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Keeping It Real

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Keeping It Real

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In what can only be described as one of those perfect, serendipitous moments, Karen Lee Batten couldn’t hold back her excitement as her single, ‘A Life Worth Living’ starts playing on the radio on our way to lunch. For the B.C. based country singer, hearing her honest and emotionally raw ballad off of her new record Cause a Scene still feels surreal—an emotion she’s more than happy to relish in for the foreseeable future. “You hope all your songs do well and you know that if they do, you can sing them for 10, 20, even 30 years.”


A three-time winner of the B.C. Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year award, Batten rose to fame on the debut season of Canadian Idol as one of the top ten finalists. Shortly after she released her debut album Every Moment and has since toured with Big & Rich, the Oakridge Boys, Lonestar, Emerson Drive, Aaron Lines, Ian Tyson and Deric Ruttan.


Coming home to record her latest album, Batten also decided to shoot the album’s namesake video in her own backyard. Working with Stephano Barberis and David Angelski and shot on a local Langley farm, Batten gets a little twinkle in her eye as she recalls the shoot: “it’s about getting your heart broken and you don’t want the guy back, but you show up at the wedding anyways – just to cause a scene! The whole video shoot was an unbelievable experience.”


Over a sushi lunch at The Eatery on West Broadway (one of her favourites), Batten explains why there was no question that country music was for her. “I love real music. It’s not that other genres aren’t real, but country music just makes sense for me.” Two of her closest friends, Lisa and Melissa, join us for lunch and attest to Batten’s love of all things country, “we remember one night she was singing to us at a hotel pool, her voice was just so good, it almost made us tear up.”


Batten adds, “I don’t believe in wasted lyrics. I strive to make every single word sound like what it is and can hit someone to their core. If it does, I know I did my job.”


When asked what success looks like she gleefully responded, “always moving up, it doesn’t have to be a mile, but if every day when I get out of bed I can say I’ve moved an inch forward—that’s success! Adding, “my idea isn’t to be rich and famous, just to have my music heard, have a career and live a normal life doing what I love.”


Karen Lee Batten’s latest album Cause a Scene is out now.


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