Karen Lee Batten recently released her new single, “Too Strong”. The single was co-written by Batten, Jeff Johnson (Madeline Merlo), Mitch Merrett (Tyler Joe Miller), and Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) and co-produced by the CCMA-winning Merrett (Aaron Pritchett) and Johnson (Meghan Patrick), with the music video being directed by Meaghan Gipps. The single is rooted in the country genre but is carried by a pop rhythm and an empowering message of love, strength, and hope. We had the opportunity to chat with Karen Lee about the inspiration behind it, co-writing, and what’s next.
Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your new single “Too Strong”?
Karen Lee: I feel like so many people can relate. Relationship are super hard – making them work is hard and staying together is not easy sometimes. Every single person knows someone who has had to call it quits.
This is a song that is that moment between giving up and staying together. It’s for when you really take that second to say, “No, we are too strong to give up like this.”
We all have our moments of weakness, we all say things we shouldn’t, but we can take one second to remember what we do have, and decide that it’s worth it.
Kat: “Too Strong” was co-written with Jeff Johnson, Mitch Merrett, and Chad Kroeger. Had you written with this team before? What did they help you discover about the track?
Karen Lee: I had written with Jeff and Mitch before, but this was my first time writing with Chad. We really all related to the original meaning behind the track, but as the world changed, we realized after completing it that it had taken on a second meaning in the new world around us. Everyone has been dealing with these changes differently, and it hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure. But we are “Too Strong” to give up. So it’s two meanings in one song.
Kat: “Too Strong” was originally created just before the pandemic began. Have you found that the current state of the world, and the pandemic have influenced your songwriting in any way?
Karen Lee: Well, I definitely find myself writing and singing about positive things, and not sad or negative. I am not sure how much more of that we can take right now, so I like to write and think about sunshine and puppies right now – haha.
Kat: You were a finalist on “Canadian Idol”, and you’re a 7-time winner for Female Artist of the Year at the BC Country Music Association Awards. How has that recognition changed your career, and what have you learned along the way?
Karen Lee: These events influenced my career greatly. I will start by saying that the music industry is tough – it’s a grind. It makes you happy, it makes you mad, you can move two steps forward, then go back one. You can hear “no” a million times but are you going to stop at that no. It’s moments like these that keep you getting up. It puts that flame under you and motivates you for the next success. I have so much gratitude to all for these moments in my life that occurred because of the support and love from others. Pretty humbling.
Kat: What’s next?
Karen Lee: Good question. I wish festivals, concerts, big stages, small stages, backyard BBQs with some acoustic guitar! But until then, we are so excited to have 3 more singles coming up with an EP release in the second half of 2021. As long as I can keep making music and people keep asking for it, I am as happy as I can be!
For more on Karen Lee Batten, visit: http://www.karenleebatten.com