Karen Bernod
Gig Seeker Pro

Karen Bernod

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE | AFTRA

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE | AFTRA
Band Jazz Soul


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"On "Life @ 360 Degrees""

The first album in many many years from Karen Bernod -- the vocalist who was one of our favorite Neo Soul singers from the turn of the century, finally back here in a very tight little set! The sound here is more mature and sophisticated than Karen's debut -- a sound that's certainly got some professional touches in the production, yet which still retains the personal sense of warmth and bold indie spirit that first drew us to her work. If anything, Karen seems to have a new confidence in her music -- putting forth lyrics that really get past mainstream soul BS, but doing so with all the presence of a much bigger star. Titles include "Hair I Am", "Subway Love Game", "Comfort Zone", "You", "African Chant", "Tell Em Let Em Know", "Truth Iz", and "Dreamer". - DustyGroove.com

"On "Life @ 360 Degrees""

Life @ 360 Degrees is a stunning second solo album (her first in the UK) from New York singer Karen Bernod. Back in the Nineties Karen was featured vocalist with Incognito on three cuts on their ‘No Time Like The Future’ album, and was part of the band’s live line-up. Prior to that, she sang on numerous dance tracks, was writer and vocalist on the Cooltempo club anthem Motherland, sang on Barbara Tucker’s Beautiful People, sang backgrounds on albums by Whitney, Luther, Stephanie Mills, Paul Simon, the Pet Shop Boys... Fans of Jill Scott, India.Arie and Erykah Badu will love this album. Karen’s jazzy inflections, her inherent soulfulness, her humour, shine through - cuts like Comfort Zone, Truth Iz and Love Is are outstanding confirmation that soul music is alive and well in New York City. Karen and co-writer/co-producer Greg Spooner also go up-tempo on the final cut for a house mix of Spirit [remixed by Mike Robinson].
- CDNow.com

"On "Life @ 360 Degrees""

Dome Records has taken under their wings Karen Bernod for her second album outing. Many parts of the industry would pigeonhole her as 'Nu Organic Soul', however, that brings on connotations of moodiness and Erykah Badu soundalikes. This is a hugely cheerful album, with Karen being very funny in some spoken parts of this lovely set of 'Soul Songs', not Nu this or that. 'Dreamer' is almost Will Downing in delivery, odd as Will took the sleeve images, and they are of a very high standard indeed. I loved the uplifting flirtations relating to the song 'Subway Love Game', which finds Karen 'stalking' fellow passengers! LOL. 'Family' is a beautiful ballad, very personal in content, and, all told, this is well worth picking up. As with Expansion, Dome's releases are all of the highest standard (and no, I am not on any sort of payroll! LOL). Another winner. - Soulwalking.co.uk

"On "Life @ 360 Degrees""

Is it really some sixteen years ago when Tribal House released Motherland? That was actually the first time I heard Karen Bernod sing. Together with Pierre Salandy she also appeared one year later in 1991 on the house corker Mainline. Then it took some eight years until I heard Karen again on lead vocals [she did some background vocals on tracks like Beautiful People, Stay Together (both by Barbara Tucker) or on Erykah Badu’s Live album though], this time as a session singer on Incognito’s No Time Like The Future album (on Marrakech and More of Myself). And in 2000 she finally released her first solo album Some Othaness For U on her own Natively Creative imprint. Unfortunately this meant it was a hard to get album with almost zero promotion and distribution. Luckily I bought a copy while I was visiting London around that time. And just when I thought that would’ve been everything I could hear by Karen she finally surfaces with her sophomore album Life @ 360 Degrees. And thanks to Peter and Santosh at Dome Records in the UK, who licensed the album for a release from Karen’s Natively Creative Music Inc., there will be some promotion this time and folks in Europe should be able to buy this release in a normal record store.

Six years is a long time, almost an eternity in a world that becomes more and more fast moving where almost everyone just looks for the next thrill without demanding some realness and depth. But Life @ 360 Degrees is really worth the wait and it’s good to have Karen back as a solo artist. Although there have been thousands of new soul artists and albums since the release of Some Othaness For U (and this website, which started in late 2000 by the way, just shows you a small selection) there’s still enough room for Karen’s unique blend of real soul music.

The whole album has a welcome uplifting, cheerful vibe with no fillers in sight. The midtempo winners Love Is and Hair I Am set the mood and are a good indicator of the rest of the album. The metropolitan and funny Subway Love Game with tight background vocals by Carlos Ricketts, Shelene Thomas, John James and Keith Fluitt is a good example of an infectious midtempo Karen Bernod song and somehow Karen’s homage to public transport in NYC. The aptly titled African Chant (Roots Of Nature) is a fine percussive song with percussions by Bashiri Johnson.

One of my favourite songs is the smooth ultra soulful Dreamer. Never since Saturday Love by Cherrelle (& Alexander O’Neal) has a mentioning of the seven weekdays sounded so good. Actually the encouragement of dreaming appears every now and then in art. Langston Hughes for example states in his poem Dreams: “Hold fast to dreams/ For if dreams die/ Life is a broken-winged bird/ That cannot fly.” And the late Nina Simone once sang in The Pusher “And lord knows we need lots a sweet dreams.” So Karen is obviously in good company as a dreamer.

Another highlight is Family, a great and personal ode to the family as safe harbour and place to feel loved and understood. With Shelene Thomas and Carlos Ricketts on background vocals this song has an inspiring gospel tinged ending. One of the best songs Karen wrote with Greg Spooner on this album!

Add to this other exquisite songs like Comfort Zone, Tell ‘Em Let ‘Em Know or the house remix of Spirit, which originally appeared on Some Othaness For U, and you have another strong album by Dome Records and a more than welcome return of Karen Bernod.
- Jazz-Not-Jazz.com

"On "Some Othaness For U""

"A simmering, intoxicating brew." - Billboard Magazine

"On Karen Bernod..."

"Polished yet fiery, [Bernód's] velvety voice reels you in gently and then leaves you wanting more and more as the intensity builds." - Chicago Tribune

"On "Life @ 360 Degrees""

As with her debut a few years ago now, the results are stunning. Midpace dancers 'Hair I Am' & 'Subway Love Game' are two of the albums hi-lights, but also check out two more fabulous steppers in 'Comfort Zone' and 'You'. Things get a little funky for the track 'Truth Iz' before the smooth downbeat 'Dreamer' once again showcases Karen's voice to perfection. A damn fine album once more. - Simply Soul UK

"On "Life @ 360 Degrees""

Versatile singer/songwriter Karen Bernod covers a lot of territory on her second album, Life @ 360 Degrees, deftly handling Neo Soul, Acid Jazz, African and straight-up Dance cuts on this very enjoyable disc.  The smooth grooves on the clever "Hair I Am" and "Subway Love Game" should appeal to adult soul fans, while the second half of the disc has one gem after another, including the infectious "African Chant," "Tell 'Em Let 'Em Know," and the radio-ready cut, "Truth Iz."  Life @ 360 Degrees is a strong statement by the New York native that she belongs on the short list of the top indie singers today, and it's tough to disagree with her. - SoulTracks.com


LIFE @ 360 DEGREES (c) 2006 Natively Creative Music Inc.

SOME OTHANESS FOR U (c) 2001 Natively Creative Music Inc.



KAREN BERNOD has performed lead and background vocals for Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo and Incognito. It is with Incognito that Karen performed lead vocals on three tracks - "Marrakech," "More of Myself" (from "No Time Like the Future") and "Yesterday's Dreams" (from "The Best of Incognito").

Karen moved from the background to the foreground when she independently released her debut album SOME OTHANESS FOR U. The ensuing critical acclaim led to a licensing agreement with Dome Records to release LIFE @ 360 DEGREES, Karen's sophomore effort, in the UK and Europe. It contains positive songs of love and life in the style of Soul, R&B and Jazz. The U.S. version of LIFE @ 360 DEGREES was released on Karen's own label Natively Creative Music Inc. She just released the follow-up, #PlantingSeeds.

Karen has performed with her band, Brooklyn Soul, at such hotspots as the Blue Note, SOBs, Joe's Pub, Highline Ballroom in New York; NJPAC in New Jersey; and Blues Alley in Washington DC.