Jaz Karis 2024

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jaz Karis, another super talented R&B singer from London that you definitely need to keep an eye on. We first heard about her through her collaboration with Tone Stith on “Met You At A Bar”, which introduced us to her whole catalog of solid R&B tracks like “Therapy” and “Side Of You” – to name a few. Her clear clean vocals and catchy melodies have us looking ahead to see what Jaz will bring next into the R&B space, and appreciating the great music.

We talked to Jaz Karis about her inspirations, her upcoming music, her collaboration with Tone Stith, and much more. (Watch the YouTube Video for the full Q&A!)

YouKnowIGotSoul: Just tell me a little bit just about your journey on how you got your start in music so the readers can really get to know you.

Jaz Karis: I think my interest in music started with playing the piano and dance actually. I was in choir from a really young age, so I always loved to sing. I just loved live music and started to develop my love for it even more at talent competitions. I ended up going to a performing arts school to completely do music. I had a conversation with my mom and she was just saying, if you really want to do this, I’ll support you. Since it was just music I’d be studying, I had to take it seriously. That’s kind of just how I ended up falling into the music industry.

YouKnowIGotSoul: What are some albums that you grew up listening to that really inspired your sound?

Jaz Karis: I grew up on a lot of SWV, Erykah, Amy Winehouse, Craig David, D’Angelo, that kind of thing. Soul music, basically. My mom was really into funk music as well. That and gospel, of course. So, Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin all the time. I think it was very much a soul household.

YouKnowIGotSoul: “Side of You” stuck out to me, that’s one of my favorite ones. So tell me a little bit about making that song.

Jaz Karis: That’s one of my favorites too, but I think it’s just because I literally wrote it in one session. Recorded everything that day. It was so easy. I was really angry. I felt from my first line I wrote, I was like, “yeah, I’m going to talk some stuff on this one”. Emil, the producer of the song, he’s incredible. He was playing me beats and I heard this one I was like, “yeah, this is it.” We edited some stuff, I was like I need the beat to match my energy in terms of I’m angry but I wanted it to still feel smooth. I always want my music to still feel smooth no matter what I’m talking about. I want it to still feel nice, like you can still listen to it when the sun is out. I really feel like “Side of You” kind of was just the track to lay out all of my feelings on it and put it out there.

YouKnowIGotSoul: Tell me the whole story of how “Met You At a Bar” came together with Tone Stith. How did you guys meet? Were you in the studio together?

Jaz Karis: I met him when I was out in LA last year. I think it was the BET Awards in person. I was always a fan of his, loved his music like from ages ago. He was a really cool guy. Obviously we said we’d get in the studio. It happens a lot that you say it and it doesn’t happen, but this one really actually happened. We linked up again when I was in New York and we made two songs. One of them was “Met You At a Bar”. I already had like half of my bar done and I knew I wanted Tone on it immediately. When I knew I was going to see him in New York, I was like, “I’m going to play it. Hopefully he loves the song”. He did. He was vibing to it, and sent me his verse back when I was back in London. I loved it. I really didn’t expect him to come with that kind of point of view, which I was so happy that he did, because it challenged my point of view on the song. I just really respect him for that. And of course, vocally he just kills it.

YouKnowIGotSoul: I’m going to refer to a conversation I had with Shaé Universe during our interview, do you feel like you hit a ceiling in the UK and that you’re trying to focus on breaking into the US space now? Or do you feel like you have to still grow in both areas?

Jaz Karis: I think a bit of both to that question because I feel like there’s definitely more I can do in the UK. I think the scene is definitely growing and there’s so much, like you said at the beginning, amazing talent that comes from the UK. I feel like there’s definitely something brewing there, but it’s also like, how long can you wait for it to brew until the kettle is done? I think over here (in the US), it’s on a different level compared to that. I think the music is just appreciated a bit more, in my opinion. I think we kind of deserve to have that platform. We come from London. We love London. We can’t forget our home, but at the same time we have to kind of go where the music is loved. Right now that is over here.

Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite song: “No Regrets” – Ella Fitzgerald

Favorite album: ‘Nostalgia Ultra’ – Frank Ocean (Chris Brown – ‘Xclusive’, Drake – ‘Take Care’)

Dream Collab: Frank Ocean and J. Cole

A song you wish you wrote for another artist?: “Snooze” – SZA

An album you wish you were featured on?: ‘Take Care’ – Drake

A song from your catalog that someone needs to hear to really know who you are?: “Come Outside”