Karima Francis, without doubt one of the most talented singer-songwriters to emerge from Blackpool in decades, is more excited than ever about the music she’s making - and ready for some live action.
The 25-year-old, with two albums on major record labels already under her belt, will perform what is on course to be a sell-out gig at the Beach House on the prom on Thursday. She has been rehearsing hard and is promising “a big surprise” for fans who can expect to hear new songs and a new sound.
There will be other musicians on the bill, mainly because Karima is one of those artists for whom the term unselfish could have been coined. She spends as much time identifying and helping emerging talent as she does on her own music.
Thursday’s gig is called Karima Francis and Friends and the first section of the night will see her introduce a few of what she considers to be the best local artists around.
“I do like to get involved and help others. People sometimes call me a bit of a mentor because I like to spot talent and try to nurture it,” she said.
“Since myself, Little Boots, Rae Morris - Blackpool is on the rise in terms of quality music and I want to be involved in that and help people get to where they want to be.”
Jess Harwood, Katy Pickles, Mark Thomas and Mike Dignam are first on stage, before Karima closes the night.
The North Shore girl is a hugely talented artist, capable of writing songs right up there with the best of them, but things haven’t always been plain sailing - the music industry a difficult beast to deal with.
But she says she has never felt as optimistic about the music she is currently writing and the sound she’s hit upon.
“I want to get a third album out but there is no rush. I want to make sure it is spot on,“ she said. “But I can honestly say that I’ve never felt so good about my music as I do at the moment.
“I won‘t say too much, because this is part of the surprise at Thursday‘s gig, but I am working with some musicians and I am so happy with the sound we’ve got.
“It all happened out of nowhere. It wasn’t contrived. Basically I have met these musicians that want to do it for the music and it sounds great. It feels quite special to be involved in it. Even if it’s my own thing, my songs and lyrics, it feels like I’m part of a collective, and we seem to have hit upon a unique sound.”
You can find out for yourself at the Beach House, on a night which is going to be much bigger than originally planned.
“It started as a small thing, just a birthday celebration for myself,” Karima added. “But now it’s going to be a proper gig and I’m really happy it’s in the Beach House because when I came across that place I knew it would be the perfect environment and venue to do it in.”
Tickets are £5 or book a table by calling the Beach House on (01253) 749899.