Dove Award-winning and Grammy-nominated recording artist Karima, best known as the co-founder and member of the award-winning Contemporary Gospel trio Virtue, has signed with DARE Records. The new solo recording pact brings Karima’s soul-stirring soprano back to fans within the urban and contemporary Gospel/Christian markets. Her first musical release will be announced shortly.
Returning to recording is a full-circle moment for Nashville-based Karima, who had taken a break from music to focus on family and entrepreneurship in the years after Virtue’s last project. Within a few short months of deciding to re-enter the recording industry, and focusing daily prayers on that goal, Karima says she received a DM from Michael-Anthony Taylor, Chairman and CEO of DARE Records, asking her if she was interested in recording as a solo artist.
“I first worked with Karima 18 years ago on a remix of Virtue’s hit single, ‘Good,’” Taylor recalls. “I never forgot that voice and thank God for social media. I am so excited about her future. Buckle up!”
“Talk about a full-circle moment … my sisters and I, Virtue, got the opportunity to work with Mr. Taylor on a remix of one of our songs,” says Karima. “The full circle moments just don’t stop. How ironic is it that Tara Griggs-Magee, who signed me to my first record deal when I was 18 years old, happens to be the President of DARE Records? My heart is full and my mind is blown in the best way possible. I have worked with most of the DARE Records team in some capacity over the years. It feels like a reunion.”
Griggs-Magee, the label’s president, is equally thrilled. “I am elated to have the opportunity to work with Karima again during this exciting and pivotal time in her career. I originally discovered and signed Virtue, and played a major role in the group’s early development,” she says. “To continue to see this next stage in Karima’s growth as a gifted, seasoned, and awe-inspiring recording artist is nothing short of phenomenal. Her best is yet to come and is now here.”
A songwriter as well as a singer, Karima expressed her joy over the new signing in a widely-viewed Instagram post, in which she wept, praised God, and offered words of encouragement to those still following their dreams. “I cry constantly,” Karima admits, “because I am so grateful to God that this moment has finally come, and it has come at a time where I thought it was over again.”
Born and raised in New Orleans, Karima Trotter began singing in church with her sisters. While attending Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, she was called upon to put together a vocal group for a weekly worship service that received widespread attention. The group eventually gained the attention of Tara Griggs-Magee, who signed the group Virtue to the then-burgeoning gospel label, Verity Records. The membership evolved to feature Karima and sisters Ebony Holland and Heather Martin.
Karima eventually recorded seven studio albums with Virtue, including their self-titled debut, Virtue (1997), Get Ready (1999), Virtuosity (2001), the Dove Award-winning album Free (2003), Nothing But The Hits (a compilation album, 2004), the Grammy Award-nominated Testimony (2006), Testimony Reloaded (2015) and Fearless (2016). Karima stepped out in 2009 with a solo project titled, Just Karima.
With her signing to DARE Records, Karima joins a diverse roster of artists that includes Keke Wyatt, Juan and Lisa Winans, Shontelle Norman-Beatty, Travis Malloy, and Sevánt, among others.
“All it took was a couple of conversations about my passion to continue singing and by December 2020, I was officially a DARE Records artist,” says Karima. “This just feels right.”