Vanyaland encourages every American to vote on November 3. Click here to register.

New Sounds: Massachusetts pop upstart Karina Rae is ready for her close-up



Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

Karina Rae knows her way around a stage.


The Lowell native was just eight years old when she won a singing competition and joined KIDZ BOP on stage at a stop in her hometown. It was from that point on where she knew what she wanted to do in life. “I just knew I wanted to be an entertainer,” Rae says. “At that moment, I thought, ‘I don’t ever want to get off this stage!’ This is what makes me the happiest.”

She’s back on a stage tonight, though in a remarkably different arena. The young pop singer, whose sound falls somewhere between Ariana Grande’s uber-polished radio hits and alt-pop misfits like Billie Eilish and Charli XCX, releases her new EP, Love At Seventeen, tonight (July 28) at Sonia in Cambridge.

The new EP was produced by Rebirth Entertainment, and in May delivered its first single, a tropical-minded pop jam titled “Volcano.” The track, and EP as a whole, is a natural progression for the young songwriter, who gained online buzz a few years back when she teamed with Sammy Wilk to cover Grande’s “Best Mistake,” a YouTube upload that’s creeping on one million views.


“The songs in this EP represent some of the very complicated love emotions I went through and discovered at around the age of seventeen,” Rae says in a press release. “It’s about falling in love, having your heart broken, not wanting to let go of someone and even falling in love again! I discovered myself as a sexual being and became a lot more confident in who I am over the course of making this EP. I instantly connected with all the different emotions in the songs, and I know a lot of people go through the same rollercoaster of emotions at around my age.”

Like all shows at Sonia, tonight’s gig is all ages. But Rae already possesses the pop smarts to appeal to any age group, and it’ll be exciting to see where she goes from here.