Born in Europe but raised in America, Karyn Roy Smith has gradually surfaced to recognition for her unique voice, haunting lyrics, and cosmopolitan songwriting. Known for moody and evocative twists of irony in her songs; she nevertheless blends the mystery of beauty, love, and loss seamlessly with raw honesty.
Growing up in a multi-lingual family, (Karyn’s parents are East Indian and German) brought challenges to Karyn with numerous moves from native London, England to Toronto, Canada, the Gulf State of Texas, and finally settling in Southern California all before the age of five. The longing to “belong” in an American culture, became an obstacle that waged a war within her identity in the face of German and English simultaneously being spoken at home; and her parent’s blatant disinterest in normative American culture. Out of desperation to find a place to call her own, Karyn eventually found solace in music at a young age. Her first exposure was to sacred music, which eventually crossed lines over into popular music despite her parents disapproval with that medium. The turning point came for Karyn where the solace she found in music became a fire at a Tori Amos concert in Los Angeles in 1999. Mesmerized by Amos’ impassioned performance and blatant disregard for anyone’s else’s approval regarding her work, Karyn finally glimpsed a window where only a wall had stood before. Her previous forays in writing had been tempered by her exposure to the sacred/contemporary christian music field, and in many respects, it left her empty and longing to go deeper lyrically and sonically in her songs.
In 2007 Karyn came to a crossroads, and she chose the road less travelled. Karyn teamed with producers Jon LaCroix and Steven Harriton (they’ve produced and written for American Idol, Dweezil Zappa, Jack Black, Lisa Loeb, Desmond Child, and Disney — to name a few), to craft an entirely new sound. This project, which would take over a year to complete, took a new perspective on controversial topics such as the internal struggle and questioning of faith to the inability to love. This raw honesty was balanced by melodic and harmonic twists in the sonic landscape of the album. Reveling in a new sense of freedom, Karyn addressed intimate personal issues such as divulging that she was often her own worst enemy (BEAUTIFUL AGAIN), to a jarringly honest disclosure of a postpartum depression that left her not longing for her infant daughter and the emotional guilt that ensued (HELLO).
The hard work and risks paid off in the release of WHEN THE STARS COME OUT, mesmerizing from the first take until the last fade. Full of vivid imagery, profound lyrics and a production caliber not normally found on a debut album, the album has broken all expectations and is garnering momentum where ever it is released. WHEN THE STARS COME OUT has enjoyed critical success in Europe, and that success has now found it's way to the US. It may just as well be said that Ms. Roy Smith's star is about to come out. Her contributions and soothing vibe are part of what makes TRUE THAT! an exceptional experience both sonically and visually.