South Asian Canadian R&B singer/actress Karen David has collaborated with legendary Indian composer A R Rahman for "Alive", a single and music video from the soundtrack of Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai starrer PROVOKED. The music video features Karen, who also plays a role in PROVOKED, alongside Rahman with clips of Aishwarya starring as Kiranjit Ahluwalia in the film, which is based on Kiranjit's autobiographical book "Circle of Light".
Karen, a multi-talented 26-year-old, was born in Shillong at the foot of the Himalayas and raised in Toronto (Canada) by a half Chinese mother and a father from Madras. At 17, she won a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Boston to study jazz and gospel, where she discovered her flair for songwriting. In 1997, Karen moved to London to study at The Guildford School of Acting and shortly after was snapped up by former ABBA musician Benny Andersson to join the original cast of his hit musical "Mamma Mia".
As stellar play reviews poured in, acclaimed British-Indian film director Shekhar Kapur brought his legendary composer friend, "the Mozart of Madras" A R Rahman, down to see the musical. Rahman, who was developing the "Bombay Dreams" play with Andrew Lloyd Webber at the time, was very impressed by Karen and asked her to assist him in the development of material for "Bombay Dreams". Karen's reward was to be invited to perform some of the hit songs on stage during Rahman's subsequent sold-out North American tour. This was the start of a friendship that has led to Karen's continued writing and recording with A R Rahman at his Panchathan Record Inn studios in Chennai.
Karen's sound may be unfamiliar to some, but her face is not. The star of critically lauded stage plays such as "Strictly Dandia" and appearances in a series of movie blockbusters that included "Bollywood Queen" and "Batman Begins", Karen has just returned from Bucharest, where she played a U.S. Air Force Officer in Steven Seagal's new action movie "Flight Of Fury". Karen was also recently introduced as a new member of the cast of "Belonging", the award-winning BBC drama series that draws huge viewing figures across the UK.
Karen is currently completing her debut album entitled "Me Versus Me", working with an exciting multi-cultural team that includes A R Rahman and the Bombay Dub Orchestra. Karen's first single from her forthcoming album, "I Need You", has already received extensive airplay on college radio stations and was highlighted by BBC Asian Network personality Adil Ray. It's become an instant hit with Karen's South Asian fans, in part because it samples Alka Yagnik's "Choli Ke Peeche" classic Bollywood tune, originally brought to the screen in a memorable dance number by Bollywood legend Madhuri Dixit.