Karmin Was "Really Proud" to Perform at Pride South Florida in Fort Lauderdale
Straight and gay couples shoveled frozen lemonade into their maws while eyeing chocolate penis lollipops. The fashions included: men in leather, roller-derby gals, and one middle-aged guy in Bamm-Bamm Rubble bottoms. A hefty dude perched in a dunk tank never seemed to get slammed into the water. How could they all miss that target? 'Cause it was Pride South Florida.
Friendship and love were thick in the humid air. The festivities at the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale were swinging by the time headliner Karmin, the rapping duo and internet sensation, hit the stage with their backing band. Nick Louis Noonan was at the keyboard, then jumping from the platform, his pretty face all up in the audience. Amy Heidemann announced she was thrilled there were so many people there. Last time they performed Pride South Florida, she counted something like 20 audience members.
Before the show, though, we crashed their van for an interview.
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They've been touring, have a single that is coming out soon, and Heidemann is starting a new fashion website, Karminology. She says it's less Ann Taylor, more Gwen Stefani.
Here's what the two had to say about her supershort, sequined shorts, playing other Pride events, Carly Rae Jepsen versus the Boy Scouts, and being the two whitest people to perform at the BET Awards.
New Times: I love your shorts. They are perfectly appropriate for South Florida, short, sparkly. Did you think about how you were going to dress for Pride South Florida?
Nick Louis Noonan: Those shorts definitely, I think, you've had for a minute.
Amy Heidemann: I've been saving these for the right event. I call them my rainbow shorts.
Do you do other Pride events?
AH: We do. This is the first one, I think, of the year, and we're performing at it, so we're really proud to be here. There's a lot more to come this year. We have a few more, I forget the cities.
NLN: I know we're doing Boston, Dinah Shore in April, back on the other coast. We did a lot last year, L.A., San Fran, Kansas City.
What was some of the craziest stuff you saw there?
NLN: The wildest stuff, I think, definitely, San Francisco.
AH: I think the parades are the craziest part. San Fran's is right in front of the giant courthouse. It think that was the biggest crowd we've performed in front of period. It was like 100,000.
NLN: It shuts down the square. It's pretty cool.
Did you hear that Carly Rae Jepsen refused to perform at the Boy Scout event, in support of gay rights? Any thoughts on that? Would you have performed it or not?
NLN: How much were they getting paid? (laughter) That's pretty cool actually. It's a really interesting situation. Because there's the Boy Scouts, there's positives and negatives about everything. But at the end of the day, you're going to have to start changing with the times.
AH: People that don't are going to get called out big time. Look at Chik-fil-A. That was the last big one. And one of our friends who actually does art for us graffitied the side of a Chik-fil-A and went to jail and we were like, "you're awesome!" Someone's going to call you out.
NLN: Even the president now, it's the first time the president has ever come out and said: Hey, this is a civil rights issue.
AH: It's pretty amazing.
You're coming out with an album. Did you record it?
AH: Most of it.
NLN: We have like 20-something tracks right now. It's pretty much going through and looking for singles. It's about 92.8% done.
Are they originals or covers?
AH: That's a good question. They're all original for the album, but we have been putting up some mixtape-esque songs on our YouTube channel. A lot of people said, "we miss the covers," and we miss rapping over other people's songs, so we started posting. Like we posted "Started from the Bottom" by Drake. And we're posting a new one when we get back tonight from the show. It's sort of a mixture. You can get those from YouTube, and download them for free. And then we'll have all of the original material that'll hopefully go to the radio stations.
You performed at the BET awards. Was that weird being the white girl rapping at the BET awards?
AH: Absolutely not. I think we were a big trending topic that day, which was cool.
NLN: I'm not even white, I'm opaque.
AH: We were in direct sunlight too and we were like, this is just bad. Just highlighting the issue.
NLN: It was like a Twilight movie! (laughter) We were sparkling. It was actually really cool! We were very honored.
AH: Black Entertainment Television, it was wow. I met a lot of my favorite artists that day.
What are your other influences besides hip-hop?
NLN: We definitely go through phases. Beatles, classic rock stays pretty consistent.
AH: For him. I come from a theater background... and R&B.
WIth a theater background, does that affect how you perform?
AH: People say it a lot. They're like, "Wow, you're so musical theater when you perform!" I'm like, "That's cause I am!" I love theatrics. I love how people like Freddy Mercury incorporated it into his act. It was so unique. I think it's cool to bring it into hip-hop.
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