We are very happy to introduce you to Carla Monroe, new addition to the Career's and Industry team at ICMP.
Carla is a London-based singer-songwriter. In 2017 her collaboration with MK on the single 17 gained her much acclaim as it went on to become a smash-hit, peaking at number 7 in the UK official chart as well as achieving platinum sales status. Carla is currently writing and collaborating with a number of artists and producers including; Julia Michaels, TMS, Oliver Heldens, Meduza, Georgio Tuinfort (David Guetta) and Sigala, to name a few.
We recently met with Carla and asked her a few questions to get to know her better and introduce her to our students and alumni.
Hi Carla and welcome to ICMP! You recently joined our Career's and Industry Hub team. How's it going so far?
Hi! I'm super excited to be on board as an Industry Mentor of the Hub! So far, my time here has been great. It's been amazing to be able to connect with so many creatives and share my experiences, which I'm hoping will help students going forward.
Let's go back in time. What made you realise you wanted to make music in your life?
I grew up in a very big Dominican family where music was at the heart of everything... It was ALWAYS playing! If it wasn't my uncles listening to 90s hip-hop and RnB, it was my grandmother listening to socca, or my mum listening to Motown and Lovers Rock. I just remember music always having the ability to move me, no matter what mood I was in. As I got older, I started to listen to music more critically, wondering why songs had certain structures as well as looking at things like melody and lyrical content, which I hadn't ever really noticed before. I think it was at this point that my love of music also turned into a fascination and something that I wanted to learn more about.
You are a self-taught singer-songwriter. Who were your major musical influences?
As a teen my musical taste gravitated more towards RnB. I was obsessed with Mariah Carey! I loved the way RnB had become a new strand of hip-hop to create a cool, authentic sound which was seasoned with melodies, interesting arrangements and undoubtedly some of the best ad-libs of all time!!!
What are the biggest challenges you had to face while working on your musical career?
Probably one of the biggest challenges I've had to face and still do even now at times, is with my self-belief. It's easy in this industry to see all the great things other people are achieving, and over look all your own achievements and successes.
Whenever I feel like this, I just remind myself that no matter what stage of my career I'm at, I'm on my own journey. There's a process to everything!
Rihanna didn't just wake up one day and become the multi-platinum selling artist we all know today... It takes time, a lot of hard work and even more self-belief, I'm sure.
What projects are you currently working on?
A new song by Oliver Heldens and me just came out last Friday, and a few others will be released between now and Christmas. I'm also currently working on my own project, coming out in early 2020. It's a change in sound, something that nobody has heard from me before, so I'm really excited about it.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Probably having my first UK top 10! For me it was a special achievement because it was a song I wrote 4 years earlier by myself, in my bedroom, at a time in my life when things were really hard. As a result, I made the difficult decision to give up music. Fast forward 4 years and the same song goes on to become a hit...! I still get goosebumps whenever I think about it! NEVER give up on your dreams, that's all I can say!!
What’s the best piece of advice you would give to young female songwriters/musicians/performers?
Never compromise who you are for anyone! Your individuality is what makes you who you are, don't let anyone tell you different. There have been times when I have been in the studio and the producer has said "Can you not vibrato and sing those notes straighter?". Why would I want to change my natural singing style to sound like someone else, if that's what makes me Carla Monroe?! Be confident in what you bring to the table, often it's more valuable than you think.
What's your biggest aim as an Industry Mentor at ICMP?
As an Industry Mentor, I would like to use my own experiences to help and support ICMP students and alumni. When I was just starting out, I wish I could have had the facilities and support that ICMP has to offer! To have tutors and staff members who have first hand experience of the industry is such a valuable resource for the community.
Thanks Carla and good luck!
Get in touch with the Career and Industry Team
Run by a team of music industry professionals and experienced careers councellors, the team can support you in taking your first steps towards a career in the music industry or in wider employment.
If you would like to speak to a member of the team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.