Karen Lee Andrews (Formerly known by her stage name Ms Murphy) came into the public’s awareness in 2013, through her soul slaying performances on TV’s hit show, The Voice Australia. Ms Andrews has that rare gift to communicate the unspeakable. Cameron Adams, from the Herald Sun, says, “Ms Andrews has one of those authentic sounds you hear, even through the gloss of TV, you can tell she has lived and loved.” Her sensibility allows the audience to surrender to the music, the experience is mutually warm and commanding. Paul Sheehan from Sydney Morning Herald states, “She is one of the most original and dignified talents to emerge in Australian popular entertainment in a long time. She manages to be both imperial yet vulnerable “
In a church hall that Karen discovered the depths of her voice. As a young woman, she dedicated herself to gospel hymns and was called upon to lead the church band as music director. The duty was a natural fit: growing up around her mother’s large Polynesian family had instilled in her the role of music in bringing people together.
The responsibility also became, in large part, Karen’s musical education. In charge of delivering a moving hymn from a group of players and singers with varied abilities, she herself needed to know the ins and outs of piano and guitar, leads and backing harmonies. Karen had to know how to get the best from every instrument, every singer. To do so, Ms Andrews called upon the music she loved as a young girl: Soul and Gospel. In the crowded Andrews family home in Koonawarra, a young Karen listened to her brother’s Motown records and to the satin voice of Stevie Wonder. Singing along to those golden hits, and to traditional Polynesian songs, was simply part of everyday family life.
This would become the foundation of her original style