Washington Heights singer Karina Pasian was only 10 years old on Sept. 11, 2001 – but she vividly remembers one of the saddest days in New York City history. In the middle of a piano lesson at school on W. 67th St., her frantic mom and brother came to get her. “Everybody’s parents were just coming to get everyone,” Pasian, now 20, said. “At that moment, I didn’t really know exactly what was going on. Once my mom explained and once I saw the chaos in the streets and everybody was talking about what was going on, then it really hit me.”
Now, 10 years later, Pasian wants to pay tribute to the tragedy and use her music to bring a little happiness to what should be a somber day as the city remembers 9/11. The Grammy Award-nominated singer, has recorded a jazzed-up and merengue-infused rendition of “America, The Beautiful”.
“I definitely want people to be moved by it, and get a feeling of joy,” Pasian told the Daily News as the track was fine-tuned at the Tainted Blue studio in Times Square this week. “Even though it was such a horrible event, [people] should still celebrate life and our beautiful country.”
At first, the song seems like just the same traditional version of the patriotic tune, then morphs into an uptempo pop-merengue track sung in Spanish. It eventually returns to the more classical 1910 version, with Pasian belting out powerful notes to close out the revamped song. “I just wanted it to be fun, even though it is a time of sorrow,” said Pasian. “I still wanted it to have energy into it. This is all about bringing people together…It really does show what America is.”
The remixed version will also be sold on iTunes and proceeds will go to Tuesday’s Children, an organization that provides support and services for the children of 9/11, as well as Ballroom Basix.