Envy: In 2001 you were recruited as a singer song-writer for SKY. What have you taken from the experience with this group?
Karl: I travelled across Canada and performed everywhere and opened up for Shawn Desmond at the time. It kind of just gave me the credibility, you know, as a performer and I was trying to make the move from producer to performer and that’s what SKY gave me.
Envy: Coming as far as you have today, how would you say your family’s attitudes have been towards your success?
Karl: My parents are supportive, of course. My mom was always trying to sit me down and learn the one-on-one basics of piano when I was a kid and it worked out for her, I guess, so she is proud. My dad is living vicariously through me so he loves what I do. He is also my music and business manager in the Middle East so he handles all my money there which is good. Yeah man, it is like a family affair and they are all supportive.
Envy: What inspired you to take the Toto “Africa” hit and make it into your very own?
Karl: You know, when I was younger, I was in love with this song and I always used to bring it to school on my disc-man to show all of my friends. Everyone was always like “yo man, you’re weird, why are you even liking this?” So, I don’t know, I guess I fell in love with the harmonies and the chorus. From the beginning of the chorus to the end, it was just like a masterpiece for me and that’s why I wanted to remake it. I wanted for people today who would probably never ever hear that song to get where my influences came from and so I had to pay homage to that.
Envy: Are there any artists that you grew up listening to or anyone new today that you would like to work with?
Karl: Yeah. On my new album I am working with Three 6 Mafia, the new hip hop group, they are featured on one of my records. My new single “Ghetto Love” is featuring Kardinal Offishall and that’s huge. We just got back from Jamaica shooting that video with Director X, who is one of the biggest directors in the world. There’s Reema Major, she is like a new and upcoming– I don’t want to say a Nikki Minaj, but like a Niki Manaj type– she is young, 15 years old. I’ve got P.Reign, he is a upcoming rapper as well. I’ve got a bunch of people and, of course, Culture is going to be on this record as well. So just keeping it friendly but fun and talented.
Envy: Do you have any crazy fan stories?
Karl: There are several things that people have done that freaked me out and one of them would be some girl, some fan in Montreal, slept outside my doorstep till`5am. I can’t believe I am saying this. She was just screaming and shouting outside and that was kind of weird.
Envy: How do you feel about being a roll model for up-coming artists and fans?
Karl: It’s amazing, you know. I remember growing up and looking up to guys like Michael Jackson and never having someone who was Lebanese/Canadian People in Lebanon look up to me and if I am doing well everywhere else people are like “yo he’s Canadian” So, it’s cool to have someone from where you are, making. I just try to do my best, I am still human and hopefully I don’t to anything stupid or crazy cause I have to keep aware that I have young fans as well so you know I am a good guy.
Envy: Do you feel as though you may be portrayed as a sex symbol?
Karl: I know from Facebook and Twitter, yeah sometimes. I get comments that are like that but I don’t take it to heart, you know. I have always been okay with girls in school and stuff so it wasn’t something that was an “Oh my god, wow” kind of thing and now I am a singer. It’s the same thing that I used to have just more people.
Envy: What is something that you fear the most?
Karl: I don’t fear a lot of things– but I fear great white sharks. That is something that I am very fascinated about. I have read books about them and I haven’t seen one yet but I am definitely intrigued by sharks.
Envy: Advice be to a new upcoming artist?
Karl: Be driven, determined and don’t let the guy at the top of the label try to determine what kind of music you make. Just be an artist, be creative, be something fresh and new. Innovate, try to be better than what’s out there always try to be better. Don’t copy others but just be different. Being better and good might give you that chance.