South River singer shares her own voice

De­but record­ing for Carolina East show­cases orig­i­nal songs

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

Singer-song­writer Carolina East hopes her de­but record­ing will help set the stage for the next step in her ca­reer.

“It’s been pretty cool — peo­ple have re­ally ac­cepted it,” East told the Com­pass in a re­cent interview.

The pro­duc­tion, even at the very be­gin­ning stages, was like noth­ing I’d ever heard. — Carolina East

The singer, who is from South River, has ap­peared on stages in St. John’s for years, pri­mar­ily singing the songs of oth­ers. Her re­cently adopted stage name — based on the singer’s real first name and east coast ori­gins — came to be dur­ing a record­ing ses­sion in Toronto with Rob Wells.

“I’m a cover artist mainly, so I play five or six nights a week in St. John’s down­town and all over the place,” East said. “When I fi­nally branched off to do my orig­i­nal mu­sic, I needed to sep­a­rate the two.”

She met Wells in Oc­to­ber of 2016 at Mu­sic NL Week in Bon­av­ista. He was a key­note speaker at the event and heard East sing dur­ing an open mic. Artists he has worked with or had his songs recorded by in­clude Ari­ana Grande, Se­lena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Adam Lam­bert, Back­street Boys, Corey Hart and Nelly Fur­tado, amongst oth­ers.

“I wasn’t go­ing to go,” East ad­mits, not­ing she was work­ing at the event. “I was ex­tremely tired that night … When I walked in,

every­body wanted me to get up and sing, so I was like, ‘OK, cool.’”

Wells ap­proached East after she was fin­ished and im­me­di­ately brought up the idea of work­ing to­gether. A few months later, she boarded a plane and met him at a stu­dio in Toronto. It was there they wrote and recorded her six-song self-ti­tled EP.

“We started right from scratch,” East said. “The day after I ar­rived, we started in on writ­ing. We wrote ev­ery song to­gether and recorded it within the three-and-a-half weeks that I was there.”

A lot of per­sonal life ex­pe­ri­ence in­formed the cre­ation of the mu­sic found on this record­ing. Blend­ing to­gether pop, coun­try, soul and mod­ern RnB sounds, the re­sult­ing mu­sic lends it­self well to com­mer­cial ra­dio play.

“When I was up there, it was ter­ri­fy­ing for me, be­cause I was leav­ing New­found­land and go­ing to live with some­body for al­most a month — I didn’t know them very well. I was writ­ing with peo­ple I’d never writ­ten with be­fore. There was a lot of anx­i­ety lead­ing up to it.

“But I re­mem­ber the first song that we wrote was called ‘Mon­ster.’ Ev­ery song takes three days. There’s writ­ing for one day, record­ing the se­cond day, and then on the third day it was just tidy­ing ev­ery­thing up and get­ting it all sorted. On day two when we laid down all the scratch vo­cals … and he let me hear it, it was hon­estly like the first time I ever heard my­self sing the way I wanted to be heard. The pro­duc­tion, even at the very be­gin­ning stages, was like noth­ing I’d ever heard.”

She was more than pleased with the fi­nal prod­uct and happy to see the songs are al­ready find­ing an au­di­ence. The EP’s lead sin­gle “That’s Okay” is get­ting airplay on ra­dio sta­tions in Man­i­toba, On­tario and through­out Atlantic Canada.

“In New­found­land as well, we’re get­ting a lot of ra­dio play. Kixx Coun­try (in Car­bon­ear) is a huge sup­porter of my mu­sic and of course a lot of New­found­land mu­sic that’s pro­duced here as well,” East said. “And it seems a lot of the pub­lic are just blown away by this al­bum as well.”

Look­ing to­ward 2018, East is hop­ing some po­ten­tial award recog­ni­tion could boost her pro­file. For the spring and sum­mer, the main goal is to tour and share her mu­sic with a wider au­di­ence.

“The ul­ti­mate thing for me is to get across New­found­land and share the mu­sic in ru­ral New­found­land,” East said. “But we also plan on hit­ting some big­ger fes­ti­vals and venues out­side of New­found­land and through­out Canada. We’re in the be­gin­ning stages now of try­ing to ar­range that tour.”

She cred­its ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Brian Ram­jat­tan and man­ager Nathan Visser for help­ing ad­vance her ca­reer to this point, not­ing they’re work­ing to­gether on set­ting up fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties to record. East is also ap­pre­cia­tive of the sup­port re­ceived from her fam­ily.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Carolina East is gun­ning for suc­cess with the re­cent re­lease of her de­but record­ing of orig­i­nal ma­te­rial.

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