music morsels indie music May 2007



ARTIST NAME: Miriam KChari of KChari
MUSICAL GENRE: Classically influenced alt rock
FAN BASE: 200 +

MM:  Since KChari is a band composed of three musical siblings, I assume yours was a music intensive family?

MK: My grandfather was the concertmaster of Cleveland orchestra. My mother is a concert pianist, and she started us all out real young. She started me on violin, Joshua on cello and Sarah on piano, and that was all classical training. As we got olde,r we started getting into rock music, and then branched into what we are doing now. We classify it as classical alternative rock, because it has influences from both genres.

MM: Whose idea was it to put the band together and start writing and performing original music?

MK: I guess we should have seen it coming that we were going to get into music. We had all gone our separate ways for a while, and when we realized that music was what we really wanted to do, it all just came together. We always performed together doing classical music, and when we decided to do our own music our influences showed up as more rock than classical. I write the lyrics, but as far as the music is concerned, we all work together on that.

MM: You all teach music as well and you have a sort of ready made fan base with your students. What else did you do just to let people know about KChari when you were getting started?

MK: We put up a web site and a myspace site, and will be putting our new album up on CD Baby. Originally, it started with our friends and family, and as we started playing out we grew the base from there. Our students would come out and they would bring their friends, and that kept it growing.

MM: Since your music is not as commercial as some styles, is it harder to find people who will be more receptive to it?

MK: What is really cool about it is that especially now with this recording process that we have been working on for the past year and a half or so, we have been able to really incorporate more structure into our music. We were able to retain the originality of the music that our early fans liked, and yes it is not going to be commercial like Southern rock or something like that. But it is really cool because we maintained the integrity of the project with a much more clear production. So we are really excited about this CD.

MM: Do you feel you also won some new fans over with your live shows?

MK: Definitely. When we played the Flicker Theatre in Athens (Georgia) a number of people came out. Atlanta and Athens in general have been very receptive to us. It was really cool because we got people from all genres and all ages who were getting into us. Our market seems to be much more spread out as far as both age and genre are concerned.

MM: Do you think it actually bodes better that you don’t sound like everything else that is out there?

MK: Yes, it does. The comments that we are getting on myspace are very supportive and enthusiastic because they think it is something that is completely original in regard to format. So that has turned into something very good.

MM: What are your plans to market the CD once it comes out?

MK: This is the first time we have put out a full length album so it opens up a lot of doors for us that we couldn't pursue before. We have a full CD product to sell now at gigs, and on CD Baby and other online sites. Before you have a full length CD, it is hard to make a living at music. So hopefully, we can start gigging full time and doing everything we can do to promote this.

MM: What sort of grass roots methods do you do to reach out to your fans and make sure they stay loyal?

MK: I really try to keep in contact with all of our fans. We have a sign up sheet at all the gigs and we get email addresses and phone numbers. So even when we were in the studio and weren't doing any gigs, we were able to keep in contact with our fans. and they are really enthusiastic about the new CD. It was good just to keep the dialogue running, and it will help give them more reasons to come out to our CD release party.

MM: What do your fans like the most about your music?

MK: A lot of them really like that we incorporate piano and strings into the music. It is actually a very big sound and a lot of the songs have a sort of symphonic feel. Then there are others that have a more true rock feel, so we try to mix it up so there is some diversity there.

MM: Is it a challenge to carry off the symphonic songs in concert?

MK: Yes, it is challenging. There is only three of us, so creating a symphonic sound can be a bit tough. (Laughs) I do the vocals and bass, and Sarah does drums and piano and has kind of an interesting set up. She has an electronic drum set, so sometimes she will open up a piece on the drums, and then have a piece of the drums recorded so she can switch over and play keyboards. So you get to see her play drums and piano live, but there is a consistency with both instruments. With Josh, he plays guitar and electric cello, and he switches off between them as well. So it can be a juggle because there are only three of us.

MM: Have you thought of bringing in another band member, or would you rather keep it just a three piece to keep that unique quality intact?

MK: Later on, if we start doing bigger concerts it may become imperative to have other musicians around. As far as the true members go, we will probably keep it just the three of us and do most of our shows that way, with some guest musicians occasionally.

MM: What level of success would you like to see with the band and what do you think it will take to get there?

MK: We would like to be able to do this full time. Musicians always seem to want to do it full time, and where your music takes you is determined by how much you promote it and how much hard work you are willing to put into it. We are definitely willing to put in the hard work and then see how far we can get with it. As far as a level of success goes, we want to stay artistically true to ourselves while at the same time really trying to work for a clear sound and a clear definition of our genre. We love the fact that we are defining something new and at the same time, we look to keep improving and fine tune it. So as an artist, success is how much work we put into it to reach our goals in that regard.

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