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We chat to Henry Ate’s Karma ahead of her SA trip to open for Texas

2017-11-16 15:40

Cape Town – It was announced in September that Karma and her band Henry Ate will be opening for Scottish pop band Texas on their SA tour.

The band is set to perform at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town on Friday, 8 December 2017 and in Johannesburg at Montecasino Outdoor Event Area on Sunday, 10 December 2017.

Known for their hit songs Just, Hey Mister and One Day Soon, this will be the first time that Henry Ate will perform as a full band since 2006.

Karma-Ann Swanepoel achieved national success in late 1996, at the age of 21, with the release of her debut album Slap In The Face under the moniker Henry Ate. Karma and Henry Ate spent much of the late 90’s and 2000’s releasing chart-topping albums, touring the world and performing alongside legends like Skunk Anansie.

We chat to Karma about her trip to SA and opening for Texas.

Check it out below:

Hi Karma-Ann, how are you and where are you currently?

I’m good. Right now I’m in Maui. Yay Vacay! But I’m usually in Portland, Oregon – that’s where I live these days.

paradise in fall

A post shared by Karma (@karma28) on

You’ll be opening for Texas at Kirstenbosch and Montecasino in December, are you excited and can you tell us what fans can expect from the show?

I’m super excited. It’s been a blast just going over the Henry Ate songs and getting the sets together, so I can’t wait to perform them live.  I think the shows are going to be a ton of fun for everyone, a trip down memory lane for the band and the audience.  
You live in the States now, what does a typical day in your life look like over there?

Right now, I’m on vacation (holiday) in Maui – soaking up some sun, practicing Henry Ate songs, and working on some new tunes. Not really my ‘typical’ day – I wish – but it’s where I’m at this week. I don’t think I have ‘typical’ days – I try to keep my life as interesting as possible.  

Do you miss South Africa and how regularly do you visit SA? Will you ever come back?

I’ve been living in the states for 14 years now and have come back to visit SA almost every year. I’m pretty settled over this side, so no plans to move anywhere else right now. Luckily, I get to travel a lot so I’m always exploring. 

What’s the one thing you miss the most about SA?

Cream Soda.

Your song Just - basically every South African knows that song and it cemented your status in SA as a singer and songwriter to watch, has your musical process and the way you write music changed at all since then? How do you go about writing now?

I’ve always written the same way. Usually come up with a series of chords I like, start singing melodies over them, adjust and build from there. My writing style is more based in streaming consciousness then anything purposeful, but I do sometimes sit down and edit and have written lyrics without music a few times. That process, however, is not as enjoyable for me. I like to just sing things and hope I write them down before I forget what I just did. 

If you could collaborate with any South African artist, who would it be and why?

That’s a tough one. There are so many talented musicians in SA. If I had to choose one, it would be Theo Crous. We’ve been friends for years and have spoken about working together so many times … just never gotten around to it.  

Blue Suede Shoes

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If there’s one song in the whole world that you wish you had written, which one would it be?

Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper.

What’s the one thing no one knows about you?

I don’t have one of these. Maybe I should. I’m not really a secret person. People probably know more about me than they should. I’ve been pouring my life into songs for years. 

What’s next for you?

I’m busy working on new songs and a new project – don’t want to call it an album, because I am not sure if that’s what I am doing yet. Just writing and working on arrangements, recording etc. Very organically. This is the first time I’m actually working with complete freedom to do things any which way I like, so I’m thoroughly enjoying the process and revelling in it. I have never enjoyed the recording process, and have found producing music on a time limit and budget to be super counterproductive – it doesn’t make sense to me or my style of working spontaneously to be asked to sit down and do it on purpose. 

Texas tour itinerary:

Cape Town
Date: Friday 8 December
Venue: Kirstenbosch Gardens
Tickets: R495

Date: Sunday 10 December
Venue: Emmarentia Dam
Tickets: R495

Tickets are available from Webtickets.

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