Karen Hardy’s “Really Wanna” Is A Feel-Good Throwback To ‘90s R&B


Based out of Nashville, Karen Hardy has an excellent ear for feel-good, R&B pop. This is evident when listening to her new song, “Really Wanna,” which dropped on July 29th. 

“I was in a long-distance relationship at the time I wrote ‘Really Wanna,” Hardy told American Songwriter. “Every day we would FaceTime for a few minutes and I started holding so much back because those 10 minutes were the only interactions we had and I didn’t want to ruin it with an argument. I just wanted him to be able to come over and us to fight it out without having to worry about what it’ll be like once we hang up the phone.”

With that background as the basis for the song’s thematic content, Hardy got busy working with Brandon Meagher and Chelsea Balan to turn it into pure R&B goodness. 

“Brandon produced it all at his studio here in Nashville,” Hardy said. “The production started with the bassline that you hear in the verses and then we pulled in horn players for the choruses, played with some fun pop synths and it all started taking shape from there. It was definitely inspired by some throwback 90s R&B (I think Brandon referenced D’Angelo approximately 25 times throughout the process). Something about the initial demo we had for this song brought out the raw feeling of frustration a little more, and so we kept a lot of the demo vocals.”

Perhaps it is the “throwback” element which makes “Really Wanna” so special. Between its glossy vocals and fantastic synth lines, the song feels primed for a top-down convertible ride through pop-culture from ~30 years ago. 

“What I really want is for people to play this song extra loud when they’re home alone, maybe doing some chores and just dance around their kitchen while singing along,” Hardy said. “That’s what I plan on doing when it comes out.”

Listen to “Really Wanna” by Karen Hardy below:

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