Performers in a tribute band always seem like they have big shoes to fill. But when you choose to take on the vocals and style of Amy Winehouse, the shoes are only part of it. Big soul, big voice, big band, big hair...there's a lot more that goes into recreating the magnetic presence of the late, English soul singer. She was a classic artist in a modern era with songs that are still part of today's pop lexicon, even four years after her death. This is something singer Mia Karter understands very well. A year and a half ago, the seasoned vocalist and Winehouse fan took her adoration and talent to the next level.
Donning the "Back to Black" singer's trademark beehive hairdo and stepping on stage with a team of ace musicians, she became the centerpiece of the Amy Winehouse Experience, which plays a wide range of the singer's hits, deep tracks and favorite cover songs. While it might be easy to write this off as a gimmick (especially in the wake of the Amy documentary released last month) those thoughts are quickly dispelled when Karter talks about her reasons for starting the band, her dedication to honoring Winehouse's iconic, short-lived career and her commitment to authenticity (anyone who would take 2-3 hours before sound check to get into costume is definitely the real deal). We recently spoke to Karter before the band's gig at Harvelle's in Long Beach on Saturday.