The dip to your chip.
By EmmoLei Sankofa
Carla G. (she/her) is strong spirited with a bright personality, which kept her energy thriving as she traveled from coast to coast with her military family as a child. She is a songwriter, vocalist, & event MC that can command any room.
Can you tell us a little about your playlist?
Let’s just say my playlist is a walk down memory lane. When I first sat down to curate this list I threw a bunch of songs together that were on my recent faves. Then in the middle of the night, I woke up and thought, this does not represent who I am! Now you have a playlist that represents a woman who loves classic R&B and was influenced by some of its greatest and most innovative pioneers. Each song that I picked is a snippet from each woman that has influenced my sound and helped me through heartbreak towards loving and feeling my inner self. Enjoy!
What's your musical journey been like after leaving the corporate world?
An emotional rollercoaster! When I started my journey back in February of 2016 I just knew I was going to take NYC and the music scene by storm. Little did I know, I did NOT have a real vision. I knew that I wanted to be a singer and that was that. I spoke to a few musicians about their processes and felt that I could take on the journey as they did. *whew* was I wrong. One thing I have learned through the years is the journey is your journey and yours alone. There will be ups and downs — with many ‘nos’ — but you have to be forgiving of yourself and enjoy the ride. Now I am taking the time to align my music with purpose. Who am I beyond the music and what impacts can I make in my community to influence and inspire those who are just trying to make it day by day.
How have the lessons that you learned working for major TV networks crossed over into your music career?
While working in television I worked closely with the commercial sales teams. I learned how to make a pitch, sell and manage a commercial deal. When commercial deals start rolling in I will know exactly how to pitch and manage myself and not be bamboozled by the glitz and glam. I also learned the simple talk of business negotiation. Any and everything can be negotiated as long as you stand firm in your ask and never settle for anything that is less than your vision.
If you could compare a food dish to who feel you are as an artist, what would that dish be?
Guacamole! The base of it is healthy. It can be added to any dish and can also have any protein, spice or veggie added to it to make it pop! Whenever I meet someone, walk in a room or join in on a project I want to be that perfect ingredient that can be the secret to making everything come together in a good way.
What has been the most challenging part about creating music for you?
Being in the right headspace at the right time. I find myself never being ready to collaborate with people when the time is afforded to me. When I AM ready to collaborate my mind is somewhere thinking about my next form of survival.
Name three things that you ALWAYS do before every performance.
Listen to Mariah Carey’s performance from 1992 MTV Unplugged Ep on blast in my apartment and as I go through the day.
Paint my own nails because nail polish is my slight obsession.
Drink a golden latte to digest and take in the beautiful nutrients of turmeric and ginger!
Name one album that you'd want to hear, top to bottom, before taking your last breath.
The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack. This was the first album that I learned top to bottom and still makes me smile every time I hear it.
If you could tour with a group of 5 different artists for 2 years straight, who would you pick?
This is TOUGH! This line-up doesn't make sense but I feel that they all would be super dope to hang with and the vision that each of them put into their live shows is something I would love to learn from:
Toni Braxton, H.E.R, Jazmine Sullivan, Missy Elliot, Janet.
At this point in your musical journey, what do you feel you need most to accomplish the next milestone you've set for yourself?
Focus and forgiveness. When you are focused on your end goal you can move through any obstacle without the distraction of comparison and rejection. Forgiveness is the one thing most of us forget to do when we have been beat down to the ground or step off of our path. No one is perfect and once you learn to forgive yourself of your mistakes and mishaps you can move forward with love and resilience.