KARRA on collaborating with singer-songwriter Heather Sommer

LA-based vocalist, songwriter, and producer KARRA recently launched KARRA Presents, a label dedicated to showcasing the talents of up-and-coming vocalists.

We had the chance to chat with KARRA about the second artist on her label, Heather Sommer, whose powerful yet ethereal vocals have amassed over 25 million streams on Spotify alone.

Where did you discover Heather Sommer?

I discovered Heather about two years ago. She had reached out to me on Instagram a couple of times to collaborate, and when the timing was right we eventually linked up. She sent me a song of hers that she started, and was interested in finishing it with me. I was really impressed with her, and the next time she was in Los Angeles we finished it and re-cut the vocals. I later reached out to her about collaborating on a sample pack because I love her voice, and knew how excited she would be at the opportunity.

Why did you choose to work with her?

Like I mentioned, I love Heather’s voice, but that actually wasn’t the main reason I wanted to do this pack with her. She had continuously shown me how proactive she was when it came to opportunity, and based off of her work ethic, I knew she would take this seriously. She’s someone who’s pleasant to work with, and sometimes that’s all it takes to want to take on a project of this size with someone! I was just lucky enough to have someone who was already making waves within the EDM community with some notable music, which is incredible.

Can you tell us more about what makes Heather’s vocals unique?

The thing that draws me in the most with Heather’s voice is how whimsical it is. I joke with her in the studio saying that if I couldn’t see her, I’d think I was recording Julia Michaels. They both have a very similar way of telling a story through their nuances and enunciation. Heather is very unassuming, and is full of surprises when she gets on the mic. She captures emotions so effortlessly, and has impeccable control with both her pitch and projection. She’s a true artist.

What’s your approach to producing Heather’s vocals?

I took the same overall approach for Heather that I do with everyone I work with. Our hardware vocal chain consists of a Sony C-800G Microphone, a Vintech X73 pre-amp, and a Tube-Tech CL 1B compressor, which all go into an Apollo x8 interface. I recorded all of his vocals into Pro Tools, then comped, tuned, and edited from there.

We then added reverb and delays, such as the Valhalla Delay and Verbsuite Classics, on the wet samples. For the dry samples, we simply added compression and EQ in addition to UAD’s auto-tune. When creating the demo tracks, we actually started as though we were having a normal session by producing tracks and writing over them. From there, we pulled all of the samples that were included in the pack. In general, we always like to leave room for the producer to do most of the mixing to their liking!

Incorporate Heather Sommer’s sounds into your own productions:

April 6, 2020

Katie Smith Katie is an Artist Marketing Manager at Splice and a singer / songwriter under the moniker Lewis Lane.