Renowned for being a one-hit wonder, Karen Ramirez very briefly had success in both the U.K. and the U.S.
in the late 90s. Born in North London in 1971, she moved to Trinidad at the age of six and, influenced by her parents who toured Europe as part of a dance troupe, she began performing at an early age. Growing up listening to her mum playing classical guitar and jazz pieces on the piano, she would often join in jamming sessions in the front room and soon started singing in church, both as a soloist and in a choir. After completing a degree in Commercial Music at the University of Westminster, she performed in various jazz clubs. Attracting the attention of several record companies, she signed with Manifesto Records in 1997 and, inspired by the likes of Carole King and Karen Carpenter, she began work on her debut album, Distant Dreams, alongside Italian producers Souled Out. First single "Troubled Girl" failed to reach the Top 40, but the follow-up, "Looking for Love," a reworking of an Everything But the Girl EP track, became one of the biggest airplay hits of 1998. Reaching number eight, it spent 11 weeks on the U.K. charts and also hit the number one spot on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play Chart. However, its parent album failed to have the same impact, charting at number 45, and third single "If We Try" could only manage to reach number 23. After supporting Lighthouse Family on their European tour and opening for James Brown on his U.K. tour, Ramirez took a break from the music industry. In 2001, she began performing acoustic showcases across Europe and started to write songs with the likes of Cathy Dennis. These recordings eventually came to fruition when her second album, Bees in the Trees, was released in 2006. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi