We meet a lot of artists here at The Newfoundland Herald. Our island is thsnkfully full of them, so there’s no shortage of folks filled with creativity and drive coming in and out of our doors looking to sell their stuff, so to speak. Some are good, some are excellent, but few have the drive and self-determination to succeed quite like Carolina East.
The smoky, soulful songstress has been belting out infectious tunes here on the island for years. Her debut EP to close out 2017 has been heralded as a success by fans and critics, earning East an ECMA nomination for Indigenous Artist of the Year, an Indigenous Music Award nomination for Country Artist of the Year and three MusicNL nominations for Rising Star, Female Artist and Country Artist of the Year.
“If you’re being recognized for the hard work you’re putting in, that helps,” East said in a sitdown with The Herald. “This industry can be hard, it can be mentally draining and all of those bad things. That’s a good one. It’s good to have that recognition that things are working and you keep pushing forward. Every day is something else.”
To say things have been on the up-and-up for East would be an undersell. Outside of the numerous award nominations and a Canadian trek that took her across Atlantic and Central Canada, East had the opportunity to open for (and sing alongside) country music star Dallas Smith at the sophomore Iceberg Alley Performance Tent.
For her new album, Crossroads, East reunited with monster producer Rob Wells and Shobha Lee, a team who have worked alongside the likes of Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Backstreet Boys and Newfoundland’s own Alan Doyle.
“It was more fluid,” East said of the partnership turned friendship behind the new record. “We became really good friends last year. It was easier to be more open too about what you’re writing about. As a result the EP, it’s good. It’s the same writing process as before. Everything is about things going on in my life in some way or another. The title Crossroads is fitting for East at this stage of her career. She shared that the past 12 months have been period of change and turnover, one that has impacted her, in so many ways, both professionally and personally.
“It’s where I am at my life right now. I’ve made a lot of changes in the last year, both professionally and personally,” she explains. “You can just see that the transition between last year and this year has been a great one. I guess the crossroads part of things is that I’ve gone the other way and things are on the up and up. Before, I wasn’t putting the work in. That’s where the Crossroads comes from, for sure.”
Carolina East will release Crossroads in physical format (digital available now) on Oct. 21st at Loose Tie in St. John’s. For more information visit her official social media pages and website carolinaeast.ca