Carmen began chronicling her life on paper as soon as she learned to write; it became a necessity, the mechanism by which she connects with herself. But writing was not the only expressive medium in Carmen’s young life. Carmen began singing in her school chorus and church choir at the age of six and quickly discovered her affinity for music. Growing up immersed in the angst-ridden grunge/alt rock of the 90s, her earliest musical influences included Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, and Tori Amos. At thirteen, after discovering her mother’s vinyl collection and listening endlessly to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Carmen’s musical experience expanded into the classic rock realm of the 60s and 70s, where she met Joni Mitchell and Led Zeppelin. Music reached Carmen’s soul the way no other force ever had. But it wasn’t until she was eighteen that the words she’d been writing began to channel themselves in song.
At nineteen, Carmen packed her passion for music and an upright piano on loan from her cousin and moved from her native Los Angeles to San Diego, determined to find the songs inside her. The piano became her best friend. She spent most of her time in her solitary one-bedroom cottage teaching herself to play, and the songs swiftly came. But fear and self-doubt kept Carmen secluded with her songs for nine years. During those years of singing in secret, Carmen focused on intellectual expansion. She earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and in the fall of 2008, her social justice convictions and aptitude for analytical thinking led her to law school.
But in June 2009, Carmen hit a profound emotional bottom. She hadn’t played a piano or written a song in over a year, and she was dying inside. She knew she’d never be fully alive without committing herself to the songs inside her. From the top shelf of her closet, Carmen took down her shoebox of dusty old cassette tapes filled with songs pleading to be set free. Carmen nurtured the songs to life, and in August 2010, as she continued her legal education, she recorded a humble 4-song demo EP called “Years.” She started playing open mics and small gigs around San Diego as she continued trudging her way through her last year of law school. Carmen graduated with Honors in May 2011, two months before recording her debut full-length album.
Writing her life down on paper, turning it into music, and sharing it with you are vital to Carmen’s life. Her emotional healing and spiritual fulfillment require it. Co-produced with renowned singer/songwriter/producer Astra Kelly, Carmen’s entirely self-written debut album “The Hive” is a courageous emotional disrobing revealed through intensely honest lyrics both deeply personal and universally relatable. Carmen delivers each carefully crafted song with a distinct and colorfully versatile voice, full-force and powerful at times and intimate, breathy, and vulnerable at others. Though completely self-taught on piano, Carmen’s intuitive musical compositions are nothing short of hauntingly beautiful. Carmen describes herself as a girl singing her songs hoping to touch people’s hearts while she tries to get free.