Keyoh – Yaribo (Yar Boyit Mernem)
“My purpose is that THE WHOLE WORLD sings in Armenian”
Kéyoh (Karine Ohanyan) spreads Armenian rhythms and vibes in Europe and beyond. Her latest released English-Armenian song “Jaribo” (Yar Boyit Mernem- Յար բոյիդ մեռնեմ), being her first-ever song that includes Armenian lyrics, has made a boom across Europe and Armenia.
During the production process she collaborated with 35 people of different nationalities, which took around a month to accomplish, making them all sing the Armenian sentence “Յար բոյիդ մեռնեմ”․ The carpet in the music video symbolizes unity as if all these 35 people are in the same room singing together in Armenian.
She even created a “Jaribo” challenge and had people sing “Յար բոյիդ մեռնեմ” from different parts of the world. Gladly, this challenge still continues, so make sure you don’t miss out.
Another BREAKING NEWS from Kéyoh is her collaboration with Atlanta in the USA and it’s so big she can hardly believe it herself. Although they always expect songs in English Keyoh offered them something unique-new style in English and Armenian languages.
Yeah, that’s true that people might not understand Armenian but they will understand the soul and vibes of the music. This time she is hoping to score really really big. And let me reveal a secret- she is expecting a Worldwide hit with her new album. Two more songs will be released very soon.
The album will be about love and fun. She started to work on it when pregnant with her daughter, who inspired her to create that album. Kéyoh considers herself a person with lots of passion, love, and honesty. The new songs are going to be very easy, light but meaningful.
She believes that it’s important to give a certain message to people and to have an argument about what you mean in the song. This album will have a completely new style, unlike her previous songs. She promises that we are going to be obsessed with her new songs which, I believe, we will.
Back to Armenian roots
Kéyoh claims herself to be very much Armenian. The common language she uses at home is Armenian when talking to her parents, the rule of speaking Armenian never changes, even with her non-Armenian husband who learning Armenian thanks to her.
Of course, her mentality is somehow influenced by Belgian culture but overall, her Armenian blood “prevails”.
Her favorite one-and-only Armenian food is, undeniably, Khorovats (Barbeque). What kind of Armenian are you, if you don’t cook Armenian food. That’s how Kéyoh sounded when talking about cooking food at home.
Her grandmother is from Turkey’s Musaler, famous for making the Armenian dish Harissa while surrounded by enemies from all directions. So, harissa is the second favorite.
The one thing she likes about Armenia that lacks in Belgium is warmth. Armenians are very warm people and our values are very high. Kéyoh noticed that things that are normal for us are “wow” for Belgians. For example, if someone drops a visit, you (as an Armenian) invite them to your house, give some food and drinks-making sure they feel at home. While among Belgians, the possibility of you not getting further than the entrance door is quite high.
Her first impressions about Armenia come from 1994’s- “the dark and cold years” as Armenians call it when we had a shortage of gas, water, electricity.
She remembers a happy childhood, having fun, playing with candles, turning on the wood-operated stove, putting some potatoes inside, and enjoying time with her family. Kéyoh considers her childhood years in Armenia to be the best she, as a kid, could have ever had- playing with other kids outside for the whole day, while her parents would not have to worry as, you know, Armenia is a very safe place, unlike Europe.
If she was in Armenia right now, the first thing she would be doing is visiting her relatives during the first week, enjoying the mouthwatering Armenian food, and as a tradition, she would go to Tsitsernakaberd, The Armenian Genocide memorial to put some flowers in the evening.
Regarding the creation of a song fully-written in Armenian, the singer noted that her Armenian is not good enough for that. She even tried to collaborate with a songwriter based in Armenia, which, unfortunately, didn’t succeed as she failed to understand her style and message.
However, she will continue with half English and half Armenian songs as much as she can, because the feeling is always different when she sings in her mother language. She FEELS it (you bet!).
When asked about her favorite Armenian singer, she could not really pick only one person. Although she does not really follow a lot of Armenian singers, she confessed she “fell in love” with the music of Yerevan based singer Artem Valter, whose music rhythms and RnB-ish style are really close to Kéyoh’s heart.
And who knows, maybe one day she would even collaborate with him and create a song together. Among her favorite Armenian singers Andre, Lilit Hovhannisyan, Aram mp3, Garik & Sona are on the top of her list, well, after Artem, of course.
Everyone is different when angry. I was not shocked when I asked her in which language she expresses herself when angry she replied Armenian. It’s just not right when you express your anger in a language other than your own. Sure, is there even another way?
Kéyoh’s Plans for Future
Kéyoh has always included Armenia in her plans, she even booked a ticket to Yerevan for September but because of the lockdown, it’s still not certain if we will have her in Armenia this year or not. Though she promised to bless people in Armenia with her concert after lockdown and perform her newly released songs.
The one message Kéyoh wants to give her fans is to never ever give up, it doesn’t matter when it’s going to happen, if it didn’t happen today, it does not mean that it’s not going to happen tomorrow, no matter what.
The Road of Becoming Kéyoh
Kéyoh or Karine Ohanyan was born and raised in Yerevan, Armenia. As a child, she took singing, dancing, and piano lessons. At the age of 12, she and her family moved to Belgium where young Karine continued to sing at church. That’s how her inspiration to sing came from.
Those where hard times for the then 12 years old girl, she was always packing her clothes thinking to go back to Armenia but it was not happening, it was “a year of hell” for Karine, as she describes it.
However, new friends, new school, new language helped her adapt to her new environment and grow as a person, yet she never forgot about her Armenian identity. As she grew up, she studied to become a nurse, working as a nurse during the day and a singer in the evening.
In the end, Karine knew she had to make a very hard choice between the glitz and glam, fun carrier of a singer, or helping people as a caring nurse. She wanted to be heard and, eventually, her passion for music won.
Karine started to write songs and chasing her dream towards becoming a successful artist.
By winning a competition in Belgium, Kéyoh araised interest among record producers and managers. As a model, she became the brand face of many big campaigns of Dutch and Belgian companies and traveled a lot to the United States.
As a result, in 2013 Kéyoh released her first debut single “K.O. Love”, produced by Guy Waku, that became the summer hit of the year in Belgium. This success was vital for Kéyoh which was only the beginning. She started to collaborate with many producers and write new songs.
In 2014 she released another single “Shining Star” followed by the third single “Gotta Be You”. Kéyoh even managed to win the hearts of Armenians by winning a radio Music Award in Armenia in 2015. Her fourth single was released in 2016 called “Heart Beat” written by famous Criss Tonino (producer Sarah Connor’s hit “From Sarah With Love” and remixer of Nelly feat. Kelly Rowland).
Kéyoh continued her great success with the release of her urban RnB club hit “Eyes Wide Shut” followed by her RnB-pop single “Love or Curse” which made her music career cross borders to France, Switzerland, Cyprus, Greece, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, and Turkey.
We hope to see Kéyoh participate in Festivals in Armenia and on stages all over the world.