Persons of Interest: Karmin
This Berklee-trained pop duo is poised for a major breakthrough. —Rebecca Milzoff
Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan exchanged numbers at a Berklee College of Music party in 2006. She was the hot female vocalist on campus, he was the best jazz trombonist. “But I didn’t think we’d connect later on,” Heidemann says. “I was kind of cocky, like, I can get whatever guy I want. I’ve got this locked.” Noonan laughs: “And I was like, I got this unlocked.”
He was right: Six years later, the couple is hitched in more ways than one — engaged to be married and members of the pop duo Karmin. Buoyed by a string of dead-on hip-hop covers that showcase Heidemann’s impressive ability to imitate any rapper’s flow (check out her Lil’ Wayne) and Noonan’s innovative, minimalist percussion, they’ve become a YouTube phenom. “Nick has a kind of mystery-man, rocker-boy edge, and I have this R & B diva thing happening,” Heidemann says. “But hip-hop is what brings it all together.” The pair quickly went from playing on Newbury Street and filming videos in Heidemann’s apartment near Agganis Arena to snagging a guest spot on Ellen and getting a surprise invite to perform with the Roots at Tufts.
Karmin’s first original album drops next month, and includes two radio-friendly singles, “Crash Your Party” and “Brokenhearted.” Though the couple moved to California last September to be closer to producers and recording studios, they won’t soon forget their humble roots here. After all, they’ve got a single to show for it. “‘Brokenhearted’ kind of tells our story,” Heidemann says, recalling how Noonan didn’t call her after that fateful party. “But I guess it doesn’t end at being brokenhearted.”