Bio's / Profiles

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Karen David

The stylish singer, songwriter and actress may be this years hottest new thing, but Karen is no stranger to the world of showbiz. Handpicked by Bill Cosby to star alongside him in a TV commercial for Jell-O at the age of six, the multi-talented 26-year-old has spent her whole life doing what she does best putting on dazzling performances to win admirers wherever she goes. Born in Shillong at the foot of the Himalayas and raised in Toronto, Canada, by a half Chinese mother and a father from Madras, the ever-alluring Karen was never one to be confined by the expected boundaries.

At 17, she won a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Boston to study jazz and gospel, where she discovered her flair for songwriting. In 1997, she moved to London to study at The Guildford School of Acting and, the moment she announced I Have a Dream, Benny Andersson snapped her up in a shot to join the original cast of the hit musical Mamma Mia.


Film Director Shekhar Kapur brought his friend, the legend of Indian music, A R Rahman, who was developing Bombay Dreams at the time, down to see the show. He was impressed by Karen and asked her to assist him and Don Black, in the development of the material for Bombay Dreams. Her reward was to be invited to perform some of the songs on stage on his highly acclaimed sell-out US and Canada tour. This was the start of a friendship that has led to Karen writing and recording with A R Rahman at his Panchathan Record Inn studios in Chennai, India.

In 1999, she was voted Best Unsigned Artist in a showcase held by the giant US performing right organisation BMI. A year later, she was signed by Hit & Run, an affiliate of EMI Music, which led to her introduction to Stuart Crichton and Jony Rockstar with whom she wrote Me vs Me, which would become her signature tune. And with two exquisite collaborations with A R Rahman, Carry Me Home and Shillong Shillong receiving critical praise, Karen had well and truly arrived.

A major international deal with BMG Records followed. Her first single for the label, Its Me Youre Talking To set Top 20 Radio ablaze all across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. However, corporate politics then intervened, with the entire label being fired (from the A&R staff to the president of the label). It took 9 months of legal wrangling to get released and to escape with the material.

But now, with a new creative team around her and the full backing of EMI Music pushing her forward as the new sensation for 2006, the World is finally ready for the music of Karen David.

Her sound may be unfamiliar to some, but her face is not. The star of critically lauded stage plays such as Strictly Dandia and appearances in a series of blockbusters that included Bollywood Queen, Take 3 Girls and Batman Begins, she can also be seen on the TV screen in Johnny Vaughans cult favourite Top Buzzer on MTV and Channel 5.


Her role in the forthcoming movie alongside the likes of Aishwarya Rai, Naveen Andrews, Miranda Richardson and Robbie Coltrane in the hard-hitting Provoked, has already won her attention within the industry. The soundtrack for the movie found her back in A R Rahmans Chennai studio to write and record with him, the powerful Alive, the theme song that captures the essence of the infamous story of the abused woman, Kiranjit Ahuwalia, who refused to let the world crush her.

2006 will also see Karen introduced as a new member of the cast of Belonging, the award winning BBC Wales drama series, that draws huge viewing figures right across Wales.

Karen David is ready to take on the world. With a hugely productive year that saw her writing material and singing for the Voelker Bros Rapsody project in Germany and wowing new audiences at gigs as diverse as Ronnie Scotts and Glastonbury, her studio work is getting set to take us all by storm in 2006. Working with the beautiful, eclectic Bombay Dub Orchestra ( Garry Hughes and Andrew T Mackay ), her new album is her most adventurous, groundbreaking work to date. The breathtakingly original songs marry her velvet smooth voice and quirky insights with progressive dub pop, set against an exotic backdrop that could only have been painted by Karen David.

I Need You, her first single from her forthcoming album Me Versus Me, has already received extensive airplay on independent radio stations and was playlisted by Adil Ray on the BBC's Asian Network station – it's an instant hit with her Asian fans, partly because it samples the notoriously cheeky Hindi classic Choli Ke Piche, which literally translates as: whats behind my blouse?


As well as acting, Karen is still very much dedicating her time to music, since releasing her sassy single, ‘Hypnotize’ in summer 2010. She is currently in the studio with Waterloo Rd co-star Philip Martin Brown recording a special Christmas duet to raise funds for Shelter. 

Karen has starred alongside many established actors both in Hollywood and Bollywood, from co-starring with Bollywood superstar, Aishwariya Rai in ‘Provoked’, to playing the lead role of ‘Layla’ in ‘Scorpian King 2 – Rise of a Warrior’ As well as a cameo role in "Batman Begins".

In summer 2009, Karen starred in ‘Couple’s Retreat’ with a host of top names such as Vince Vaughn, Jean Reno and Kristen Davis.

Karen is ready to take on the world ….