They will chop your head off, in the nicest possible way…
Erika Ahlström and Marta Pettersson are the producers and songwriters behind the Swedish pop duo 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”, and 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 off 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.
Two years later, during a well known world wide pandemic, the duo released their long awaited debut album, in the spring of 2020. The album showcased 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 choose a side.
Later that year bearing the stamp of Covid restrictions the duo released a song with artist Max Pahmp called BLOOM, on Danish label GL Music Entertainment A/S. The song was added to Spotify Editorial playlists Indie Highlights and On Repeat.
To start of 2021 I Am Karate teamed up with artist and producer BLEM and released a EDM-version of their song “Good At First”, which grew rapidly to over 1 million in streaming numbers. The song was released on independent record label Sadboy Records, and together with the same label I Am Karate released a single in the beginning of the summer of 2021 called Gravity. The song was added to Spotify Editorial playlist Indie Highlights.
Since then the duo has been working on their third EP, scheduled to be released early in the spring of 2022. All lyrics and music is written by Erika Ahlström and Marta Pettersson and is released on I Am Karate Music. First out is a single called Committed which will be released October 15.
“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