We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmela and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carmela, why did you pursue a creative career?
To put it simply… I haven’t been happy doing anything else. I’ve tried other avenues but they all ultimately brought me back to the same place—unfulfilled and unhappy. Even with all of the risks, challenges, hurdles, and inconsistencies that come with doing what I do, I wouldn’t trade it for any “stable,” predictable career. I can totally understand why some people would, but I couldn’t find a way to make a 9-5 work for me. And I love how wild my life can be thanks to my career.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I just released my new album, “New Stranger,” which is all about growing pains and healing. I think it’s safe to say each of us has experienced some pretty difficult times over the last couple years. No one could have predicted the pandemic and everything that went along with it, and for me, it forced me to step back and reevaluate my life. I finished college and started writing about all of the things I was too afraid to write about before. I started committing to my growth and self-compassion, and with all of that came the album. Each song is about a different experience – one is about growing into a new version of myself, another is about comparing myself to others, another is about loss, another is sung to my inner child.
I think what makes my art so special is that I love to take on really difficult subjects and put them into bite-sized, accessible pieces. Sharing such vulnerable parts of myself feels scary at times, but the moment I get a message about how one of my songs helped someone feel seen, that fear just washes away. And I remember that vulnerability is a gift that can heal.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think some “touristy” staples are definitely hiking to the Hollywood Sign, visiting Mickey Rooney, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, Chris Cornell, Toto (the dog), and many more important figures at Hollywood Forever, seeing a show under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl, and going to a King’s Game. Thrift shopping at Vintage Vortex VV or Out of the Closet is also a must. Some of my favorite food and drink staples in LA are Trejo’s Tacos on La Brea, Urth Caffé (for food and people watching), coffee from Tierra Mia, and Porto’s bakery.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve got to give a huge shoutout to my community on Twitch. For the last two years, they have encouraged, supported, and been there for me as I’ve navigated being a full-time musician and creator. They’ve truly been there through every step of my creative journey. From writing and releasing my first EP to my full-length album, playing shows all across the US, and everything in between – they’ve been there with me through it all. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.
James Flores, Jonathan Edzant, Rae Cassidy, Lauren Stockton, + Freddie Tyler Paul.