Review Fix talks to singer-songwriter Carla Bianco, who discusses her sophomore album, “Give Voice,” breaking down her goals and creative vision for the heart-warming project. With experience on the stage as well, she’s a multi-talented performer with plenty of potential.
Review Fix: What was it like putting this album together?
Carla Bianco: It was a pretty organic and emotional process. It just kinda happened. I would be moved by someone or someone’s story and feel compelled to voice it. I remember one of the first songs I wrote, ‘Broken & Blessed’. I was in church and could hear this voice above everyone else’s trying to sing and form words. It was so honest and true. I turned to see a boy in a wheelchair who was deaf and mute. I couldn’t get him out of my head the entire day. And so I sat down to write from his point of view and expressed how he might feel. The same thing happened when I read this article about the girls in Africa and Afghanistan. I was deeply affected by their horrific situations of oppression and abuse. I specifically was drawn to a girl named Rahlia from Afghanistan who taught herself to read & write. She wrote beautiful poetry. But her father and brother would beat her anytime they saw her educating or expressing herself. She committed suicide as a protest for her freedom. I took four lines from one of her poems and wrote a whole song around it from her point of view in honor of her memory.
Review Fix: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Bianco: It comes from a path of self-discovery mostly. I seek reflection through books, art, poetry, spiritual words, films, etc… Basically anything that will call upon me to reach deeper into myself and question my beliefs, thoughts, emotions, habits, patterns and my world around me. I hope to capture the truest, deepest emotional life of myself and those around me and express it but also find a way to move closer toward love through song. I believe in the evolution of the soul and writing music is a pathway for me.
Review Fix: What did you learn from your first album? How did it affect this one?
Bianco: I think the biggest thing I learned is that perfection is a lie. That whatever is being expressed in one moment in time is enough. That there is no absolute ideal expression. Also, I write so many songs. I write a song practically every time I sit to write. But it’s really only the songs that are screaming out to be heard make it to the studio. There’s a force behind them that all I have to do is follow. They will tell me how they should sound and what I need to do with them. The songs on Give Voice definitely want to be heard. It’s my job to make sure that happens.
Review Fix: How was “Through the Spectrum” written? Is there a story behind it?
Bianco: It’s written for my 9-year old Godson who has Autism. His mom is one of my best friends and she was going through one of the most difficult and painful divorces I have ever seen anyone go through. There was a time where she was forcefully and unwillingly separated from her son. I was so affected by what they were both going through during this time. I couldn’t sleep and got up very early one morning thinking about all my friend had done to help her son flourish with his disorder. I wrote ‘Through the Spectrum’ in honor of her love for him and the beautiful way he sees the world.
Review Fix: What do you think makes you different?
Bianco: I think because I also come from a theatrical background, my music has a strong emotional and dramatic current underneath. And because music is part of a spiritual path for me, it has inspirational and uplifting overtones also. It’s purposeful music, songs with meaning that are easy to listen to. I think that is rare.
Review Fix: Can you tell as about your charitable work? Why is it so important to you?
Bianco: We are connecting each one of the songs on Give Voice with a respective charity. For instance, for ‘Through the Spectrum’, we are reaching out to Autism Speaks and working with the 1st licensed Autism clinic in the U.S. With the song ‘Rahlia,’ we will connect with International Women’s Rights organizations and Suicide awareness. Give Voice is a project completed devoted to charity. All proceeds from record sales and show ticket sales will be donated. I think it is vital to uplift and support one another in this life. There are always struggles and difficulties that we all come across. Some of us more than others. Some are temporary. Some are not. I think the only thing that can move us toward something better is showing love and compassion for one another. It is the key to a meaningful and beautiful existence. I want to do my part.
Review Fix: How does your acting play a role in your music career?
Bianco: They definitely cross over quite a bit. They are both about emoting truth and getting to the heart of the moment. But especially with this record, there is a more theatrical aspect to these songs. Stepping foot into these characters and voicing their stories through song is much like playing a role. Imagining what it’s like to be in their circumstances and breathing their life into the lyrics is similar to being the playwright AND the actor. The only difference is these people and their stories from Give Voice are real and I only have four minutes to tell it as opposed to two hours.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself from this album?
Bianco: That I am completely driven by the belief in overcoming obstacles and making the world a better place with love and a dream. Looking back on when I was little and first writing songs, I realize now the desire and motivation was always there. The first song I ever wrote was called ‘Dreams’ where the lyric was ‘dreams never seem to fade away unless you keep them locked away in yesterday’s dreams.’ I was 10 years old singing songs about people changing, making it happen and finding their way to something better. Writing and recording ‘Give Voice’ is like coming home again and finally getting on the straight and narrow path of divine destiny or my soul’s calling. It feels completely right like a moment of bliss.
Review Fix: How do you want this album to be remembered?
Bianco: In poetic terms: As a big rock of love tossed in the waters of humanity making its inevitable rippling effect of inspiration. Much like success, giving breeds giving. Hopefully the rippling effect inspires more acts of love and compassion. And we all could use a little more of that. In practical terms: I hope its remembered as a beautiful record with some really great songs.
Review Fix: What do the next few months look like for you?
Bianco: I’ll be in the studio finishing up the Give Voice EP through August. Then I’m heading out on an East Coast tour through October. Back off the tour, I’ll be getting ready for the Give Voice record release in November. I’ll also be performing many charitable concerts and events through the holidays. It’s a great time to be celebrating the songs from the record and the people behind them. But first we are working on raising the remaining funds needed to complete the project with an Indiegogo campaign through July 21. Anyone who is interested in contributing and being a part of the project with me can visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/give-voice-music-ep-charity-project#/. It will certainly make a big difference. No doubt about it.