BMG Chrysalis recording artist and songwriter Carly Robyn Green is a name you need to know! Carly, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and now living in Los Angeles, is being compared to the likes of Michael Buble and has had her music featured in over 80 television shows and films.
DailyCandidNews sat down with Carly in Hollywood to find out more…
Q: How did you become interested in becoming a musician, and how old were you when you started?
A: I “officially” began singing when I was eight years old, in third grade. I had begged my parents for singing lessons, because I had been singing around the house with toy microphones since I could talk, getting up at piano bars when dining with my parents at restaurants in South Philadelphia – like DiMedici’s – singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as a two year old, and popping into Hershey Park theme park recording booths to cover New Kids on The Block hits! It was only a matter of time… I guess I just always knew singing and songwriting would be what I’d pursue professionally. At age seven, I remember creating business cards for myself that said “C.G. The Singer!” Between the silly songs my dad would make up and sing to me, Mommy-and-Me music classes with my mom at Alexis’ in Society Hill, car rides listening to B101, and the tapes I would listen to as I fell asleep at night, music has always had a very prominent role in my life.
Q: Explain your music and the type of audience that you reach?
A: My new record, “What Love Is All About,” is collection of songs that reinvent the classic “love song.” For some reason, over the past fifteen years or so, good old-fashioned love songs have gotten such a bad rap… People say that they are cheesy, or sappy, or dated. But for me, and for my parents and grandparents, it’s those classic love songs that withstand the test of time – the wedding songs, the songs that bring back special memories, the songs that mark significant events in women’s lives. So my music is basically an updated version of that genre, for today’s female audiences. I call it “modern adult-contemporary.” I’m speaking to adult women about all aspects of love – from wanting it, to discovering it, to losing it, to remembering it… The music is timeless, so it has the ability to reach women at various points in their adult lives.
Q: Who are your biggest influences in music?
A: People have said they hear influences of classic Natalie Cole, and definitely influences from my Philadelphia days working with music legends Gamble & Huff. I’ve always been influenced by Streisand, and I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with songwriters who have written major hits for another huge influence of mine – Whitney Houston. Throughout the record, there are also influences by Astrud Gilberto, Alicia Keys, Lara Fabian, and Dionne Warwick.
Q: Which other artist have you enjoyed working with the most so far?
A: I have written for artists all around the world – Min Hae recorded my single “You and Me” in Korea a few months ago, Anri is recording my song “Ready to Love” right now in Japan, Starmarie came out with a song of mine on their last record in Japan, Aycan sang my song “Crystal Eyes” for her record in China, and I’ve written songs for German and Spanish speaking territories… I have also collaborated with artists whose bands have been very popular here in the U.S. – from the drummer of Cinderella, to the drummer of Eve 6, to the guitar player of Hoobastank, to the guitar player of The Hooters. But, I would say that my favorite collaboration with another artist thus far, was a duet I recorded with Deborah Cox a couple years ago. I have always loved her voice and style, so it was a thrill to sing alongside her for a Broadway recording.
Q: What are your goals in the industry and where do you see yourself in a year from now?
A: My overall goals are to touch women at the most special times in their lives, to inspire little girls to want to become singers too, and to write and record the wedding song of the next twenty years. Oh, and writing and recording the next “Titanic” theme song would be nice too! In the next year, once my record comes out, I hope to tour with some similar adult-contemporary artists like Lionel Richie, Richard Marx, Michael Bolton, or Josh Groban.
Q: How do you define music these days, and where do you feel you fit into that definition?
A: I think you need to publish my 250 page thesis from the University of Pennsylvania to answer this question!
I cannot simply “define” music these days… But, I can argue that the U.S. music market is more accessible, diverse, and democratized than it has ever been before. People can now produce music in their very own homes, new music platforms are emerging daily for music consumption and distribution, and the “star” system is very diluted now due to social media. So, the pipelines are wide open for all kinds of new music to disperse. Where there used to be a greater divide between music creators and music listeners, the lines have now blurred and broadened opportunities for new artists, sub-genres, and musical niches to emerge.
With that said, the space for commercial music has narrowed. Contemporary hit music stations are rotating an increasingly limited set of new songs per month, and there is a lot of saturation across CHR stations. I won’t speak to exactly what style of music is “popular” or “not popular” right now, because that, intrinsically, changes daily.
I can, however, tell you that my music does not aim to fit any pop or hit station formats. It’s meant to LAST over time and through changing musical trends. That’s why my record fuses classic melodies and meaningful lyrics, with modern production styles that harken back to various points in music history – from the wartime jazz era, to sixties Ipanema, to the soulful seventies. My music is meant for today’s KOST FM audience in Los Angeles, More FM listeners in Philadelphia, and Lite FM stations across the country. Some women may be familiar with Delilah’s syndicated evening radio show… That’s where I fit into today’s music market.
Q: Tell us about your latest single and what it means to you…
A: WHAT LOVE IS ALL ABOUT, co-written with Frank Wildhorn, is a feel-good, mid-tempo love song that describes the way it feels to finally experience love for the first time. Love is not the way it’s depicted in movies or on television… It’s a mystery that cannot truly be understood until that special person comes along and evokes in you that indescribable feeling. So, the lyrics deal with those sentiments, and that sense that once you feel that spark you’ve never felt before, you know it and want to savor it. Musically, it has Gamble & Huff’s influences written all over it, with the horns and the strings that they produced best throughout the seventies. The song has a retro flair, with a relatable lyric and a stirring melody.
Q: What tips would you give young artists coming up, or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out in the music industry?
A: I would give aspiring artists a piece of advice that I was given by my first musical mentor, Russ Faith, when I was first beginning my music career back home in Philadelphia. Russ had written songs for Streisand and Sinatra, so I took what he said to heart. He told me to treat myself as if I’m a Thoroughbred. Slow and steady wins the race… It doesn’t “happen” overnight. So, I would advise young artists to be patient and hard-working, and demonstrate determination and perseverance. I would also tell them to get an education in the process of their pursuit, because that will equip them with the tools they will need to achieve and maintain success in the long-run.
Q: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
A: If I could change one thing in the world, I would change the abundance of prejudice that is propagated by ignorant, ideologically-driven groups throughout the world. If children are indoctrinated at young ages to hate others who are unlike themselves, then bullying, intolerance, and discrimination will never cease. We must stop this bigotry at its source and teach our children – worldwide – that we are all equal.