There is a line on ‘Glory Days’, the poignant, rousing centrepiece of Karima Francis’s extraordinary new album, ‘The Remedy’, that tells you, in just a few words, where the Blackpool singer-songwriter is coming from. “They are weak but strong,” she sings, “who fail but carry on.”
She looks full – of life, of determination, of confidence – as she says this. “Well, I am. I didn’t have that last time. I knew things were going on, but it didn’t feel like this. And because of that, I have this real sense of achievement this time. This record feels like my masterpiece.” Another laugh. “So far!”
That last remark is very Karima – a bit of bombast, a touch of mischief, and typical of the northern lass who, no matter how dark some of her days have been, has always responded to adversity with a knowing sense of a humour and an enduring belief in salvation – through love and friendship; and above all, through music. “Music saved me,” Karima agrees. “And that must mean I’m meant to do it.” You can hear that belief when she says, matter-of-factly in parting: “Look, there was a reason I took a break – but I’m back now.” And you can hear it, also, on ‘The Remedy’ – in every note and every word. You’d better believe it too.
We were lucky enough to film this acoustic session with Karima ahead of her show at Communion Manchester at The Ruby Lounge.