Keren Avratz AKA Karolina is a songwriter and vocalist, known for her thoughtful releases recorded both in Hebrew and English, blending Jazz, Afrobeat, Reggae and Soul.
Taking on the nickname “Karolina” (pronounced Carol-een-a) from her grandmother, Karolina’s early musical influences came from within her household. Alongside attending the Red Sea Jazz Festival and learning the classical guitar, her brother introduced her to Soul, Jazz and New Wave music, and she listened to Greek, Arabic, and Turkish releases on a daily basis.
‘All Rivers’ is the Tru Thoughts debut and first solo English-speaking release for renowned songwriter and vocalist, Karolina. The LP is a journey through the space between daydream, fantasy and reality and the emotions that dictate us. Working with Rejoicer on production across ‘All Rivers’, further musical collaborative offerings come from Avishai Cohen, Amir Bresler, Eyal Talmudi and Nitai Hershkovits. This enthusiasm for organic creation and collaboration shines through on first single “Ready For Juju feat. Jenny Penkin”. Having seen Jenny Penkin perform live, Karolina invited her to the studio, wanting to collaborate with another woman about shared experiences of endless touring and performing live.
Her first release – ‘Ragga Pumpkin’ – came under the name Funset, before collaborating with Dana Adini and Yael Deckelbaum on their project as a trio Habanot Nechama (“The Comfort Girls” or “The Daughters of Consolation”), releasing a self-titled album in 2007. Across these releases, Karolina won two ACUM awards (the Israeli equivalent of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).
Collaborating with DJ and producer Sabbo and musician, composer, producer, and animator Kutiman on her solo LP ‘What Do I Do Now?’, the trio created a body of work praised for being simultaneously Israeli and international, spanning Soul, Funk and Reggae. The release won an ACUM for production and arrangement, and reached number one in the Israeli charts.
As well as the releases under her own name, and projects with Funset and Habanot Nechama, Karolina has worked with a multitude of musicians. A prolific live performer, Karolina has opened for The Black Eyed Peas, Erykah Badu, and Lauryn Hill and performed alongside Ziggy Marley. Her critically acclaimed collaborations with Adrian Younge and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad have received further exposure, appearing in the Netflix series ‘When They See Us’ and ‘Luke Cage’. Closer to home, she has collaborated with Soulico, Kutiman and DJ Sabbo. Utilising his skills as an animator, Karolina worked with Kutiman to create a music video for her single “Smile 2 Me”, which was placed on display at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles for the Flux Screening Series. Karolina’s international sound and heartfelt lyrics continue to have a wide reach and draw an eclectic audience, both for her recorded releases and live performances.