After high school, Erik formed the band Vie Privée in 1982 with Angel Garel de Ayala (guitar/keyboard), Stéphane Claude (bass). Erik signs the lyrics and the group co-composes the music. Manuel Dubigeon, drummer, joined them a few months later. Vie Privée gave many shows in the Parisian suburbs and its first Parisian concerts at the “Gibus club”. The band’s compositions oscillate between gothic, punk rock and experimental music on dreamlike and dark lyrics. One of their flagship songs, unclassifiable, Star Reich, a kind of progressive punk will be ranked number 1 for several weeks in a self-produced Chart, on a major local radio station in the Paris area. After the departure of Manuel, the drumer, the band continues as a trio and reaches its maturity in a more electronic formula. Some songs of the band will pass in the solo repertoire of Erik.
After the dissolution of Vie Privée, Erik records in Paris a first solo demo of 4 songs which he will mix in London. The following months, he continued his writing work and signed a first contract with the Victoria Records distributed by EMI with which he released his first two singles.
The first one, “Partir”, sold nearly 70,000 copies. He is accompanied by Manuel Dubigeon on drums, Jello (ex guitarist of the band Starshooter) and Pierre Jean Lion on bass. He participated in numerous television and radio broadcasts. He also leaves for a mini tour in Algeria for the 25th anniversary of independence in 1987. He collected a real critical success, and is rewarded in 1988 by the golden laser of the Charles Cros Academy which he received at the town hall of Paris as well as, the same year, by the price of the best single at the FIEF. (International Festival of French Expression) in Bordeaux.
On the second single, “Victoria” in 1989, he is accompanied again by Manuel Dubigeon on drums, but also by Hervé Lorthioir on guitar and Patrick Levy on bass. It will also be the occasion of a first video clip written by Erik and directed by Mike Japp. The adventure with Victoria records ends in 1990.
At the end of 1992, when he no longer had a record company, Erik performed the role of Frédéric Chopin in the Musical “Les Romantiques” directed by Alfredo Arias. Libretto written by Luc Plamandon, and music composed by Catherine Lara. The show, in its original form, is performed for two months at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and there are also Catherine Lara in the role of George Sand, Klaus Blasquiz, Janiece Jamison, Geneviève Paris, Daniel Levy. The show was nominated for the Victoires de la Musique in 1993.
The same year, he resumed his solo performances in Paris, at the Café de la Danse and at the Théâtre de l’Européen in 1993, at the Sentier des Halles (1994, 95 and 96), at the Divan du Monde (1995 and 96), Opus Café and Le Reservoir (1995) …and took part in several festivals (Les Francofolies de La Rochelle in 95, Le Festival Chorus in 1994, 95 and 96, Les 48 Heures de la Fraternité in 95, Festival des Arts de la Rue in 1994 at La Villette…). He will be accompanied during this period by drummers Manuel Dubigeon, Christophe Dubois and Jean claude Buire, bassists Stéphane Deutschmann & Jean Le Henaff, guitarists Jean Marc Haussaire, Ghislain soufflet and Fodil Maouchi, keyboardist Olivier Pujol aka Korbo on vocals and keyboards, keyboardist and accordionist Eric Signor, keyboardist Marc Malherbe, percussionist Benjamin Blaquieres.
In 1994, he released a book of poetry entitled “Anneaux Marines” at the Éditions Caractères in Paris.
At the end of this decade, alongside his solo projects, he multiplies the collaborations:
- In 1997, Erik formed with Emmanuel Reverdi an ephemeral experimental electro jungle duo “Millenium Prophety“, for a few performances in New York City in January then June 1997.
- in 1998, for a single performance in Paris, he composed and performed the cyber opera “Chaosmose” by the Argentinian visual artist and director Juan Le Parc.
- Above all, he created in 1997 with Eric Signor, “Le Cabaret des Élements”, a duet halfway between neo-classical music, opera and author song. The two friends write and compose, sharing the roles on stage: Erik Karol (Vocals, piano, keyboards, txistu, flutes), Eric Signor (piano, accordion, keyboards). After their first show in Paris in April 1997, they gave numerous performances in the capital and in the provinces, in sacred places (Saint Léger Abbey in Soissons, Commandery of the Templars in Jalès), and in June 1997, they performed part of their repertoire and Baroque arias (Purcell, Handel ) in New York City’s prestigious Trinity Chuch. In 1998, the adventure continued both in the provinces and in Paris and they released a self-produced CD “Chant d’Éther” where we find with them the cellist Isabelle Sajot, and the percussionist Benji “Benjahman” Blaquieres. Le Cabaret des Elements stopped at the end of 1998 because of… Cirque du Soleil.
At the end of 1998, Erik crossed the Atlantic to join the prestigious troupe in Montreal. He will be the singer of the new show Dralion and before starting a long tour, he participates in two other parallel projects:
- He performs the soundtrack composed by Michel Corriveau of Eric Canuel’s movie “Hemingway, a portrait”
- At the beginning of 1999, he participated in a well known French singer Leo Ferré festival live on Radio Canada at the “cabaret juste pour rire” in Montreal, where he performed Les Anarchistes (a song he began to sing at the Café de la Danse in Paris in June 1993, 3 weeks before the death of Leo Ferré, then at each of his shows).
Curiously, the shows of the Cirque du Soleil, Dralion, is a tribute to life and to the four elements which govern the natural order: air, water, fire and earth, and the fifth element which presides over the four others. This echoes the Cabaret des Élements whose shows were built around the 4 families of elements, and Akasha, the 5th element, ether, in Sanskrit. In Dralion, Erik Karol precisely interprets the central character, the Soul Force, the 5th element and through his voice, the past, the present and the future converge. Dralion is directed by Guy Caron, the music is composed by Violaine Corradi. Erik will tour from the opening in Montreal at the beginning of 1999 until 2001 in Atlanta, by way of Quebec, Toronto, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Minneapolis, Washington D.C… The show was nominated in Los Angeles for the Grammies in 2001, and Erik made his first two US TV appearances on the prestigious Jay Leno show in 2000. The Dralion CD was recorded in Morin Heights, Quebec and was released at the end of 1999 by BMG. A live DVD was recorded in 2000 in San Francisco.
While taking a break from the Dralion tour, Erik participated between 2002 and 2003 in Zürich, in the very first show, named “Chamäleon” of the Swiss circus Salto Natale. He interprets the role of the blind “Dream Teller” (in German for the narration and in English for the songs). Directed by Guy Caron and choreographed by Julie Lachance, with music by Scott Price, this show is produced especially for the holiday season.
Then between 2004 and 2006, Erik returns to the European tour of Dralion, from Vienna, to Madrid, via Antwerp, Bilbao or Zürich and with a climax at the Royal Albert hall in London in January and February 2005. He definitively leaves the Dralion tour after last two months in Seville.
In 2007, he wrote a story for children, the seventh key, to this day unedited.
He then participated in several new collaborations:
- he writes and co-composes the song “El Sueño” for the album “sound sutras” by the American artist Govinda released in 2007. They will perform it live in 2008 at the metro theater in chicago in the first part of Thievery Corporation;
- in 2009, he participated in two titles of the album “Synesthésie” by Olmont;
- more recently, in 2022, he collaborated on the first album of the Parisian group Alien Mekanik, on which he sang a song, Je suis, of which he is the author.
- he interprets the music composed by Bernard Becker of the film “Nuit Noire” directed by Daniel Russo (with Michel Galabru, Anouk Grimberg, Nicole Calfan, Daniel Russo), and of which they will play the music live for a music festival films at the Divan du monde in Paris in 2011;
- he interprets the music of several television series (France 2, Canal +);
- he co-composed with Frédéric Fortuny, the title Fragil for the film Les Robins des Pauvres in 2011.
- he composed many music for several years for the collections of the Swarovski company. The covid will put an end to this long collaboration of almost 20 years in 2019.
- Erik composes the original music for the two parts of the show “Histoires Fantasques” staged and performed by Alexandra Scandalis in 2019
For contemporary art:
- he composed in 2012 for the Barcelona visual artist and videographer Kharma Estrany a music for the video Dekonstruccion. She also designed the covers for Polyphonic Trees and remixes of Harda Vydia by Scanner
- he composed the music for the video “Lucid” choreographed by Bhavani Lee in 2018,
- as well, a piece for the contemporary dance company Fluo in 2021.
In 2010 he released the album Polyphonic Trees co-produced with Pamela Shadid. He is accompanied by Nicolas Boscovic, Isabelle Sajot, Olivier Monteils, Davide Rossi. The London artist, Scanner aka Robin Rimbaud, will participate in the adventure with two remixes of the song Harda Vydia which will be released in 2012. Unfortunately, despite excellent reviews, and a few concerts, without a record company or touring company, the album will remain confidential.
In 2018, he produced and released the album Le Principe.
In November 15th 2022, the instrumental album “Released Souls” comes out.
In anticipation at the beginning of the year 2023, Erik will release a new album of songs..