Karen Lee Andrews (Ms Murphy)
A soul singer like Ms Murphy does not come along very often. With a unique vocal tone that conveys heartache with honesty, strength and uncompromising conviction, Ms Murphy effortlessly leaves an impression. Honing her musical skills in church before blowing away the Australian public on The Voice in 2013, Ms Murphy – stage name of Karen Andrews – has quickly become the defining voice of soul music in Australia.
Musical roots steeped in gospel, and a childhood spent listening to Motown records have helped shape Ms Murphy’s powerful and transcendent vocals. These knock-out performances have seen the naturally shy Andrews swiftly propelled into the limelight as the captivating Ms Murphy; a name that originated from a femme fatale character that soldiers drew on bombs before dropping them. This is fitting, as the raw soul in Ms Murphy’s powerhouse vocals is the kind that can’t be taught, hitting listeners deep in their core.
After making it through to the Top 8 on season 2 of The Voice, Ms Murphy toured nationally; both solo as well as on tour with her coach Ricky Martin. Ms Murphy also began recording her debut EP, White Dress & the Spirit with prominent Australian producer Lance Ferguson (The Bamboos). Upon its release, White Dress & the Spirit quickly moved into the Top 10 iTunes albums chart, thanks in part to the hand-clapping, upbeat, brass heavy rhythms of lead single, ‘Ritual Union’. The release was supported by the sell-out White Dress & the Spirit Tour, played inside iconic venues in NSW and Victoria, such as The Basement and The Toff In Town in the early part of 2014.
With a legion of fans, affectionately known as The Love Tribe, craving their soul fix, Ms Murphy returned to the studio in mid-2014 to work on her follow up EP, Stride. Partnering with ARIA award-winning producer Jan Skubizsewski (Cat Empire, Phrase, ILLY), Stride showcases a sophisticated soul sound from Ms Murphy, led by the first single, ‘Don’t Let It Go.’
“These new tracks are hopeful and speak of overcoming times in my life when I have been tried and tested,” Ms Murphy explains. “The lyrics revolve around loss, which I’ve learnt leads us to find out how strong we actually are. Life experiences that are isolating are the very thing that connect us all.”
With the imminent release of Stride, audiences are set to experience more from the dynamic performer on tour throughout late 2014. Dates include Australia’s first ever SoulFest, alongside Grammy award winning neo soul, jazz and hip hop icons Maxwell, D’Angelo and Common. The Love Tribe is set to expand, as enigmatic Ms Murphy delivers her world-class soulful style alongside her contemporaries, making her mark and taking it all in her stride, as only she can.
“She has one of those authentic sounds you hear and, even through the gloss of TV, you can tell she’s lived and loved.” – Cameron Adams, Herald Sun