put it on hold. But the reaction from the audience was always: mouths opening in delight or you know that face you make when remembering a song and then get excited or the “oh yeah” expression as they are remembering each song that they/you grew up hearing on the radio. Remember Radio? lol. it’s one shocking song after another. It’s not music you hear every day either, but you will know them all. If you don’t know them, you will love them, because of their undeniable melodies.
3. The show is a mix of classic rock & pop songs from the ‘70s and ‘80s. How long did it take you to narrow down this set list? That is such a great question. If it was up to me I wouldn’t have narrowed it down and I would just sing all night in order to get every classic song in the show. Obviously not realistic, so, I had to decide on which songs, in my opinion, will please the audience the most. I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t picking obscure songs, but at the same time I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t picking songs that you hear often. I wanted to make sure that every song will knock you over the head. And if you are the few who are listening to the radio stations that play this music, you’re probably singing along to them in secrecy because they are “guilty pleasure” songs.
4. What was the first song you knew had to be in this show? And why was this song a must? That’s an easy question to answer. Without a doubt I needed to put in a song called “Into The Night” by Benny Mardones. You need to look it up and listen to it! You probably know the chorus of that song already. It’s probably my favorite guilty pleasure song ever.
Benny Mardones was a one hit wonder. Actually, he was a two hit wonder, this song was hit in 1980, and then again in 1989. It’s an undeniable soulful ballad and the chorus just gets me every time. I’ve even recorded a version of it. I remember hearing it in the background in my home. My mother had the radio on all the time and it just does something to me. Benny Mardones who wrote it and recorded the song even heard my recording of it and called me personally to tell me how much he loved it. He said it was the best version he had ever heard. So it’s so special to me every time I sing it.
5. Some of my favorite songs included in this show are "Could This Be Magic" (Barry Manillow), "Broken Wings" (Mr. Mister) & "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (Elton John). Let's break these questions down over the next few questions. What is something that has happened to you in your life or career that made you say "Could This Be Magic"? I needed to think about my response. I would have to say, when I first came to New York City from Montreal, one of the first people that I met in the industry had a demo of mine and somehow he sent it by a fluke to one of my favorite composers Jim Steinman (“Bat Out Of Hell”). I was lucky enough to have had a few years of recording music with Jim and working with him. That, to me, was like a magical time. Dream come true!
6. Now for "Broken Wings." When have you taken "These Broken Wings And Learn To Fly Again"? This one is easy LOL. It was a hard break up when I stopped working with Jim Steinman. A lot of drama surrounding our ending. I spent the next few years lost and trying desperately to figure out how I was going to land a new record deal. I was definitely broken, because I thought I was set in my career when I met Jim Steinman. But, I got my lucky break when I least expected it and landed a major record deal, so my wings were no longer broken and I learned to fly again.
7. Lastly, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." When have you had to sing this song to yourself before? Oh my gosh, probably have sung the song in the shower thousands of times, during at least four major break ups, and or just being concerned that the guy I was dating could potentially hurt me. I’m sure this sounds very familiar and everyone can relate to that…but it’s funny that you mention this particular song because it’s one of my go to songs in the shower. LOL.
8. One song, I didn't mention yet, that you will be performing is "Come Sail Away" by Styx. If you could sail away to anywhere, where would you go to? If I could sail away to any place, hmmm...I don’t have a specific destination, but I would like to go south. I love New York City, but I don’t like cold weather and snow. I grew up in Montreal and have braved many winter storms. But I never liked it. I would love to be in a place that had continuous sunshine and the ease of mild temperatures. That would make me very happy.
9. These songs are so well known. How are you making them your own? The songs are very well-known, but not necessarily known to people by who the artist is who recorded the songs. That’s what I love so much about my set list. They are undeniable songs that were played and heard through our lives. Maybe not teens and 20 years olds, although when I was their age I knew a lot of music from 10, 20, 30 years before my time, so sometimes I do expect people of all ages to be aware of older music. Or at least they should know the Beatles LOL if anything.
10. What is something about yourself you haven't revealed in an interview yet that you would like to tell everyone now? There are a lot of things that I would love to have the courage to reveal. Let’s save it for our next interview, we should talk again!
But in the meantime, I want this show Guilty Pleasures to be a success and ongoing for years to come. I see how much fun and joy people get from the music my heart and soul put into this. The magnitude of talent that is on stage with me and its music, that is timeless and done better than anyone!
More on Karine:
Karine Hannah’s voice packs a wallop. You feel it with every song she covers, but especially the anthems. And while there’s no denying she knows her way around a power ballad, that “over-the-top pop sound” isn’t just a go-to imitation of similar artists. The Montreal-born and New York-based singer is above all an interpreter. She takes on these resonant hits to not only deliver them with stunning, flawless technique, but also to reimagine them. Her rich and original nuance invites us to hear the music anew.
Her latest credits include a 2017/2018 EP released by Cash Money, many performances and appearances at Joe’s Pub and 54 Below, along with a promo tour across the US.
Karine’s most recent performance at Feinstein’s 54 Below: Karine Hannah Sings Striesand, is a tribute to Barbra herself, the songbird of the century. The cabaret show proved became such a success, she was asked to bring it back for an encore at 54 Below, followed but a brief stay at City Winery.
Growing up in Canada, and at the age of sixteen, her performance on a Canadian television show caught the eye of Canadian songstress Celine Dion. The world-renowned diva would ultimately go on ask Karine to perform at her wedding.
Karine relocated to New York City where she began collaborating with Jim Steinman (Meat Loaf, “Bat Out Of Hell”) and launched her debut single “Burning Up”, co-written and produced by Josh Harris. The song climbed the Billboard charts and made it all the way to number five. Her next single co-written by Michael Jay called “Victory” landed in the top 10.