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Keeping up with Karin! Meet the local redhead with the voice of Venus
Those high notes though...

Nicole Parnis

With her aquamarine eyes, sporty outfit and trademark hip-skimming hair, Karin Duff looks every inch the popstar. Round her neck are two delicate gold chains; one dangling a small Maltese cross, and the other her birth year — 1994.

“I’m very proud to be Maltese” she says off the bat, taking a sip of her iced coffee. At the time of our meeting, on a hot summer’s day, Karin is keen to share her excitement but not give much away. This will be her second year applying for Malta’s very own X Factor, after having got through to the Judge’s Houses stage last year. She’s busy with gigging around the island and has just completed her course in midwifery, a role she will pick up later this year, depending on how the televised sensation goes.

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Karin is keen to use this year’s show to get better at her craft, and has started singing and piano lessons, spending her days songwriting. Her latest song, she tells me, is a clap-back to some of the hurtful comments she had read online during last year’s show. “She’s not even a real redhead” or “She only got through because of her hair” were a couple of particularly peculiar ones. But, what a mane it is!

At just 24 years old, Karin speaks with a sense of wisdom about body confidence problems, having suffered from acne and weight issues in the past. “I was a chubby kid and was bullied for it at school” she shares with Guide Me Malta. “Then I started going to the gym, for my health more than anything, and now I love it. I make sure to eat fruit, veggies and protein everyday, but don't beat myself up when I have a treat!" 

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Still considered on the curvier side - albeit a size 10 - Karin is now happy with her body, and makes sure to post realistic photos on her Instagram page for her followers to see her make-up free on days when stress gets the better of her skin. Having been a student midwife, she knows all too well how women can sink into sadness over their changing appearances, and even based her thesis on anti-natal depression.

“People tend to focus more on post-natal depression, but depression during pregnancy is also very common. Your shape changes, not just your bump but your figure and body weight, and many women get affected by this” she concurs.

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“You can be beautiful at any size, I know people who are a size 18 and can pull anything off. I hate to see it when - younger girls especially - feel low when they don’t get, say 500 likes on their Instagram photos then end up taking them down. If I like my photo and it only gets 10 likes, I’ll keep it there. I think more people should focus on their lives and try not to spend too much time on their phones. You need to ground yourself, and sometimes ,I do take a few days off social media for myself.”

Having started singing at a young age, Karin moved on to playing acoustic shows in a small bar in her hometown of Attard and uploading YouTube videos of her singing in her bedroom. Nowadays she's booked up most dates. Her fans and followers have skyrocketed after the very first edition of X Factor Malta last year, and her unforgettable audition performance of ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ nabbed her four yeses from the judges. Asking whether she gets recognised out and about these days, after her success in last year's show, Karin smiles. "I do, especially from young girls asking to take selfies with me. It's very, very cute!" she says, beaming.

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This year she wants to trust the process and get better and better with every performance. “For me, X Factor is not a competition, it’s a competition with yourself. I have friends in the X Factor, and I am happy when they get through. There’s no point in doing it if it’s going to make you too upset.” she continues.

Wise words indeed! Judging by Karin Duff’s packed shows and loyal followers, the singer songwriter has a lot of exciting stuff coming her way, and just wait until you hear her sing! It certainly blew us away and we can't wait to see what she has in store for us this time around. Go Karin!

17th August 2019


Nicole Parnis
Written by
Nicole Parnis
Nicole Parnis is a writer and lifestyle blogger with a passion for music and a penchant for anything retro. She loves nothing more than rummaging for new vinyl records on a Sunday with her chihuahua Frankie.

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