Eileen Carey: From L.A.To Nashville, She Keeps Movin’ On With Her Music By Debra Stocker
“Eileen Carey’s voice is a droplet of honey dangling from a hive: glistening, all natural, and inviting…but don’t be fooled by the coating because the woman beneath is strong, confident, and just a little bit sassy! Lyrically Carey is smart, to the point, and colorful. Potent lines such as ‘Your lips have lost their poetry’ from the title track deliver her message with absolute focused precision and flair. Eileen has something to say and she says it dynamically. An upbeat, empowering twirling dance that relishes life in the moment and celebrates the wonder, joy and excitement of what comes next.”
All Access Magazine (AAM) recently sat down with Pop-Country vocalist Eileen Carey (EC) for a wide-ranging interview about her beginnings in music, her bi-coastal career, winning two L.A. Music Aawards, and what her future plans are. Here’s how it went.
AAM: Who is Eileen Carey?
EC: A singer-songwriter-vocalist in the Pop-Country genre who has also acted and sang on commercial jingles, who divides her musical career between Los Angeles, Calif. and Nashville, Tenn.
AAM: How would you describe the music you play?
EC: I think life is a treasure chest of journeys. Most have fantastic awakenings. Others, are sometimes very difficult to travel through. I make a journey of every song. I find a way to open the doors along the way and offer a ride to anyone heading in a similar direction. Or maybe having been there before, go a new way. It’s a way to share feelings and experiences that have affected where we are or where we are going. I like my music to be lifting; to impress hope with strength and determination. Whether you need a little or a lot, I like to think my songs can light a fire under your seat.
AAM: When did it dawn on you that you might want to sing and perform music full-time for a career?
EC: I always loved music. Listening gave me direction and my own bravery to follow it. As I grew, music gave me a way to express myself and share what I have learned and what I still hoped for. I try very hard to deliver that freedom with my music today. I worked in the middle years in Hotel Management. I was able to interact with others and exercise leadership, but it was always a predetermined adventure. It was gathering together to carry out someone else’s wishes. I liked that I was able to recognize myself in other people and their approach to each journey, but I always found myself a bit shy when it came to sharing those views or feelings. When I began working in the entertainment areas of the hotels; booking the artists and performers, scheduling them for the right events, it reminded me just how clearly music communicated to its audience. That’s when I knew I wanted to bring music, my own music, to the front of whatever I tried in life. Once I began doing that with my own singing and song writing, the hotels began booking me, and the response was overwhelming. It didn’t take long after that for me to want to continue writting and performing full time. It’s what gave me the ability to accept success with joyous reward, and failure with repair and resolve. It was also nice to be acknowledged for my music by winning “Americana Album of the Year” in 2009 and “Dance Single of the Year” in 2010, both at the L.A. Music Awards.
AAM: Talk about your previous career as an actress and making commercials.
EC: I moved to Southern California and was star struck. I took acting classes and performed in musical theater. I loved the atmosphere of the television and film industry and got as close as I could to any production that would have me. I tried out for any small part, walk-on, or extra position that I could get. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the business of directing and creating for TV and commercial film. I made the most of my oportunities. I went to work with Ray Charles in a Pepsi commercial. I spent time filming with Jack Nicholson in the movie “Hoffa.” I had a lot of fun and freedom working with Danny DeVito in “Batman,” and while most of my screen time was cut out while working with Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas in the film “Basic Instinct,” the rewards of the experience were worth every second of the time I put in. Being able to talk to him (Douglas) gave me so much vision. The industry is vast and complicated, but these stars can deliver an enormous expression of life in a short period of time. My delivery was more musical, and I realized my music could be expressed as a 3 ?-to-4-minute movie.
AAM: Virtually every musician I’ve ever interviewed has at least one or more (other) musicians that have helped shape and influence their music. Who are your influences?
EC: I have admired many different musicians and have been influenced by the characteristics of some of the top people who have made a real difference in the music industry. Songwriter Dianne Warren; for her magical way of bringing lyrics and music together in an unmistakeable blend all her own. The Pretender’s Chrissie Hynde; for her brave way of expressing her words and feelings across newly-developed sounds and mixtures. Sheryl Crow crosses many lines – Pop, Country, Rock, and Folk – and always delivers the absolute best that any song can be. And my favorite male artist would be Keith Urban; he flat-out raises the bar for songs that are written with feeling and delivered with joy. It’s usually sweet and intoxicating…like spiked punch! (laughs). I love all of that and feel it in what I do musically. In my own way I look for myself to write like Dianne, sing like Chrissie, deliver like Sheryl, and spike it up like Keith!
AAM: Your Bio says you divide your time between Nashville and Los Angeles? Please explain.
EC: I go back and forth. My Midwestern roots are what I seem to be driven to…or away from. Let’s face it, When I’m in Nashville, I’m from L.A. and when I’m in L.A., I’m from Nashville. I love both areas for similar reasons. I guess I’m a Cross-Country Artist. I love to mix it up and break some of the rules and traditions, and then bring the outcome to the other side of the country. I love the feeling I get here in Los Angeles and the energy that keeps pumping into me here on the West coast. I feel like my songs are well-received and have been getting through to people long after their release. It’s like, the story never gets old out here. The people, the activities, the friendships, and even the controversies stay fresh and encourage me to write in the midst of all that surrounds me.
Nashville is where the country flavor kicks into gear. I have been inspired by the talent that resides there and the challenge that it takes for a woman to direct her way into working with such a legendary part of the country. I have done radio station tours and performances in and around the Nashville area and feel welcomed in such a way that my songs reflect a deeper courage and comfort. That good “home” feeling you never want to let go of? Well, it rocks out here in L.A. and sometimes in the studio with some of the Nashville musicians that join me here.
AAM: What’s it like being a musician trying to make ends meet in 2011?
EC: Oh, Gosh! I dont think it’s ever been harder to stay in the music world that I love so much. I’m gonna have to cancel my private jet and my two Summer homes in the South of France! (laughs). But really, the budget is tough and the opportunities are getting tougher. The independent artists in music have made a strong attempt over the recent years to turn the industry’s ear toward some of the best talent that music has generated in a long time. Still it’s a struggle, but as hard as it gets, this is no time to give up. Everybody is feeling the strain and everyone is giving a little bit to keep going. For example, I work with top-notch people in the studio that have reduced their recording costs. There are great people in other areas of production and marketing that have trimmed their costs as well. Not to give less, but to support more. It is encouraging that the passion of everyone’s work is still the driving force. I sell cds on the internet and at my shows but I am most fortunate to be associated with suportive indpendent artist groups such as Rockin’ Moms, Chick Singer Nights, and Nette Radio. They help bring artists together to support each other and build their own craft. It’s important that I give back and stay involved in good causes with my music and these organizations, among others are very helpful in doing that. I really enjoy giving people a lift, so if I can do it with music and generate awareness for good causes, it’s a win-win. Like the title of my song “What Goes Around Comes Around,” it usually comes back to me. I get new opportunities and share whatever earnings come with it. Isn’t that what it’s really all about?
AAM: Talk about some of the favorite songs you have written over time.
EC: Well there’s a few from each of my previous cds. “Possibillities” was my first cd and it’s loaded with great music; “That Town” is the one song that really got me going. It set the stage for breaking away from old places and habits that weren’t getting me anywhere. “Hearts Of Time” is the title track to my second CD and it shines with hopes and visions of a better way. It has some of the best people working on it from both L.A. and Nashville at the same time. My third, and most positively-influenced CD is called “Movin’ On.” It has several great tunes that I think are most reflective of courage and confidence and show that what you truly desire can be accomplished. “Out With The Girls,” tells all the girls – poor, young, rich, and old – to take a little time off and grab a night out on the town! “Faith” reminds us that sometimes we end up in the wrong situation or relationship and either we dont know it, or we don’t want to know it. Whatever the case may be, if you have a little faith in yourself, you will find a way to right the situation. I love the song “Do I Dare” because it keeps me going for it. I keep trying like the song says, “to reach beyond my fingers”. Then there’s “Mr. Right Now”. Even though I didn’t write this song, it’s a fun song to sing and the ladies love it! “Mr. Right Now” is about having fun in your present relationship…with no ties.
AAM: Going forward, what do you desire to happen in terms of growing your career?
EC: 2012 is going to be a pretty exciting year for me as I’ll be releasing a new album. I’ll also have a new dance single coming out sometime this year for the Country dance saloon clubs. That will be a whole lot of fun.Touring will be high on my list of priorities in 2012 as well. I’m scheduling all over California, across the Southern U.S., back to Nashville and who knows… maybe my first time on the East Coast in the Fall. I’m hoping to pick up bigger shows and artists that I can open or co-host like The Judds or Pat Benatar. Maybe even Sheryl or Chrissie! My dream would be getting my music into TV/Film and Commercials. I think it fits in with what I see in TV drama and comercials with a lot of action and high spirit. I hope to keep sharing my music all over the world.