Streisand’s footsteps: Interview with singer Karine Hannah

Karine Hannah is a singer from New York who has made a niche for herself singing tributes to Barbara Streisand. On January 25, 2019, at 9:30pm, Karine will perform at Feinstein’s/54 Below. The show is one night only with tickets ranging in price from $30 to $60.

Karine expertly sings Barbra Streisand’s songs and even resembles her.

Karine is currently at work on a new album after selling out at a cabaret in April. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Karine bears a striking resemblance to Streisand who was her most profound influence along with vocalists such as Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Celine Dion. In 2016, Karine climbed the billboard charts with her songs “Victory” and “Burning Up.”

Karine recently discussed this concert, her flourishing career, and more via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): When did you first discover your talent for singing and how did you nurture that talent?

Karine Hannah (KH): I THINK THE DEFINITIVE MOMENT FOR ME WAS WHEN I WAS 13 AND I AUDITIONED FOR A LOCAL SEMI-PROFESSIONAL STAGE PRODUCTION. AFTER I SANG, EVERYONE IN THE AUDIENCE STOOD UP FROM THEIR SEATS AND I RECEIVED MY FIRST STANDING OVATION. IT WAS SHOCKING TO ME, I DEFINITELY WAS NOT EXPECTING IT. I TRY TO KEEP MY VOCAL CHOPS UP BY SINGING A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT STYLES OF MUSIC. I LIKE THE CHALLENGE OF SINGING MALE VOCALS FROM HEAVY METAL TO SOUL AND THEN WORKING MY RANGE WITH FEMALE SINGERS THAT GO TO NOSE BLEED PLACES…WITH THE COMBO OF EXTREME STYLES, I’VE MANAGED TO FIND MY OWN SOUND.

MM: When were you first introduced to the music of Barbara Streisand and what about it most appeals to you?

KH: MY MOTHER WAS A HUGE STREISAND FAN AND SHE WAS THE ONE WHO INTRODUCED ME TO HER MUSIC. I THINK THAT WHAT I FIND APPEALING ABOUT IT IS THAT IT’S TIMELESS AND EVERY PRODUCTION IS A WORK OF ART. ALSO, LETS FACE IT, NOT EVERYONE CAN SING IT, AND I LIKE THE CHALLENGE, THAT’S VERY APPEALING TO ME.

MM: Which of her songs is your favorite to listen to and which do you most enjoy performing? Why?

KH: I PREFER HER MORE POP SONGS, AND LOVE WHAT BARRY GIBB AND JIM STEINMAN WROTE FOR HER. BARRY GIBB IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ONE OF HER MOST ICONIC ALBUMS CALLED “GUILTY” AND THERE’S A SONG ON THE ALBUM CALLED “MAKE IT LIKE A MEMORY” THAT I LOVE, ALSO JIM STEINMAN (MEATLOAF’S BAT OUT OF HELL, CELINE DION, IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO ME…) WROTE A SONG CALLED “LEFT IN THE DARK”. I KNOW I SAID THAT I ENJOY HER MORE POP MUSIC, BUT I REALLY ENJOY SINGING HER SONG “HE TOUCHED ME”. IT’S KIND OF A MIX OF TORCH, JAZZ, AND BROADWAY BUT I FEEL GOOD SINGING IT. I THINK IT’S ONE OF MY BEST.

MM: Growing up, how aware were you that you also look quite a bit like Barbara?

KH: I WAS SUPER AWARE OF MY RESEMBLANCE BECAUSE AT LEAST ONE PERSON A DAY, SINCE THE AGE OF 15 OR 16 YEARS OLD, WOULD COME UP TO ME JUST TO LET ME KNOW…EVEN IF THEY DIDN’T KNOW I WAS A SINGER….THE COMMENTS WOULD ALWAYS END WITH “BUT YOU DON’T HAVE HER NOSE” AND “ YOU LOOK LIKE THE 70’S VERSION OF HER”

MM: Does Barbara Streisand know of you and have you ever met her? If so, what was that like?

KH: SHE DOES NOT KNOW ABOUT ME, EVEN THOUGH SHE SHOULD, BECAUSE I COULD TOTALLY BE HER LONG- LOST DAUGHTER AND IT’S NOT EVERYDAY THAT YOU COME ACROSS A PERSON IN LIFE THAT NOT ONLY RESEMBLES YU SO MUCH, BUT HAS SIMILAR MANEURISMS AND HAS THAT “BIG VOICE”. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES.

Karine is planning a performance in new York City.

MM: What are some of the most fun and creative experiences you’ve had so far in show business?

KH: SINGING AT CELINE DION’S WEDDING WAS THE FIRST…. WORKING AND RECORDING WITH COMPOSER JIM STEINMAN…LANDING A MAJOR RECORD DEAL WHEN I LEAST EXPECTED IT…LIVING OUT MY DREAM OF SHOOTING MUSIC VIDEOS AND RECORDING AN ALBUM…AND NOW HAVING THE BALLS TO SING THE SONGS OF BARBRA STREISAND!

MM: You’re working on an album now, so what can you tell us about the songs on it?

KH: THE ALBUM STARTED OFF BY BEING MAINLY ORIGINALS, BUT MY RECORD COMPANY DECIDED THAT THEY WANT ME TO FOCUS ON RECORDING GREAT UNEXPECTED COVER TUNES AND MAKE THEM MY OWN. IT WILL BE A GREAT ALBUM AND I TRULY BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ENJOY HEARING SONGS THAT THEY ALREADY KNOW BUT DONE IN A FRESH WAY.

MM: What do you most enjoy about performing live, especially in New York?

KH: NEW YORK CROWDS ARE A TOUGH BUNCH. IN EUROPE THEY EAT YOU UP AND REALLY APPRECIATE TALENT OVER WHAT IS THE LATEST TREND IN MUSIC. IN THE CABARET WORLD OF NEW YORK, IF YOU ARE GOOD, YOU WILL BE EMBRACED, AND I DEFINITELY FEEL THE LOVE FROM NEW YORK, AND EVEN THOUGH THEY WANT TO COME SEE ME, IT’S JUST DIFFICULT TO GET THEM OUT OF THEIR PJ’S! LOL!

MM: What’s forthcoming in your music career as we head into 2019 and would you like to discuss anything further?

KH: NEW ALBUM, TOURING, MORE LIVE SHOWS, MORE BABS.
COME SEE ME THIS FRIDAY NIGHT, JANUARY 25TH @ 9PM AT 54 BELOW! IN NYC

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To purchase tickets to the event, see here.

Karine has an album coming out soon.

Meagan J. Meehan is a published author of novels, short stories, and poems. She is also a produced playwright and an award-winning modern artist.

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