Karine Hannah’s voice hits hard. The Montreal-born and New York-based singer can deliver an overpoweringly emotional ballad just as seamlessly as she can stir up the dance floor. It’s what makes her self-proclaimed, “over-the-top pop sound”, so magnetic, majestic, and magnificent—appropriately living up to its moniker. Her forthcoming Cash Money Records debut really pushes everything over the top though.
Growing up in Canada, Karine always found herself drawn to music. At the age of sixteen, her performance on a Canadian television show enchanted none other than Celine Dion. The world-renowned diva went on to ask Karine to even perform at her wedding.
“That was really the start,” she recalls. “It was such an incredible moment, and I realized I needed to pursue this endlessly to fulfill my dreams as a singer.”
So, she relocated to New York City. Within weeks of moving to the Big Apple, she linked up with none other than Jim Steinman [Meat Loaf] and began collaborating with him. For the next few years, nearly every major label courted her, but she didn’t find a home until Cash Money Records co-founders Ronald “Slim” Williams and Bryan “Baby” Williams heard a recording from her in their lawyer’s office.
“It happened at a time when I least expected it,” the songstress continues. “I’d been working so hard for so long, and then Cash Money came into the picture. They’re an incredible label, and we’ve already formed an amazing bond.”
Their partnership kicks off with Karine’s incendiary debut single “Burning Up”, co-written and produced by Josh Harris. Climbing from dynamically danceable production into a robust refrain from the singer, it blazes bright.
“That song was about a past relationship that went sour,” she explains. “I feel the lyrics when I’m performing them. The song was written as if it was present and the feelings are in the moment. It’s the perfect outlet. Musically, it’s modern, but there’s a little bit old school too.”
That’s only a prelude of what’s to come though. Karine nods to legends such as Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Barbara Streisand as well as French and European artists she heard on the radio as a child. As a result, she’s got something completely fresh and fiery.
“I grew up with both sides—the American and the Euro,” she says. “I want to embrace all of that in my own music.”
Ultimately, Karine stands poised to capture the world’s attention now with her voice. “I want people to feel good after listening to music,” she leaves off. “If what I do brings joy in any way, shape, or form, I’m happy. I sing from the soul, and I hope it reaches listeners.”