Interview: Caroline Cotto
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I got into music when I first heard the opening chord on The Beatles’s ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ I can't imagine my life without music, but I probably would be doing what I plan to do which is publish my poetry and venture into film.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I am not playing music, I enjoy reading classic literature and poetry or watching Turner Classic Movies. One of the greatest influences on my creativity is my spirituality. I meditate and journal everyday which gives me clarity and peace of mind.
How long has your band been around?
I have been playing professionally since I was young at church and school. As I got older, I started playing actively in New York City clubs and bars. Then, I moved to Europe where I played in Paris and London - and currently, I live in New Orleans playing and recording music.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am based out of New Orleans. During my childhood, I listened to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald recordings and use to mimic Louis’s trumpet sound with my voice.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I would love to play at Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theater.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Bruce Springsteen and The E street Band and Stray Cats!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
The advice I would give is to open your heart to people and situations that fuel your soul with happiness and love. Read about your heroes and learn from them. Most importantly, have fun and never dim your light for anyone. I would tell myself to view everyday as an opportunity to hold fast to your truth and dreams.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Do not be afraid of the power of your voice. Use it fearlessly.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
All my songs have a special place in my life, but I am most proud at the moment of my song, “A Momma To Cry To.” It describes my life story as a young woman leaving her home in New York to live in Paris and London and finally arriving in New Orleans.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The creative process is a spiritual process. It’s so powerful, an idea comes and then the divine guides you. You have to be willing to open up your heart to your experiences and watch for the signs. When you are aware, those truths start coming to you in fragments and at times, unconsciously, those thoughts appear to you. Sometimes I hear a musical phrase first in my head or a lyric then it starts exposing itself through life experiences.
I am inspired greatly by art and film. When I use to live in Paris, I spent months at the Louvre gazing at the beauty of statues and art while writing poetry. I found truth in the marble of Michelangelo and the brush of Delacroix.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I intend for people to feel - get closer to their humanity, recognize their truth, let go and dance to the rhythm of their soul. If they see an empty page on their desk, grab that pen and start writing their life. Pick up that guitar in the corner and start playing. Find any avenue that speaks true to their own creativity and start expressing themselves.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I am currently working on my debut album!