Karina Rae found herself on an arena stage at just eight-years-old. She won a singing competition and got the chance to perform alongside KIDZ BOP during the tour’s show in her native Lowell, MA. Looking out at the audience, she could practically see her future begin to unfold. The singer and songwriter immediately set on a course to pursue her dream.
“I just knew I wanted to be an entertainer,” she declares. “At that moment, I thought, ‘I don’t ever want to get off this stage!’ This is what makes me the happiest.”
Over the next eight years, Karina would tirelessly hone her voice through formal vocal training after school, at Berklee College of Music’s prestigious summer program, and in any venue possible. This included singing for the Special Olympics and performing the national anthem at Fenway Park during a Red Sox game. By the age of 13, she started uploading her music to YouTube inspired by Beyoncé and more.
Her cover of Ariana Grande’s “Best Mistake” with Sammy Wilk would rack up nearly 900,000 views in less than a year as she cultivated a faithful and devout online following. Simultaneously, Karina and her band played high-profile events including The Fan Rave, Arthur Ashe Kids Day, Playlist Live, and more as well as opening for the likes of Kalin & Myles, Trevor Moran, Ryan Beatty, Midnight Red, and IM5. Backed by guitar, bass, and drums, she captivates crowds with an undeniable live presence and natural charisma. Along the way, she met GRAMMY® Award nominated producer K Mack (of Rebirth Entertainment). Impressing him with “Best Mistake,” the two kicked off their creative partnership.
“We really defined my sound together,” she goes on. “It’s relatable. I really want to build a connection to the audience with every song.”
She definitely does that on her 2016 single, “Girl Next Door.” Produced by Rebirth Entertainment, the song shuffles between acoustic guitar strumming and a handclap-beat as her dynamic vocal range rises into the spotlight during the chantable chorus.
“The message of this song is very strong,” she says. “It’s about not being afraid to stand out and be different from everyone else. I instantly connected with it, and that’s the message I want to share.”
Now, that energy defines the 16-year-old’s forthcoming 2016 debut EP, and she’s ready for the biggest possible stages yet.
Karina leaves off, “When people hear my music, I’d love for them to feel empowered—like they can be anything they want. That’s the most important thing.”