91.5 HD2: WUNC Music is curated locally with songs that inspire, energize and bring joy to listeners across North Carolina. It’s a place for music discovery and a home to old favorites.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kara Jackson's Poetic Debut Album 'Why Does the Earth Give Us People To Love?'

Kara Jackson - Why Does The Earth Give Us People To Love?
Kara Jackson - Why Does The Earth Give Us People To Love?

2019 was a big year for Kara Jackson. On top of self-releasing her first EP, she was also named the United States National Youth Poet Laureate. She’s been busy this year too, releasing her first official album ‘Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love?’ which has received rave reviews from both critics and fans. It’s a beautiful and personal record, with lyrics that are playful and powerful.

Kara recently caught up with WUNC Music's Brian Burns at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro to talk about the new album, the music scene in Chicago, and more.

This is an excerpt of an edited transcript of that conversation. You can hear the full interview by clicking the LISTEN button at the top of this post.

Brian Burns: Congrats on the new album. Tell us a bit about when you started working on it, and then what it feels like to have it out in the world now.

Kara Jackson: Some of the songs on the album are years old, from around the time that I put out my first EP in 2019. But most of the album I wrote and finished in my childhood bedroom, in my house during the time when everyone was stuck in their house. I decided to finish the album because my friend Kaina, who ended up being someone who worked on the album with me, we were just stuck in our house not doing anything or being productive. We figured, even though we don’t know what’s going to happen in the world, let’s work on music. It was the top of the new year in 2021 and we made a pact to finish our respective projects.

Brian Burns: I know you’ve worked with some notable names from the Chicago scene on this record. Can you tell us about the producers and how you met them?

Kara Jackson: The collaborators and producers on my album are just some of my friends in real life. Kaina, Sen and NNAMDI are all wonderful, talented musicians with beautiful bodies of work in their own right. I think the album really feels like a collective effort of friends. It feels like it was made with people who knew each other. So many of the music moments, just in terms of instrumentation were really intuitive and natural. We'd meet up once a week, and we would just literally put on a song and sit there. And if someone had an idea, we’d try it. Sometimes it sucked. Sometimes it was really cool and weird.

Kara Jackson's 'Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love?' is out now on September Recordings.

Brian Burns is the Music Director for WUNC Music, WUNC's AAA music discovery station. He has been working within the local music scene for over a decade. On the weekends you might see him DJing at various spots around the Triangle, or digging through boxes of records. He's also the host of Future Shock on WUNC Music and a contributor to NPR Music. He graduated from UNC’s School of Information and Library Science with an MSLS in 2015.
More Stories