"I’m just a girl from round the way and I’ve written for Beyonce, so I can truly say... Anything is possible!”
More than just a writer; artist and producer Carla Marie is the modern embodiment of a powerful and inspirational figurehead in world music. Influenced by dancehall sounds whilst growing up on account of her Jamaican descent, Carla’s attention soon turned to the rich soul and R&B tones of Mary J Blige, and an obsession with Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, and Alanis Morrisette. She soon learned to transfigure her natural poetry talents into songwriting skills, not just for herself, but for others too, working tirelessly in the studio.
“I’m a perfectionist,” says Carla. “I would write songs all day with my best friend on the guitar, writing and performing songs, but it wasn’t until I joined Xenomania that I really learned how to churn up great pop songs and productions that the public would enjoy!”
The move to UK hit factory Xenomania saw Carla work as an integral part of the team, co-writing a plethora of Top 10 hits for artists such as Girls Aloud, The Saturdays, Alesha Dixon and many more. In less than 2 years Carla had achieved 6 UK tops 10's, an Ivor Novello nomination, and BRIT Award success for her contribution to ‘The Promise'.
Starting her own company ‘NewCrowd’ in 2014, the move gave Carla a platform to showcase both her writing and production skills of not just her own music, but those of upcoming talents too, as she branched out into A&R/scouting and mentoring roles.
“I would invite people round daily between 12pm and 9pm,” she adds. “I had my own vision to develop promote and give opportunity to new talent. In a year you can write over 200 songs, and so I suddenly had all these tracks sitting on my laptop, including ‘Runnin.”
The track, released by Naughty Boy and Beyonce, scored BRIT Award success with Carla later working on the critically acclaimed billboard album ‘Lemonade’, as well as providing releases for the likes of Kendrick Lemar (Freedom), and Britney Spears (Private Show & What You Need.)
Carla and NewCrowd’s journey thus far has seen them collaborating globally with a range of talent including Jess Glynne, Alma, Raye Blk, Nao, Danja, Rodney Jerkins, Stereotypes, Sean Paul, Craig David, Rudimental, MNEK, Wilkinson, Paloma Faith and many more.
In 2016, Carla founded ‘Girls I Rate’, a female movement that celebrates, inspires and champions women in the creative industries whilst pushing for positive change and equality for female creatives. Girls I Rate has partnered with organizations such as PRS, Island Records, PRSF and VEVO to deliver educational programmes such as Arts Academy Weekenders and social events throughout the year. The company is fast being recognised as one of the leading bodies helping to shift the imbalance in gender equality within the creative industries.
“I want to make a difference for women and help create new platforms for the future generation of women,” says Carla, recalling her songwriting class at her last Arts Academy for fast rising female talents in the industry. “These girls, I can hear their potential beyond what they can. You have to keep motivating them, but it’s hard for them at first. Once they trust my vision, we get there in the end”.
Heavily influenced by Afro culture spreading across world music currently and recently signing a worldwide deal with Reservoir Publishing, 2018 will see Carla travelling to Nigeria and Jamaica to collaborate with local talent, as well as stops in New York, LA, and Nashville - locations that push and inspires Carla’s songwriting & production skills.
March will see her heavily involved in International Women’s month following in the footsteps of her idol and key musical influence, Missy Elliott, and utilize her talents as a motivator, public speaker, writer/producer, and mentor.
On 8th March (International Women’s Day) Carla will be bringing 100 women together to celebrate each other at her ‘Girls I Rate’ Dinner Gala event. She will also be joining panels for the UN x She Said So, host a Masterclass for Capital Xtra’ Music Potential Program, host her own “Women Make Music Panel” in conjunction with the Spotify Diversity Team at the Spotify HQ, and spearhead an inspirational & informative arts academy songwriting weekender at IMRO in Dublin.
2018 will also see Carla release her first EP “All My Girls” which focuses on positive non-sexualised empowering lyrics dedicated to women. The ethos is to push for more women in music gaining recognition, with Carla putting her A&R skills to test across the release; a celebration and showcase of raw female talent, written and produced by Carla Marie and her team NewCrowd.
The production features an all female cast, including female vocalist, MC’s, Producers, Engineers, Stylists, Make Up Artists, Video Directors and Photographers collectively coming together, in order to bring this project to life, with some of the U.K’s best rising talent.
Regardless of sex, race, creed or any other factor, Carla’s motto stands the test of time:
“Anything is possible.”