Marta Pettersson and Erika Ahlström are the producers and songwriters behind the Swedish pop phenomenon I Am Karate. The duo grew up on different sides of the deep forest in Dalarna, Sweden, and didn’t meet each other until 2013. After one single musical encounter in 2014 the girls knew they had to start a band, and made their debut in 2015 with an EP called “I Am Karate” with a progressive electronic pop sound similar to Fever Ray and Robyn. Later that year they released two singles, “Elevate” and “Bitter”, were nominated Best Unsigned Act in GAFFA Magazine 2016. The same year they signed with the major label Universal Music who released the EP “In Thin Air” and the single “Swayze” which got picked up for The Times Essential Tracks.
After The Guardian’s interview, playing live on national television, and more than 1 million streams on Spotify the girls went into the studio again. Two years later I Am Karate returned with three self-released singles; “Expectations” in early 2018, “News” at the end of the summer, and to finish of the year the duo released their self-written and produced track “Work It Out” in december 2018. “Work It Out” got picked up by Spotify and was added to their global playlist New Music Friday among others. With the new music I Am Karate showed they are not afraid of taking their listeners to the far edge of mainstream pop music.
Since then the duo has been working on their long awaited debut album which they are releasing the spring of 2020. During the autumn of 2019 and the winter of 2020 they released five singles taken from the album; Freaky, Original, Hey Love, 17 and Good At First. They all showed real promise of a new improved martial musical artistry; with heavy beats, quirky sounds, shiny melodies and two totally united singing voices on top. With the new sound I Am Karate showed they are somewhere in between mainstream and indie pop music and doesn’t feel like they have to chose side.
The debut album will be released May 8 2020 on I Am Karate Music.
“Dark, shiny electropop from the Swedish duo — think Robyn produced by James Blake.” – The Times
“I Am Karate martial their artistry with aplomb. They will chop your head off, in the nicest possible way, with their marvellously maudlin and mordantly mellow mid-tempo melodies.” – The Guardian
“Your new favourite duo” – The 405
“Next up in the line for European domination is sensational electronic duo I Am Karate.” – The National Student