AVA Radio-Cara-Mel Picture 2

A part of me feels like the industry has turned into a complete joke,
especially when it comes to hip hop and rap music of today. Everything is about a gimmick and if a musician is not a follower or somebody’s “Yes” man, then there is no place for that particular artist. It’s like the industry is creating clones and no one has their own ideas or a unique quality to separate themselves from the next @caramel_DMV

Live interview 
Episode #360 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/09/14/episode-360-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW CARA-MEL
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Dana Lawrence


A part of me feels like the industry has turned into a complete joke,
especially when it comes to hip hop and rap music of today. Everything is about a gimmick and if a musician is not a follower or somebody’s “Yes” man, then there is no place for that particular artist. It’s like the industry is creating clones and no one has their own ideas or a unique quality to separate themselves from the next. Also, it is crazy how major labels base a large majority of potential artist opportunities on social media too. For example, my husband was told by a music representative that they liked his music; however in order for their organization to consider, he needed to get his Twitter followers up to 50,000. It’s like a big popularity competition of some sort. On the other side, I love this new era of independent that is arising for the indie artist. The World Wide Web is definitely our best friend when it comes to gaining exposure and building a fan base. With so many avenues to go nowadays, an indie artist can be very successful without a major label. That’s why I appreciate organizations such as A.V.A Radio that give artist such as myself the opportunities to be heard.

There are many pros, such as having the opportunity to express myself through song.
First and foremost I am definitely a writer. Music provides an outlet for my conscious. Another pro is the networking experience I share with other musicians. I love to see new acts and get a chance to work with other artist. However, at the same time this can be a con; as sometimes artist may view you as the competition. Another con for me, is the fact that I do not have that financial luxury to focus only on my music right now. It definitely don’t pay the bills! So, I have to balance working a full-time rotating work schedule, school, and music.

There are definitely more benefits in releasing an album versus a single.
Let’s be honest, most people will not go out and just purchase a random single from an artist they have not heard of before. I feel it is best to release some form of an album (EP, LP or Mixtape) first that includes free music downloads; as this will demonstrate versatility. I chose to focus on building my fan base by releasing a few downloadable songs from the “Racial Profile” mixtape on my website. In addition to this, I use a form of visual arts by utilizing music videos as a tool for people to connect the music to an image in efforts to gain more brand exposure. Plus, I feel that the releasing of an album will allow an artist the opportunity to introduce themselves to more potential fans as well as create the buzz needed within the music industry.

I like the fact that social media can connect you with like-minded individuals.
Also it is a great tool to utilize for promoting a business, trade, service or music. There are so many different routes to go when considering social media platforms. I choose to keep it simple and small by focusing on promoting my brand through the use of Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, Sound Cloud and the official Cara-Mel Website.

Yes, there is too much emphasis as an artist on being trendy or current.
Artist just need to stay true to themselves and evolve naturally. Now don’t misunderstand me, because I do believe an artist needs to know what’s going on in the world in order to maintain a balance. As for me, I have found a balance and choose to focus on current events, documentaries, and certain music sites to stay informed. I also find myself listening to more indie artist and old albums that I grew up on nowadays. The interesting thing many people don’t know about me is that while I am working on a music project, I actually stop listening to music all together. I do this to assure that I am not influenced in my writing.

I am a firm believer in God,
and I was taught that he will not give you no more than you can handle. However, I use to be one of those individuals that did not understand why I had to go through certain situations; while others with a corrupt or evil agenda just continued to breeze through life? But, I understand now that those trials actually helped mold me into the person I am today. Over the years, I have learned how to relax more, not stress, and became a better communicator. I believe in positive thinking no matter what the given situation may be at the time. Getting through a trial or a tough season in your life first starts with the mind.

I refuse to settle and I no longer procrastinate or put off what I can do today.
It has come to the point where it is no longer about living the norm. The day of living and working full-time, raising a family, purchasing a home, and retiring is out the door! We are in the days where people have to start taking control of their own lives.

I would love to have five minutes alone with Oprah Winfrey.
This is a woman of color that exemplifies the true meaning of determination. She demonstrates how an individual can build and learn from their tribulations, and turn them into triumphs. I love her down to earth personality, and the fact that she utilizes her financial gains to give back to help others. I am a big fan!

I know it may sound cliché,
but I recall as early as seven-years-old listening to Oldies But Goodies while riding with my parents on Sundays to visit relatives in North Carolina. I quickly fell in love with R&B artists like Stevie Wonder and Al Green, which inspired me to start writing by the age of eleven. My brother actually put me onto Jazz music; as I use to watch him practice and attend his high school marching band competitions. Once I entered the sixth grade, I wanted to be like him and started learning how to play the saxophone. It was not until I turned around fourteen I became intrigued with Miami Bass, Down South and Hip Hop music in more depth. Around this era, my biggest influences were Luke, Salt-N-Pepper, and 69 Boyz just to name a few.


“Broke,” is a trap style song that was written and recorded
to reflect the economic frustrations and struggles of living check to check. This is a song that everyone can relate to at some point of their lives. For the actual video we wanted to film in the areas of Baltimore that reflect the vision of the song and Caps-N-Cans Graphics did a great job with their interpretation.

The “Broke” lyrics express real life situations
that my family and I have gone through or are currently dealing with. We have been through the loss of a business, foreclosure, having nothing to eat, and still experience financial situations; where we have to make decisions on what bills to pay. Because we are living the struggle, it was not hard at all to think about content to write about. The verses came out naturally for my husband (D-Law) and myself. We recorded the song in our apartment the same night we wrote the lyrics. Once recorded, my husband’s friend (Metal Monk) heard it and wanted to do a remix. That remix version is the product you as well as the audience just listened to.

When I write a song, I want to let the fans know they are hearing me.
Each word that comes from my lips are my own. I have a mixtape coming out called “Racial Profile” due to release on September 22, 2016, and it will be available for free on my website. This particular project discusses current events, the struggles that minorities go through, the economy, and much more. I would like to call this release a celebration, because upon completion it will be almost a year of being cancer free!

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I currently live in Baltimore, Maryland.
As an indie artist this is a great area to create a buzz, especially for the underground scene. This area provides several outlets throughout the city and counties to perform or network with musicians and fans. Many local lounges and clubs will give an artist a chance at least once. Oxygen Baltimore is a great lounge to perform at to get your feet wet. Also, the Mom-and-Pop shops will show their support by allowing an artist to sell or leave free music to pass out within the community.


Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.iamcara-mel.com/music
Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/cara-mel-79
Twitter: https://twitter.com/caramel_DMV
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caramel_dmv/
Jango: http://www.jango.com/music/Cara+Mel
TuneCore: http://www.tunecore.com/music/cara-mel
You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4O0xxo5ZH4Gjk4otRBwejg