Catching Up with Musical Sensation Karen Bishko
Let's dig a little bit deeper, shall we?

This year we see the release of your newest song and video for "My Name is Karen". When writing the new track overall, what is your inspiration behind it? What drives you both musically and lyrically?


Well, my name is actually Karen and I was feeling both bemused and hacked off of this latest trend of using the name as a pejorative. This was one of those songs that just poured out of me. Usually with those types of songs I have so much to say that they take a lot of editing in my head as to what’s really important. Musically, I wanted something sweet and soft that could build and contradict the underlying anger.

When creating and penning the latest songs, what artists or influences did you channel?


I always think about artists like Kate Bush, but for a song with these kind of lyrics, probably more Kirsty MacColl and Victoria Wood.

You seem to be very hands on in the process of your music and song writing which is GREAT! Can you walk us through the process for the latest single release?

When you have a concept for a song, how do you execute it? What comes first? The lyrics, the music, or do they work hand in hand?


I work in different ways. Today I’ve been working on the music for some lyrics that someone else gave me but when I’m writing on my own the two usually come together. I have the idea and know what I want to write about and jot some words down, but I form full sentences when I know what the melody is and how it should scan.

Other times, I have a melody first and sort of sing along with random words and then form it more carefully.

What was the making of the video like and how did you come up with the concept?


Because of the song’s subject matter, I thought I’d turn my own privilege on its head and use my beautiful piano and showcase my wardrobe that has been much neglected during lockdown. I wanted to make use of my own space and I thought it could be amusing if I messed about in there. Also, Tiger Darrow, the cellist is also an actor and she seemed the perfect contradiction to my character.

With the new music in tow, how does the song differ from your prior work? Or does it feed into a new realm for you as an artist?


Most of my songs are theatrical in some way. I’ve written more generic pop songs but I love to tell stories and often in an amusing way.

As we head toward the end of 2020, what surprises do you have up your sleeve in terms of music, videos, and additional releases this year; especially in the current realm of things?


I’ve just moved back to the UK after a decade or so in NYC so I’m sure that will inspire something!



Written by Freelance Writer

Emily Hinde



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