The acclaimed group KARMACODA unveiled their latest single, ‘Try At Me,’ on January 26th, 2024, through Sola Musa Music. Situated in San Francisco, USA, KARMACODA consists of Jessica Ford (vocals), Brett Crockett (aka B., vocals, and producer), and Japanese-American multi-instrumentalist Eric Matsuno (bass and various unique elements). Over the past two decades, KARMACODA has explored a diverse range of genres, evolving and honing their sound into a soulful, sophisticated blend of R&B and jazz lounge. Their music has garnered recognition from reputable online platforms such as EARMILK, CLASH Magazine, Wonderland Magazine, and NOTION Mag, among others. Additionally, their tracks have received airplay on NPR Music and Irish National radio RTÉ 2XM’s Dan Hegarty. With placements in numerous film and TV scores, the trio has earned several awards, including the Hermes Creative Awards (Platinum) for the ‘Lo-Fi Girl’ and ‘Make Me The One’ videos, the latter also securing an Unglued Music Video (Gold) and three Davey Awards for Video Entertainment, Best Use of Music, and Art Direction (all Silver).

Listen to ‘Try At Me’ and read our interview with vocalist Jessica Ford below. 

How did the band members meet?

I had just moved back to the Bay Area and I saw that KARMACODA was looking for a new female vocalist and I answered the ad. Funny thing is, I went to the Amsterdam Studio to meet B. for an audition and I couldn’t find the door and he wasn’t answering my call so I went home. Later through email we got a hold of each other, and he said he accidentally blocked my number and that’s why I couldn’t get a hold of him. We did reschedule but I was unsure if this was for real or not. Glad I took a 2nd chance and went back!

Who are your biggest artistic influences? 

Massive Attack was the original inspiration of the band, however we have evolved. B. definitely has his own creative influences for his production style.

Your music cannot be pigeonholed into a single genre, but you have been steering it in an R&B/jazz lounge direction in recent years. What pulled you towards this sound?

The change isn’t intentional, it’s just inspiration and growth. We continue to be inspired by new cascading sounds and my vocals and songwriting style, of course, are different from the original vocalist. So as we grow together, new sound and soul is expressed, therefore, new music is created. Surely my vocal & songwriting style is different and it unintentionally changes things when we come together. I love this about us, the genre bending, that’s what art should be. I don’t think any band should be pigeonholed into a certain genre, where is the creativity in being a cookie-cutter band? Not for us, we love being unique. I love that we are called Cashmere Electronica. That says it all.

Walk us through your creative process? How do you come up with the melodies and lyrics for your songs, and how collaborative is the songwriting within the band?

For the most part, B. gives me tracks that he wrote and I see which one’s inspire me to write. There is a lot of “back and forth” going on there. Sometimes we even write a song and pull it last minute if it doesn’t fit. We put a lot of time into writing, crafting and care very much about what the other one thinks. 

What are your non-musical hobbies? What would your jobs be if you weren’t musicians?

Non-musical hobbies, hmmm… I volunteer for Cavalier Rescue USA as the Coordinator for Northern CA (this takes up a lot of time for me) and am building a lake house with my husband. Other than that, I’m living the dream. There’s nothing else I would do other than sing and write songs.

Karmacoda has been active in the music industry for over 20 years – what is the industry like in 2024 versus when you were starting out?

Social media is a game changer in reaching people, and getting to know music lovers. No more physical knocking on doors. I have to say, I miss those days.

What does the future hold for you as artists?

I’m sure there is more music, which I hope will lead to more movie and TV placements for our songs, they are perfect for that, I would love that.