Featured Artist - Carli J. Myers
From it`s insidious, hypnotic bass line, jagged guitars and sultry lead vocal, it`s crystal clear from the outset that “Clutch” is no ordinary song and Carli J Myers is no paint-by-numbers pop singer.
A highly motivated multi-talented singer, dancer, actress, writer and Organisational Psychology Masters student, Carli, who is a vegetarian since birth and who maintains peak physical fitness in a variety of ways, has lived and breathed music from an early age. Indeed music runs deep in her family, both her father and brothers are accomplished song writers.
Not satisfied with honing her vocals through training and winning singing competitions, Carli fronts her own band `Pacawa` who were recently finalists in Joburg`s Battle of the Bands.
Drawing inspiration from artists as diverse as Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse, Pink, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Adele, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Jackson and classic bands like Bon Jovi, The Beatles and The Carpenters, Carli has her eyes firmly set on her goal of achieving recognition as a respected performing artist and writer. Her debut single “Clutch” was written by American writer Shea Seger and its edgy alt-pop direction is glove perfect for Carli`s distinctive voice.
Produced by multiple SAMA Award winning producer Crighton Goodwill and legendary A&R maven Benjy Mudie, the song was snapped up for worldwide digital release by leading independent company Next Music. One of South Africa`s leading fashion and lifestyle magazines, Grazia, was so impressed on hearing the single they scheduled an extensive fashion shoot with Carli, an unheard of mark of recognition for an unknown artist.
With her meticulous work ethic, dedication to her craft and sultry good looks, Carli J Myers seems set to smash the traditional pop barriers with her brand of sassy, adventurous music.
Record Label: Independent
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The Publicity Workshop
Contacts: Dionne Domyan-Mudie and or Sara Nicola Pearce
SA Music News Magazine interview with Carli
SAMN: When did you know that you wanted to become a musician/artist?
Carli: During my high school career.
SAMN: Which instruments do you play?
Carli: I play a little bit of piano (not a lot though – something that I wish was not true!!)
SAMN: What was the first tune/s you’ve learned?
Carli: Love Is All Around, The Locomotion and Let It Be
SAMN: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Carli: I admire so many artists but I think my ultimate favorite, because of her vocal and performance abilities, would definitely be Christina Aguilera
SAMN: Which famous musicians have you learned from?
Carli: SO many!! Michael Jackson, Maroon 5, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Santana, The Carpenters.
SAMN: What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
Carli: Some of these include: Sunday afternoon band practice. As a little girl, singing with my dad whilst he played the guitar, watching my mom dance at Latin American Ballroom Dancing Championships and wanting to learn,watching professional stage musicals and performing live in musicals and in competitions.
SAMN: Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
Carli: Yes, The Carpenters definitely stands out! Growing up I was also very influenced by musicals - I used to watch and learn them backwards. Some of my favorites are Grease, The Sound of Music, My fair lady, Annie
SAMN: Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?
Carli: The World’s Classic Rocker’s CD! When I was younger my family took me to a live performance at the Canyon Club in Los Angeles. We saw the live performance of the World Classic Rockers show – this had members from Toto, The Eagle, Steppenwolf, Journey as well as other renowned artists. I got their CD and still absolutely love listening to it !!
SAMN: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
Carli: Laugh and/or cry inside, smile and KEEP GOING !! ;)
SAMN: Do you still get nervous before a performance?
Carli: I definitely do
SAMN: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Carli: Nerves can be good and often help us to perform our best. As long as we have worked hard and have prepared well, we need to try convert those nerves into a positive adrenalin – I don’t think it’s easy for anyone!
SAMN: How often and for how long do you practice?
Carli: When I have something new to learn and/or perfect, I will practice it for many hours until I am satisfied (I am quite a perfectionist when it comes to my music (but I think that is a good thing ;))!
SAMN: What do you practice - exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?
Carli: That’s a very broad question… I’d have to say all of it (depending if I’m working on a specific project or whether I am just trying to keep vocally fit)!
SAMN: What type of band would you describe “Pacawa” as?
Carli: Pacawa is a melodic and beat driven soft rock band with elements of funk and a bit of jazz
SAMN: Tell us the brief history of your band
Carli: Well, we started out as a few keen music lovers wanting to jam a bit – that led us onto a competition which solidified our confidence that this had potential for way more than just a chilled afternoon jam. Our original material written by Patrick Kelly was by all accounts a very high standard and so people wanted to hear the songs – for us there is nothing better than people singing along to the band’s original material.
SAMN: What are your dreams and goals for your band?
Carli: We would love to have the support of a great record label to help us take the band as far as possible.
SAMN: Who writes the songs, what are they about?
Carli: Our talented guitarist, Patrick Kelly, writes the songs for Pacawa and then watches how the songs take shape as the rest of the band provides input – the process is really enjoyable and seems to work very well for us. The songs are predominantly centered around matters of the heart
SAMN: How do you promote your band and shows?
Carli: Through the various social media platforms - we are on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, and YouTube.
SAMN: Describe your show, visual and musically
Carli: Well we don’t rely on stage effects and props, but as a band we provide an energetic set filled with beat melody and lyrics sufficient to capture the audience. Perhaps at a later stage we’ll incorporate pyrotechnics into our show ;) haha!
SAMN: What do you think about downloading music online?
Carli: As an artist I think it’s a great way to get one’s music ‘out there’ but I don’t support downloading pirated versions of the song – artists work hard for what they produce and I feel that they deserve to also receive monetary recognition.
SAMN: What's your outlook on the record industry today?
Carli: I think that the record industry has taken a substantial downturn as hard copy sales have plummeted and so in order ffor record companies to survive, they have had to become very innovative to prosper. They are now reliant on online promotion, sales and downloads which is definitely the way of the future. Uploading YouTube videos is clearly becoming bigger and bigger. I think it’s likely that a lot of artists are going to have to allow songs to be given away without charge just to establish a name and a reputation for themselves. But on the other hand, through YouTube, artists are immediately exposed to an international audience, which is a great advantage.
SAMN: Tell us a story about a day in your life.
Carli: Well, a cool experience for me happened after Grazia had released their feature on me.
I was walking into the gym and a stranger came up to me and said “sorry to bother you but are you a singer? I saw you in Grazia Magazine?” – the power of marketing – that was really cool!!''
SAMN: What inspires you to do what you do?
Carli: That is a tough thing to explain in words. The best way I can explain the answer to that is in terms of the different emotions that music creates in me – the emotions of exhilaration, of love, and of movement. Music provides a powerful medium of expression. It is that sensation of feeling alive when I sing that tells me that I can’t really live without my music.
SAMN: What advice would you give to fellow artists or bands?
Carli: Make sure that you love what you do because the sincerity always comes through in the delivery.
SAMN: What are some of your pet peeves?
Carli: Sound engineers who don’t really know what they doing, because they make you try to sing above the sound of the drums. I mean even Christina Aguilera is going to have problems competing with a full electric band if her mic is too soft!
SAMN: How does music affect you and the world around you?
Carli: As I have said, my music has become something that I now can’t live without and I think a part of that is because of the emotions it creates in me. I actually once came across a quote that I think best answers that question. The quote goes “that moment when you hear a song and every word describes your situation perfectly”. In our everyday life I think we all relate to music in some if not many ways.
SAMN: What's the best and worst thing about playing in clubs?
Carli: Playing at clubs is actually a great way of honing your sound and skills because in order to grab the attention of people there, who have perhaps not come specifically to hear you, you have to be on your best game. It gives a great practice ground for larger venues.
One of the challenges of playing in clubs is that since people are just there milling around and perhaps drinking and eating, you can tend to be ignored - but that is also part of the game and also toughens you up!
I’d therefore say that the worst thing about playing in clubs is the fact that the facilities available are usually not of a high standard and thus the quality of the sound that the audience and the performers hear is not always very good – as such it makes the performance more challenging.
From Magz (SA Music News Magazine Partner & Magz Tilling Photography: How did you enjoy your shoot experience and why?
Carli: The shoot day was incredible!! It was great fun! I arrived here at SA Music News with a full suitcase of clothes, shoes and accessories. I didn’t know what to expect but was excited to find out! After myself and the lovely Magz and Chantel finalized my outfits, we began the preparation of my hair and makeup. The morning and afternoon that followed was extremely fun and enjoyable.
Each look was unique and had a different flare. We had such a good time together smiling, laughing and dancing to Clutch! I arrived early in the morning and before I knew it, it was late and the sun was setting - I had hardly noticed the time pass because we were having such a good time.
I was also delighted to meet Amber (Magz’s daughter and a beautiful new fan) and have some pics with her – we danced, we smiled and we had a great little chat – a definite highlight! I really enjoyed the shoot experience – the excitement, warmth and enthusiasm from all involved (Magz, Conrad and Chantel) made the day one of my favorite experiences! I was not expecting the spoiling I received so thank you so much!!
Following questions are from our young ''journalist-in-training'' Amber:
Amber: When did you write your first song and what inspired you?
Carli: I wrote my first song in matric and it was inspired by an overseas tour that I went on when I was 16.
Amber: Who supported you the most through your career?
Carli: Both my wonderful parents
Amber: What’s the most exciting moment that’s happened in your career?
Carli: I would have to say each time I receive a message from someone I do not know telling me that they love my single Clutch and that they can’t wait to hear more– that feeling is most incredible!
Amber: Besides us... who’s the most crazy person you’ve met and why?
Carli: I’d have to say my brother Adam – he randomly decided to add two middle names to his birth name and seems to always “adopt” the body language and accent of any foreigner he comes into contact with in a caricature way and somehow manages never to offend them … he always makes new friends and it becomes very entertaining to watch!
Amber: How do you prepare before a performance?
Carli: Before I go onto stage I like to warm up my voice, give my body a bit of a stretch to loosen up and relax, and jump up and down to get the blood flowing and the energy up ;)
Amber: What’s the best advice that you can give kids who would like to be a singer like you?
Carli: Always take what you do seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously. I think it’s about working hard and consistently and doing your best – after that we can’t control what happens
Amber: Who’s your role model and why?
Carli: I actually have many role models. My brother once said to me that he admires something in every person who is close to him and that is why he has chosen the friends he has.
This made me think a lot. I now look up to many different people and try model my life and behaviors on all the good qualities of those closest to me.
But 2 people I most certainly consider to be my role models are my parents – they both exhibit such amazing and admirable qualities.
Amber: Have you been involved in any charities and in what way? Which are your favourite areas to support?
Carli: During high school I was a part of a group that would bring an underprivileged school to our school every Wednesday afternoon.
We used to make them lunch and fill the afternoon with fun interactive games and sports. It was a wonderful experience because we got to know the children from the school and developed a great relationship with them! One of my favorite areas to support are charities that are aimed at bettering the lives and futures of children.
Amber: What’s the funniest mistake you’ve ever made?
Carli: Well I have been told that when I was a little girl I fell of the jungle gym and hurt my chin. I then ran to my mom crying “Mommy! I hurt my beard!” :)
Amber: You seem to be so full of amazing energy … where can I get some?
Carli: Hehe! Aww thanks! I am the kind of person who likes to be very active – to be honest I’m not sure where it comes from but I think one of the places that I get my energy is from training – I love to run, swim and gym and I always feel more energized when I am finished exercising!!
Photos taken by Magz Tilling © at Magz Tilling Photographic Studio, Randburg
Interview by Conrad Roets - Editor-in-Chief
SA Music News Magazine, Magz and Ambi would like to thank Carli J. Myers for the interview, as well as Dionne Domyan-Mudie and Sara Pearce for arranging the interview and we look forward to bringing you more on Carli's musical career and success in the near future
SA Music News Magazine interview with Carli - Release of 'Walls' Lyric Music Video
SAMN: What is your greatest ambition and dreams and why?
Carli: Balance!! My greatest ambition is to strive to develop myself in various walks of life including mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth whilst continually remaining true to myself. I feel living a balanced life helps one actualize one’s potential and helps me achieve happiness.
SAMN: How would you like to make the world a better place?
Carli: I’d like to do that through my music. I would like to use my music to communicate messages and experiences so that I can enhance people’s lives by sharing in the light and shades of life.
SAMN: Please tell us about your areas of compassion – who and what you feel most compassion for and why?
Carli: Children living in difficult circumstances. Children haven’t had the chance in life to make bad choices yet they are often the ones experiencing the negative consequences of those around them. I find this very frustrating and unfair.
SAMN: While in LA, what were you aiming to achieve? Did you go for the purpose of writing a song? What else did you do there, and have you any more international plans in the near future?
Carli: While in LA, I was in studio writing and recording almost everyday. My goal for that trip was to write and record more music and develop my skills.
I definitely was lucky as I learnt a huge amount and was afforded the opportunity to write and record two tracks. While in LA I also spent some quality time with my family who live there, as well as met up with some close friends – we went out a few times which was great fun.
I also went to The Laugh Factory for the first time which was awesome!! I am hoping to head back to LA this year to work on some new music and I am also hoping to release internationally soon.
SAMN: Was the message of Walls in your heart prior to working with Doug or was it born during brain storming with him, and why this message?
Carli: The message of Walls was definitely in my heart prior to working
with Doug but working with Doug allowed me to articulate that message through song. I wanted to write a song of hope and my own sort of ‘fight song’. ‘Walls’ is very personal to me yet the message of the song I feel is extremely universal.
We all find ourselves in situations where we feel stunted in our progression forwards and need to find our internal voice that says ‘we can’ in order to achieve. I have been inspired by the internal strength I see others drawing on to move through life’s challenges and I wanted to share that inspiration.
SAMN: How would you like your music to influence other people’s lives?
Carli: I saw this beautiful saying; “When you’re happy you enjoy music. When you‘re sad you understand the lyrics.” In life we all have our own unique experiences yet there are often common emotions and feelings that accompany different experiences.
Those emotions can be translated and expressed through music. In this way I would like my music to allow us all to feel connected and supported. I want people to listen to my music and think “Ah! That’s exactly what I feel!”
SAMN: What are the most important values you treasure in life?
Carli: I value family, friendship, honesty, integrity, empathy, and communication.
SAMN: Where would you like to take your music in style, career and influence in future?
Carli: In style I would like my music to embody a ‘soft-romantic-edgy’ sound blending the pop country rock genres. In career I would like my music to move internationally and reach a larger audience. In influence, I would like a person of 90 years old to get as much out of it as a person of 9; I’d like my music to be ageless.
SAMN: What did you enjoy about your shoot and video creation?
Carli: Regarding the shoot, I loved the genuine excitement that we all shared on set. We had such fun.
I also loved getting to know Magz and her passion for the arts. Regarding the video creation, I loved Magz’ openness and willingness to collaborate and achieve a common vision of bringing out the essence of the song. I absolutely loved her enthusiasm to create the perfect video.
SAMN: Any other plans?
Carli: To keep releasing new music and an upcoming album!! As well as live performance!!
SAMN: Any upcoming events you want to share?
Carli: Nothing confirmed as of yet, but exciting things on the cards so keep posted on my social media for those details!
Photos taken by Magz Tilling © at Magz Tilling Photographic Studio, Randburg
Interview by Magz Tilling for SA Music News Magazine
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Have a ROCKING 2016 and we look forward to seeing you at the shows
Stay safe and please don't drink & drive!
SA Music News Magazine