If a whole and authentically beautiful life is created from a bunch of meaningful moments, then Carolina East is living the dream
Mile One was packed. The energy, fabulous. Fans, awaiting the legendary sensation that is Boney M, ready for Rasputin rapture, watched as Carolina East took the stage.
How was she received? “It was amazing. It was one of the coolest musical experiences I’ve ever had,” she opens, showcasing the same enthusiasm she wowed the crowd with that very night almost one year ago.
“There’s thousands of people, the show was sold out, and it was such a warm welcome. As soon as we stepped foot on stage, the whole crowd went up and they stayed with us the whole time, laughing and singing along,” she reflects.
That was a pinnacle moment, she continues.
“That was the point where I was like, yes. This is where I belong. It shifted my whole perspective on my goals. My goal now is to continue to play on stages that will lead me to bigger opportunities.”
Another goal? Recording original music. East has recently released a new album, Soaked in Whiskey.
A unique journey
“Over the last few years of trying to figure out exactly my sound, I found it, and this is a country record. It’s produced by Rob Wells and I think we wrote something that is pretty special.”
East, who is 36, admits her journey in the music industry has been somewhat ‘unique.’
“At 16, I was playing in bars all through George Street. I was playing six nights a week at bars, anywhere that would have me.”
And then a local doctor, Brian Ramjattan, saw her perform and fell in love with her voice, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
“He came up to me that day and he requested Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. He said, ‘listen, if you ever want to move forward with music, let me know and I’ll help you any way that I can.’’’
She wasn’t ready. Not quite then, she admits. Then, in the fall of 2016 she randomly performed in front of famed producer Rob Wells. Wells, who has Newfoundland roots, has worked with big named artists like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber.
‘Follow my dreams’
“It was bananas. It was this little open mic, and he said, ‘there’s something special here, we need to work together.’’’
East revisited that conversation she had with Dr. Ramjattan. “I went back to him and I said, now, this is years later, and I said, ‘Brian, listen. I know this is out of the blue, but this opportunity has shown itself and it’s in Toronto. And if you would like to help, it’s time.”
He kept his promise. “Since then, Brian Ramjattan has changed my life. He supports my music. He really gave me the opportunity to follow my dreams. How do you thank somebody who’s giving you that opportunity?”
One way is by giving it her all. That doesn’t mean her journey has been a walk in the park. “There are so many pressures in the music industry. Are you pretty enough or you do sound good enough? Do you look that cookie cutter way? But as long as you’re your authentic self, you’ll be fine.”
Speaking of authenticity, Alan Doyle has been an inspiration to East as well. He actually helped her go ‘viral’ for the first time by inviting her, out of the blue, to perform Fast as I Can, onstage with him at Holy Heart.
“I just get chills. I barely remember what happened. But he said to me after that, ‘you always need to be your authentic self. People can tell when you’re fake.’ And so I’ve been honest at every single performance that I have. I feel so privileged to be there and it’s just second nature for me to let everybody know. I’m loving every moment of every performance.”
East thinks back again to her thrilling Boney M opening act experience.
“I was extremely nervous. But I could tell, people were with us. It was crazy. There was so much love. That’s the goal, that the audience is with you.
‘That’s a moment’
“There was a moment while on the stage when the cell phones lights came on at once. You look out. That’s a beautiful scene of all these gorgeous lights flickering. I’m so corny, but that’s what a dream is like; to look at this sea of people and see lights and have the audience participate. That’s a moment, and I believe every song, and every life, needs to have a moment, or several moments, that people remember.”
East smiles. There’s been so many positive moments on stage, more than enough to convince her that she’s on the right path.
“I know I love what I do,” she says with a smile, adding a very authentic; “I’m happy if the audience is happy.”
For more on Carolina East visit carolinaeast.live or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.