KARMA BIOG 2006
South Africa’s celebrated pop chanteuse Karma-Ann Swanepoel achieved national success in late 1996 with the release of her debut album “Slap In The Face” under the moniker Henry Ate at the tender age of 21. Two singles from that album occupied the top of South Africa’s radio charts. In May of 1997, the first single “Just” sailed all the way to #1, followed by the second single “Hey Mister” which rose to the #2 slot a few short months later in September of 1997. Success came like a tidal wave and the young waif-like beauty was swept into a fury of press and public adoration. Only working with the best players she could find, Karma’s live shows possessed a certain magic and energy that drew sold out crowds everywhere she played. Henry Ate was quickly becoming a national institution. Henry Ate ended the year touring the continent with Skunk Anansie.
In 1998 Karma released her second album under the name KARMA. The album was titled “One Day Soon”. Four consecutive singles from that album all entered the Top 10 – “Dr. Pepper”, “One Day Soon”, “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Seconds Count”. Henry Ate went on tour that year with South Africa’s most popular artist, Johnny Clegg. The year was capped off when Karma won Pop Album Of The Year at South Africa’s SAMA awards (South African equivalent of the Grammy) for “One Day Soon”. The S.A. Video Awards followed and Karma won video of the year for “Tuesday Afternoon”. Karma appeared on the covers of the S.A. editions of People Magazine, ELLE, Cosmo, The Sunday Times, the London edition of TNT and many other national magazines as well as articles in Billboard etc. KARMA was soon headlining every major music festival in South Africa, and toured with Garbage in 1999.
In 2000, Henry Ate released their second (Karma’s Third) album “Torn And Tattered” with top charted singles “Madhatter”, “She’s Alright”, “Saints And Sinners” and “Prayer” and was subsequently nominated for Album Of The Year. By this point, Henry Ate had grown to be South Africa’s most popular live act. Karma began producing other acts, writing songs for other artists, all the while compiling an impressive catalog of original songs.
In 2001 Henry Ate toured with Melanie C, and played an international gig in London at the Empire in Shepherds Bush. Also in 2001, the Henry Ate song “Just” was voted the #1 song of all time in South Africa by Radio 5 FM’s listening audience. 2002 saw the release of “Henry Ate 96-02 The Singles” which includes all of the top radio hits plus four new songs and is the last album of her contract with EMI in South Africa.
August 2003 saw the release of KARMA “Seven Songs” through Karma’s newly formed independent label AMP (Ate Music Productions). Both projects have been a huge success for Karma, with the album achieving 3 #1 singles; “And And And”, “27 Years” and “I Found Out” in SA.
In November 2003 Karma-Ann made the move to the USA. She formed a new band called KARMA comprising of Karma-Ann Swanepoel (Vocals & Acoustic Guitar), Daniel de la Fe (Drums), Stephen Calderalo (Bass & backing Vox) and Christiaan Wood (Electric Guitar). Based in Ft Lauderdale, this indie pop rock four piece is quickly developing into a popular attraction at live performance venues throughout Florida, California, New York, North Carolina and Atlanta where they travel frequently.
2004 saw KARMA perform at Colliope Fest (Hollywood FL), win the open mic night at Eddie’s Attic (Atlanta GA), headline the Seattle Music Festival at Alki Beach (Seattle WA), perform with the GIN BLOSSOMS in New York City and Long Island (NY) and headline several shows at Churchill’s, Flavour, Senor Frogs, Purdy Lounge and Tobacco Road (Miami FL).
In October 2004 KARMA went into the studio with Grammy award winning engineer and producer Scott Canto. The resulting album “Don’t Walk Fly” was released by Sheer Music (South Africa) in March 2005. “Tula” the first single off the album immediately went to #1 on the SA Music Charts and has been followed by the album’s second single “Lucy” with equal success. The third single “Tattoo” has added to the success of “Don’t Walk Fly” by also holding the #1 slot on charts around the country.
KARMA toured South Africa in support of “Don’t Walk Fly’s” South African release in March-April 2005 performing to sold out audiences nationally and headlining festivals around the country, including Oppi Koppi and Kaktus op die Vlaktes. They also performed with Canadian pop star Tal Bachman and hosted a charity event to Benefit Nkosi’s Haven in Johannesburg.
In August 2005 Karma-Ann ventured to London and performed two record sell out shows at THE HALF MOON, Fulham, London, UK. Nov – Dec 2005 saw the KARMA head for London again to perform two sold out shows at the famed KINGS HEAD, now called ZULU’S in Putney, London, UK.
The reviews of “Don’t Walk Fly” speak for themselves hailing the band KARMA and the album as one of the best releases of 2005. Equally as impressive are the reviews of KARMA’S live performances.
2006 has been the year KARMA as a band have really come into their own. They have had a lot of industry attention, including that of Jonathan Mover with whom they are scheduled to start recording their first American release with in October 2006. The songs that have been written for the album undeniably attest to Karma-Ann’s strength as a writer and ability to move an audience with unashamed, prolific honesty and endless on-stage energy. The addition of a new drummer: Jon Lazar in June 2006 has also brought with it a vibrance and new eloquence in the arrangements of the new material.
After their return from a very successful trip to Los Angeles in June 2006, where they sold out their debut performance at the famed VIPER ROOM and extended their set by the venues request to appease their enthusiastic audience, KARMA have set their sights on performing in a different US city every month and are currently setting up dates for performances in New York, Nashville, Philadelphia, Austin to name but a few.
KARMA is undeniably history in the making and is ready to show the rest of the world what South Africa already knows: Here is an amazingly prolific young songwriter who is teetering on the brink of worldwide recognition.
KARMA IS THE WEAPON OF THE FUTURE.