The Nashville-based, self-taught musician, carobae uses her musicality and production skills to create her own unique brand of pop. While her artist project is taking off, she continues to masterfully juggle her career as both a producer and a songwriter for other acts across a wide range of major labels. The hard working and innovative artist is no doubt one to watch as she continues to solidify her spot as a coveted triple-threat writer, producer and performer.
Unheard Gems: We are so thrilled to get to chat with carobae even on the internet. Welcome to Unheard Gems
carobae: Hi! Thanks for having me :)
Unheard Gems: For our readers who don’t know you yet can you give us a glimpse into your musical origin story, how did carobae come to be?
carobae: I’ve been doing music pretty much my whole life, and was focusing on becoming a songwriter in college. After college I had a weird year of “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life”, which is normal, but at the time it felt like I was the only one. After meeting with publishers on publishers I felt really burnt out with Nashville, had been sitting on a bunch of songs that felt like me (songs from 3am), and decided to put them out and see what happens.
Unheard Gems: This fall you released your EP The Longest Year: Part One, I’m truly in love with each one of those tracks and felt like it was a stunning body of work to follow up to your mixtape, songs from 3am. How would you describe this EP?
carobae: Thank you! I wrote songs from 3am a year prior to actually releasing it, so all of these songs from The Longest Year: Part One were written as I was releasing music for the first time, getting over someone, and trying to navigate the craziness of being 22/23. So I feel like this EP, and the next one to come, represent all the changes that happened over the past year and how I dealt with them.
Unheard Gems: I really resonated with your track Colorado from this record. The vulnerability you are able to put into every single one of your songs just hits me in the feels every single time. What can you say about this particular track and on the topic of vulnerability and authenticity in your music?
carobae: I get overwhelmed and anxious very easily, and not a lot of people can tell. When I wrote Colorado “I don’t miss u” was out and getting a lot of attention. I was meeting with a lot of publishers and labels, and it was a lot for me. I should have been so happy that all of this was happening to me, but all I wanted was to lay in bed and let my anxiety consume me. I had been trying to write about this feeling and sang “I don’t know where to start” and the rest poured out within like 30 minutes. I feel like the most vulnerable things can be the hardest to say, but also the easiest. Forcing feelings never work for me, that’s probably why I get that description a lot haha, because everything I write is in such extreme emotions.
Unheard Gems: How would you describe your music sonically? How did you find your sound as an artist and is there anything you would want to incorporate into your music that you may have not really ventured into yet?
carobae: A lot of my music is guitar-centered. That wasn’t necessarily on purpose, but usually when I write I’ll write out the entire song first before diving into any production. That’s a big part of my sound, I think. Supporting the song sonically with production to make it stronger rather than having lyrically and melodically a weak song with really heavy pop production. After part 2 is out, I’d love to collaborate with a other producers. I wanted up until this point to mainly produce everything myself, but I love collaboration so much I’m excited to start doing more of it.
Unheard Gems: So obviously 2020 has been a big year for you with your release of the single “the first one” and your EP, but outside of music, how has 2020 been for you, with a pandemic, election, and so much more how are you doing and what has been your go-to when you need to lift your spirits or get inspired.
carobae: Holy shit it’s been a year. Honestly I’m doing better than I was last year. Having to stay in and slow down has really made me realize what's important to me. I joined an all-female punk/pop band (Tramp Stamps), got a dog, started producing and writing with some artists I’m really excited about via zoom, and finally am prioritizing my health more. When I start to get overwhelmed with all the shit that this past year has brought, I’ll hang out and cook a fun meal with my boyfriend, get high and watch movies with some close friends, or just call my grandma and chat.
Unheard Gems: I would love to know if you have any advice for other emerging artists these days, if you could have received advice starting out what do you wish you were told or knew?
carobae: Blinders up!!!!!!! It’s so easy to compare yourself to other people around you, but nobody has the same exact path or even really similar paths. I learned that the hard way, and still have to remind myself that from time to time.
Unheard Gems: We always like to know who our Unheard Gems artists are listening to, if you could recommend to us another artist you think deserves more recognition in the music industry who would you recommend?
carobae: I loooove Lauren Aquilina’s new EP.
Unheard Gems: Lastly, for all of our readers, where can they find you and your music, and is there anything else you want to leave us with that we didn’t talk about in our questions?
carobae: You can find my music on whatever your preferred listening platform is, find me at @carobaesucks and expect part 2 of “The Longest Year” at the beginning of 2021!
Interview by Hannah Schneider