Thirsty Thursday Featuring Karlie Bartholomew
Born and raised in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, Karlie Bartholomew has always had a passion for music. While shy as a child, Karlie was able to use music to find her voice. She started writing her own songs at a young age, participating in every talent show she could beginning in elementary school.
Following in her father’s musical footsteps, Karlie taught herself to play guitar on his old six-string while she was in high school. Heavily influenced by artists like Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles, Karlie is drawn to authenticity and strives to keep her lyrics honest. “My songs focus on storytelling, hoping the listener can see themselves in my music,” she explains. Her smooth voice, jazzy chord progressions and folk-inspired lyrics will silence any room.
Now living in Nashville, Tennessee, Karlie is currently working on her latest project - her debut EP. She released her first single, “Brooklyn Park,” in October 2021. You can catch her performing at local Nashville and Franklin, TN music venues, such as NashHouse Spoon & Saloon, Alley Taps, Belcourt Taps and Gray's on Main.
Did you always want to be a musician or was there a specific moment that something happened that made you think "this is what I want to do with my life." If so, what was it? I originally went to college wanting to major in English. I always loved writing and had wanted to someday write my own book. I began writing songs pretty young and always sang in my school talent shows, but I didn’t learn how to play guitar until my Junior year of high school. While attending Hood College, a small liberal arts college in Maryland, I began playing at an open mic every week at the local coffee shop and joined every musical group on campus. That’s when I really feel in love with songwriting and performing and made the decision to pursue music as a career. I ended up transferring to Berklee College of Music where I really honed in my skills before moving to Nashville.
Is there anyone in your family that you can credit as being instrumental in your decision to go into the music field? My dad used to play guitar when I was growing up. He bought me my first guitar, and taught me my first few chords. From there, I continued teaching myself guitar with YouTube videos. When I began performing in my hometown, my dad came to every gig and would give me feedback after each performance.
Who have been some of your biggest musical influences growing up and do the same artists currently continue to influence you now? In high school, my favorite artists were Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Barielles, and Zee Avi. These artists are all authentic in their writing, and I always strive to keep my music honest like them.
Aside from singing do you play any instruments? My main instrument is my acoustic guitar. I dabble in piano, electric guitar, and ukulele and use these when songwriting to spark new ideas.
You recently released your new single, “Brooklyn Park.” Tell us about the writing process and where the idea came from. I wrote “Brooklyn Park” while attending Berklee and it took about a year for me to completely finish it. The song was originally called “I Could Fly.” I really loved the chord progression and melody, but the lyrics didn’t make much sense. It had a similar sense of being scared to leave home for the first time, except it talked a lot about flying and driving. At that point, I had only ever flown on a plane once before and didn’t have much experience driving on highways because I was too afraid. I eventually took the song into my songwriting teacher’s office hours and she worked on alternative ideas with me. I wanted the song to still speak about leaving home, and she asked me where I grew up. I remember telling her “Baltimore” and she said suggested we think of another title that is more unique. I told her the area I technically live in is called Brooklyn Park and she recommended I try writing off of that. Thus, “Brooklyn Park” was born!
How do you drink your coffee? If I’m making it at home, I add vanilla-flavored almond milk. If I’m going to a coffee shop, my go-to is an iced caramel latte, no matter the season.
Favorite music to listen to while you cook? I like listening to my vinyl records while cooking. Some of my favorites to listen to are Feels Like Home by Norah Jones, Rocky Mountain High by John Denver, You Don’t Mess Around with Jim by Jim Croce, and anything by Frank Sinatra.
Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown? Pappas Restaurant and Sports Bar in Glen Burnie, Maryland. They have the best crab cakes. They were even featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2015!
What's your favorite family recipe? My mom’s cream of crab soup! I always request it anytime I visit my hometown.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? Just Love Coffee! Their caramel lattes are my favorite way to start the day.
Website: www.karliemusic.com Facebook: facebook.com/karliemusic
Twitter: twitter.com/karliemusic YouTube: youtube.com/karliebartholomew