Langley’s award-winning country singer Karen Lee Batten invokes strength in uncertain times with her new single, “Too Strong,” which was just released to Canadian radio.
The new music hits the airwaves on the heels of the local artist learning she’s recently been nominated for four 2020 BCCMA Awards – industry supporter, interactive artist, fans’ choice, and female artist (again).
“The heart of ‘Too Strong’ is about staying strong through the tough times in a relationship,” she shared, reflective about the circumstances that led to her new single together and contemplative about its place in a changed world.
“With the challenges of our new reality, I feel that there is a deeper message about recognizing how strong we really are as humans. Whether that strength is there for us as individuals or to put into our relationships, we are too strong to give up. We must move forward,” Batten said.
The creative happenstance that brought “Too Strong” to life at the end of 2019 has given way to a new personal meaning for the artist as the song begins its release phase in a new landscape.
The new single is rooted in the country genre, as is Batten, but is carried by a pop rhythm that she hopes offers an empowering message of love, strength, and hope.
Batten is a country music singer who first became a household name in 2003 on Canadian Idol.
“Too Strong” is the first new song from Batten in a few years..
Collaboration results in new country-meet-pop music
“This song is a testament to how music can develop almost by accident. Jeff Johnson had finished a long studio day when we started talking about life. By 3:30 a.m., we had started recording into a phone. By the next morning, Mitch [Merrett] and Chad [Kroeger] were adding their own ideas and soon after, we had a complete song that was effortless and organic to create from start to finish,” she recounted.
“Music is me – I wouldn’t know who I am without it,” she said.
Batten’s first distinctive musical memory came at the age of four, when she memorized her father’s vocals as she watched him in concert.
Inspired to develop her own voice, the Abbotsford native sang in choirs at the elementary and high school levels, and entered vocal competitions using Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” as her reliable favourite.
Those experiences marked the early foundation for the passionate vocal delivery and dynamic range that would later come to define Batten.
As a young adult, she was bouncing between serving jobs, hosting karaoke shows, and performing intermittent gigs when an unwavering sense of purpose pushed her to devote full-time energy to music.
Empowered by clearer ambitions, Batten broke through as a Top 10 finalist on Canadian Idol, giving her immediate national recognition and an exciting industry entry point.
Drawn to the country genre for its close-knit community and stylistic openness towards rock and soul elements, her new pursuits led to her first album, Every Moment, and her first music video on Canadian Country Music Television in 2005.
Batten’s sophomore album, Cause a Scene, arrived in 2014 and did just that – hitting #1 in album sales and #40 on Billboard Soundscan in Canada in its first month, followed by four subsequent radio singles.
She matched her album success with a commanding stage energy, which has since sent her to Rockin’ River, Merritt Mountain Festival, Gone Country, Sunfest, Williams Lake Stampede, a showcase during Canadian Country Music Week, and has made her an anthem favourite at NHL, CFL, and MLS games.
With CCMA award-winner and fellow Langleyite Mitch Merrett, (MDM Recordings) and Michael Pyle (Bobby Wills) producing, her third record, “Under the Covers in Muscle Shoals,” boasted hand-picked covers from the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
In its first week of release in Canada, the 2018 album hit #2 on Billboard Soundscan and #4 on iTunes, later earning Batten her seventh BC Country Music Association’s female artist of the year award.
Adding what she describes as a “modern edge” to her distinguished country motif with this new music – also produced by Merrett along with CCMA award-winner Jeff Johnson – she’s kicking off this latest venture.
“Too Strong” represents the first chapter of a new career phase for Batten – with two more radio singles and an EP coming in 2021.
No matter where a song might take her, Batten’s timeless vocal style and pure love for her craft will continue to keep an adoring spotlight on her for years to come, said her promoter.
She remains optimistic the message and the music in Too Strong resonates with fans. The newest song is available through her website, KarenLeeBatten.com, across all digital platforms, and is now on Canadian radio.
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