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Eileen Carey Interview

Beyond the Surface: Singer-songwriter Eileen Carey on Following Her Path to Music and Giving Back


Award-winning
singer-songwriter Eileen Carey was named 2017 Crossover Artist of the
Year by New Music Weekly. Breaking down the barriers between country and
pop, Carey is currently promoting her flirtatious feel-good new single “Good Bad Girl.” She’s
a recipient of the Producer’s Choice Award for 2016 Female Country
Artist of the Year at the Los Angeles Music Awards, as well as an award
from industry-driven Independent Music Network awards.
How
do you find inspiration for the music? Is there somewhere deep within
where the inspiration comes from? It’s said that when we’re most
connected to our true selves – for example, some of the best songs were
written in minutes. What’s your take on that, do you feel that in those
inspirational moments you’re most connected to your true self? Have any
songs come to you in that way, with such ease?
My first recorded song That Town came
to me as that moment of inspiration and completion you speak of. Ideas
come from everywhere today. I am constantly seeing songs in my daily
tasks of life. I write what I see, hear and feel in the world around me.
I often jot down little notes to myself about what I want to write
about, or things I see or think. But rarely does the moment of
channeling the music in a sudden finishing epiphany happen in my
process. It is all more a process with me.
Do you have a daily musical process?
I
do! I work on my career every day. Ideas come to me and I first write
them as a story. My songs are not particularly personal, they are mini
movies. Then I decide on a co-writer and it goes back and forth until we
feel it is ready for the studio—that the music and the lyric truly
sing. This is how I have always done it. Also, though I live in
California, we record the basic tracks in Nashville. The studio players
often make arrangement suggestions changes to my producer and their
thoughts are reflected in the track I will sing to. Then my producer
Travis Allen and I bring in a studio vocalist to sing the song so that I
can hear what they do with it. After the track is sung by me for first
takes we further make adjustments to the vocal melody and the lyrics.
When
did you know you had this gift of music and how did it manifest for
you? How did you start to do the human discipline it takes to channel
your gift, hone it and bring it forth?
I
learned to play drums as a kid! Don’t do it much anymore but do have a
set of drums in the house, and do work out on them on occasion still.
But I knew music was my life’s direction when I came to Los Angeles
years ago to study film while working in hotel management. I would hire
musical acts and realized that I could do what they were doing, and so I
went after this career I am now a part of! All the elements I have
studied, film, art, music and business have combined to make me the
artist I am today. I have always been a disciplined person. Don’t know
where it comes from exactly. Probably my parents. I sung and acted in
grade school and in the community. Music came very naturally to me but, I
came west to Los Angeles to study acting and theater. I believe in
study and craft, and really wanted to be a film director. That is how I
came to Los Angeles with a business marketing degree. I didn’t think you
could make a living with music until I had the executive chore of
booking the talent for the hotels.
There
are divine moments of serendipity, where a catalyst opens the door that
leads to the path we’re meant to be on, the one where we live out the
fullest expression of our true selves. What was that moment for you and
how did it happen?
There
are actually two moments that I could describe that were catalysts.
While I was booking acts at the Sheraton and realized I could do what I
was booking; and the first time I heard my first single That Town on the radio! I knew I was capable of writing and singing songs.
What
inspired this blog series was seeing an old friend who has a special
gift of music, but didn’t choose that path, who, 20 years later, isn’t
living the life he thought he would live. People who make music and get
to travel the world doing so are a rare example of a life where one is
able to honor and channel their gift of music. What are your thoughts?
And do you feel you’re consciously living the life you thought you would
be living?
I
don’t know if this is brash, but yes, I do think I am consciously
living the life I was meant to live. I was lucky though as well, my
husband was very successful in the restaurant business which allowed me
the freedom to follow my gifts; but it was with little doubt for me
where I belonged once I heard That Town on the radio. I think you have to make yourself who you want to be.
I’ve
said in that blog post about living the Mozart life, that it may be a
tougher road to choose, but you’re fully living your true selves. Do you
resonate to that? You did not choose the 9 to 5 path.
Yes.
But I did the 9-5 for years. As I said, my booking job at the hotels
convinced me of my true creativity which brought me to sing, write and
perform. Funny enough though, I can say I actually turned down a more
senior executive offer by the hotel chain to sing.
But to embark on this path you chose, was that difficult? Because you didn’t know you would get here.
I
think that some things are just a part of who you are, and there is
little choice but to follow those things. I never think much about
failure. I think “difficult” is a matter of perspective. Things that are
worth accomplishing take effort. I didn’t have to know that I would be
successful only that it was my “true self” that you speak of. Music was
“me” so to speak.
How did you know that this is your life path, your calling? How does someone know when they’re on the correct path?
I
believe each person has to find that “know” and act on it when they do
“know.” It can be elusive. As I have said, I was fortunate enough to
have people react positively to my music from the start.
What is your idea of success, especially on the path you chose?
Being
good at what I do is my idea of success. When I see people enjoy my
music I feel successful. But also, and equally, to be able to do what
you love to do while maintaining a family life, friendships and your
other passions. To live life fully! Be open to growth. Change!
Life
gives us catalysts, a release valve, which often is our lowest point in
life that allows us to push up to the next, hopefully better chapter.
Like a desert, wilderness period in life, that helps raise our
consciousness and stay true to yourself and your own path. What was that
low point for you that helped you push yourself further, evolve and do
better, and what did you do when you had that epiphany?
My
faith, my drive, one door closes another opens. I always look for the
positive in things, no matter how low I get. I don’t know where it comes
from. I think some people who are especially good at what they do, have
that faith in themselves and their paths.
It’s
been a tough time for music, losing many of its legends or those we
grew up with whose music was our soundtrack. What are your thoughts on
time, how it seems to go by faster each year. Perhaps it’s made you
reflect on what you want to achieve in the time we’re given here? Do you
think about time much and what you want to achieve in the time we have?
All
the time! I have so many things that I want to accomplish. That is why I
have a go-for-it attitude. That is one of the messages I carry. As for
losing some of our greats, I think it points to how exhausting it can be
to be constantly in the limelight. Artists have had to live their lives
of celebrity wherever they are
Unlike
any time in history, we’re in an overwhelming digital era. There is so
much detritus, noise and schadenfreude. What’s your view on that, and
how do you find quiet in this era? What do you do to connect with your
Higher Self, your true self? Do you have a day you unplug for example?
How do you ground yourself, focus on your own life path and purpose?
My
faith. I am a Catholic and honor that. Not just religion though, but my
faith in my path. I love being on the stage. I love making music. I
love be able to help people and animals. It is how I find and reside in
my “true self.” Hope that doesn’t sound cliché, because it just happens
to be the truth. Also, for the past 15 years I have trained as a
kick-boxer. That is another part of my “higher self” my meditation and
my escape into myself. Animals, family, meditation are all the tools
that I use to keep myself centered.
I’m
a firm believer in giving back, to be of service in some way, to use
our time most wisely, can only help us in the end. What are your
thoughts and do you try to help others, even in the smallest way.
I
never feel like I am doing enough to help others despite my years of
donations, fundraisers and hands on involvements. Maybe it is a bit of
Catholic guilt (laughs),
but truly I am so blessed in my life that it would be a crime not to
lend a hand where it is needed. I do have my passions. I’ve been doing
homeless fundraisers for years. I was the Spotlight Artist for the
Annual Summerfest on Venice Beach for the Make A Wish Foundation, for
years of supporting that organization. And I am involved with the animal
rescue community in Los Angeles. In July of 2015 I hosted, along with
Morgan Fairchild and Karn Myers of FixNation, a huge fundraising show at
The Autry Museum. But where I really get to be of service is in my Music Mom Blog.
That is the place where I get to share my experience and faith on a
weekly basis with people who are musicians and parents. It is a place to
discover news, resources as well as my take on things parenting and
music.
What
advice do you have for people who have the gift of music, but don’t
know how to start channeling it, to develop that gift and bring it out?
I
think you have to dive in! Got to get your feet wet! True about most
things in life, you must continually fine-tune your craft as well. As I
have said, I am a fan of study and practice. Not only the music, but the
business side of your gift too.
What
do you do to help pick yourself up when you’re feeling down, and help
you stay the course? Is there a song you play that inspires you when
you’re needing some inspiration or to pick yourself up?
No
particular song but certainly music helps. But, I like going to the
gym. Again, I have trained in the art of kick-boxing for years. The gym
is one of my favorite pick me ups! But as I mentioned before an attitude
of gratitude goes a long way to keeping me emotionally healthy. I have a
full family life and I have my cats and dogs. Animals make a huge
contribution to my positive moods.
 Kari Young, Contributor, (c) The Huffington PostWritther, intuitive, blogger, radio guest, health and wellness advocate

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