Karina indulged in old school hip hop, rhythm and blues, soul and jazz. But it was Karina’s mixed Hispanic heritage (Mexican and Cuban) that spotlighted Latin styles—traditional mariachi folk music and the Afro-Cuban beats of salsa. After taking piano lessons, ballet and tap dance, these creative elements would soon contribute to Karina’s true intention. In the early ‘90s, she began realizing her aspirations of singing, songwriting and recording.
By 1998, Karina seriously took on singing and got busy with projects on Starlight Beats and Breaks, Rebel Crew’s Joe B. and Lion 808, Sista Stroke, Elliott Ness and on numerous other ventures. The following year, Starlight’s production team added Karina onto their roster and helped give her more depth as a developing artist. She also doubled as a Starlight dancer, embellishing their live showcases with fly dance moves.
Her first production and vocals were featured on a single, “Saturday Night (Joe B.’s Electro Club remix),” off Traxx from the Waxx, Vol. 1 (Starlight), a CD compilation of hip, urban musicians. In 2002, U.K. dance duo Red Moon released “Beautiful/La Corrella,” which features Karina’s vocals over a tech-house tune.
In 2003, she collaborated with dance music producer DJ Hal on “Sabrosura” and various remixes including “Determination.” Released in 2004, Goodbye, an EP on Extensive Research, features the self-titled cut produced by OHNO, which features Karina with Wildchild of LootPack and Medaphoar. The flip gives you "Dependency"—a downtempo crooner produced by DJ Still Wil—and the exclusive "Livin' It Up"—a disco/hip hop groover produced by DJ Zegon with bass and guitar arrangements by Cool G Murder. Follow-up singles included “Samba Love” and “Muchos Chavos” on The Sweet Spot, two recordings on a CD compilation with Last Soul Descendents (Space City Grooves) which were nominated for “Best Soul/Jazz/Funk, 2004” in Houston Press. In 2005, her break out track was the hot, hot Spanish version of Lady Saw’s “I’ve Got Your Man”, which Karina translated and recorded as “Tengo A Tu Hombre.” In early 2006 she released her debut album, NISTYLE (Starlight Beats). A Latin-electro and reggaeton sampler, NISTYLE introduces a fresh new face to the growing “hurban” dance scene.
Special guest MC Lenky Don backs the album, along with veteran beat miner Joe B. and remixer Gavin Hardkiss. Meanwhile, Karina stays on the grind, performing live at dance clubs, freestyling over many DJs’ sets; recording music and videos; and collaborating with various top producers in the studio. With seemingly a lot on her plate, the sultry, multifaceted vocalist admits, “I want to do so much more!” © Fahrenheit-Media.com, 2006. Read more on Last.fm.
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