Who or what inspired you to take up piano and pursue a career in music?
I’ve always had a passion for music, but If I was to narrow it down to a select individual I would say Ryuichi Sakamoto
Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
Being a child of the 80’s, I’d say cinematic scores and video game music.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
As someone who never studied at an academy or conservatory, I’ve had to try and force my way into getting performances, and getting recognised.
Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?
I’m a terrible self critic, so I haven’t recorded anything to a level which I am proud of.
As a composer, how would you describe your musical language?
I would describe my work as romantic minimalism. I try to make the themes and motifs accessible and aesthetically pleasurable from an aural perspective whilst allowing room for expressive movement and interesting ideas.
How do you work?
I firstly delve into the subject matter of whatever the music was about. Let’s say I’m writing a piece about canaries. I would look at pictures of canaries, listen to the sounds they make, read up of their anatomy, biology etc. Afterwards I’ll record as I free improvise on the piano; just let my hands move, whilst thinking about what I’ve read and seen. Then I listen to the recording and pick out parts that were interesting, or had the most potential. Next I think of what story I’m trying to tell, what message am I trying to convey. Once I have that I develop some of the improvised concepts into a structured complete musical idea.
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?
It would be a toss up between the Royal Albert Hall or Southbank’s Royal festival hall. Beautiful grand stage and design mixed with modern sound tech and brilliant acoustics.
Who are your favourite musicians?
Lang Lang, Hélène Grimaud, Robert Glasper, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Hiromi, Chilly Gonzales
What is your most memorable concert experience?
Watching Jason Moran and Robert Glasper duet for Blue Note’s 75th anniversary
As a musician, what is your definition of success?
Success is the freedom to play the music you love on your own terms in the venues of your choice
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
To play with honesty and integrity, and to have respect for the craft, the music and the audience.
Karim Kamar’s new Album SMLL MVMNTS is Released 1st May via Ostereo
Karim Kamar is a Neo Classical pianist & composer from London. He has been performing as a solo pianist since 2013 and has performed at almost every major music venue in London including: The Jazz Cafe, The Roundhouse, Ronnie Scotts, Southbank Centre and The Royal Albert Hall. Along with Writer & Poet, Anthony Anaxagorou, he also runs a monthly live music night called Out-Spoken, which showcases poetry recitals and new music.