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2009 Wrap Up

Posted in 2009 Wrap Up, A Day in the Life | No Comments »

calendar pages
Where Did the Time Go??

In real-time, it’s actually Monday, April 26th. After some thought, I decided to post my 2009 Wrap up of the year’s highlights. This list is just for me, to remember that I did a lot of stuff last year!!! It’s so easy to forget, you know? 😉

What I did in 2009 (personal and professional) in no particular order:

* Hosted Musician’s Lunch New Orleans
* Hosted Musician’s Lunch South Florida
* Hosted 5 Musician’s Lunches in NYC
* Attended my High School Reunion
* Took Jazz Piano Lessons at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
* Vocal Coaching with Gordon Chambers
* Became Regular Attendee of the Brooklyn Songwriter Circle
* Made my Cabaret Debut at Big Night Out for Female Composers Night
* Gave Twitter for Musicians Workshop
* Wrote Twitter for Musicians eBook
* Became Single/Moved to Washington Heights, NYC
* Co-directed Christmas song for Sunday School Kids at Unity of NY
* Original song “Say Goodbye” was used in FINDING HOME film
* Made movie acting debut in the above-mentioned film
* Performed solo acoustic gig at BB King’s Grill for Rocktoberfest
* Adopted the sassy Annie P Jones as my grandmother
* Gave Music Marketing Machine webinar with Kavit Haria
* Hosted my cousin (and aspiring singer) Chazze Hall for his musical tour of NYC
* Enjoyed Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners with the lovely Duarte family in CT
* Created four new 30 Day Challenge blogs
* Tapped for Ariel Hyatt’s “Dream Team” for her Indie Max Exposure List”
* Conjured and met live music producer Tom Jackson
* Acquired Tom Paul’s ChickenIsKickin Music as a client
* Acquired Ariel Publicity as a client, and moderated online courses for Music Success in 9 Weeks
* Met Rick Goetz, music coach
* Performed at Make Music New York at Divalicious Chocolate
* Sang in two TechKaraoke events
* Attended #140Conf in NYC
* Hosted a bowling tweet up at Harlem Lanes
* Attended numerous social media conferences and workshops
* Using SEO techniques, sold a Michael Jackson face mask for Halloween (!)
* Performed at Red Room open mics in Washington Heights
* Made NYC R&B open mic debut at Village Underground – sang Aretha’s “Dr. Feelgood”
* Podcast performance on Homegrown Radio NJ with Carl Worner
* Podcast interview on “With a Voice Like This” with Jim Goodrich
* Podcast interview on “Unsigned Underground” with Darryl Gregory

Whew, that was plenty!

Dear 1999

Posted in 2009 Wrap Up, A Day in the Life, Articles | 10 Comments »

This post is part of a group blog event organized by The topic is “If you could go back to 1999 and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?”

letter in a bottle

Dear 1999 Carla,

Hey Girlfriend, it’s 2009 Carla. I know you’re going through a lot, and I want to let you know that it’s okay. Right now you’re feeling sad, and questioning continuing your future in music because:

Ahmet Ertegun, Founder and CEO of Atlantic Records (and your newly-adopted music biz Godfather), just told you that you were too old to be a recording artist, and that you should just become a publicist.
• You were recently fired from EMI Music Publishing’s Synch department
• Your mom died this year, and after spending half a year in Miami to take care of business, you wondered if you still had the guts to return to your music career in NYC.
• You still haven’t recorded your first CD

I know, after looking at these issues, you’re wondering if you should just run back to Miami, get married and have kids, and just forget this music nonsense. But I must tell you now that your passion to make music is bigger than you are. Your determination and persistence will take you farther than you could ever imagine. I want you to hang in there, so I’ve come up with some life lessons to share:

Life is Too Short to Be Afraid
For too many years, you’ve hidden your gifts after comparing them to others’. All your hesitation is a waste of time. Just because you felt out of place in music school doesn’t mean that you are not musical. There is a place in this Universe that only you can fill, but you’ll never know if you don’t go for it.

Do You
It is fine to be a black chick playing acoustic guitar in a world full of R&B Divas. Stop worrying if your music is black enough, or if you can SANG. You do not need to sound like Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston. You are a soulful singer who touches people with your own unique and powerful vocal gifts. Just be you. You are enough.

I know you’ve been worried about how much music you’ve written so far in your life, but this will change. Your skills as a songwriter will eventually improve, and you will even write songs for others. Just keep working at it.

Writing and Teaching
After coming from a family of teachers, you will continue to grow as a musician who teaches other musicians how to build their own careers. It’s in your blood so don’t fight it. You will write countless articles and eBooks, which will become another way to support yourself. However, do not hide behind your teaching. By continuing to perform, you will remain relevant as an artist, and evolve with the music marketing skills that you teach.

Practice and Study
Guess what? Practice actually works. When you take the time to shed your songs, work on your guitar playing, and learn your choreography, it shows. Natural talent is nice, but preparing your performances makes the difference between being good, and being great.

Your Music Business
Over the next few years, you will grow as an entrepreneur. You will release 4 CDs on your own label, in addition to even having another artist on a subsidiary label. Instead of negotiating synch licenses for EMI Music Publishing songs, you will one day have synch licenses for your own musical catalog. You will become a performer, writer, and teacher on a global level, and even coach others.

Trust Your Instincts
When the first MP3 player hit the market, you asked Ahmet Ertegun if it was possible for this technology to endanger the music industry as we knew it. As you remember, he scoffed at the notion. Well, he was wrong. If he could be wrong about MP3s, then he could be wrong about your marketability as a recording artist. As a matter of fact, he was wrong about that too.

Never underestimate the influence of the leading men in your life. The wrong guy will affect your career progress, so choose wisely. Your love life will continue to be colorful, and your experiences will also lead to some wonderful songs. When choosing a partner, always pick a supportive guy who believes in you and your music. Stay away from energy vampires. Never settle for less.

Be Bold
Take risks. Follow your own rhythm. Make mistakes.

Girl, you got it. Now it’s time for you to believe it. So go for it!

2009 Carla

CLH, Cameron Mizell, and David Hahn
Me with Cameron Mizell and Dave Hahn from

Winter Solstice 2009

Posted in 2009 Wrap Up | 2 Comments »

Instead of waiting til New Year’s to create resolutions, take advantage of today’s Winter Solstice to plant the seeds of your success.

Get the how-to’s at Create a Vision Board for your Goals!

Vision board-prosperous

Since redoing my Vision Board mid-year (not shown), I’ve accomplished a few cherished goals:

* I’ve played more original music gigs this year than I have in the past three years combined!

* I’ve received invitations to perform more gigs in the new year

* My music is being used in a film (and I also made my film acting debut)!

* I’ve signed with a music licensing firm

* I’ve earned money from songwriting

Not bad!!!

Supernova by Carla Lynne Hall

Posted in 2009 Wrap Up, DIY Diva | 1 Comment »

A Cosmic Supernova

Lyrics and music written by Carla Lynne Hall

I’m no Galileo, but I know what I find
A new discovery, so glad that it’s mine
It’s not a satellite invading my view
Out of the blue, the brightest star is you

Supernova, in the galaxy of you and me
Supernova, I can’t fight the laws of gravity

Brand new constellation you can see in the sky
A silly Capricorn, a sad Gemini
Don’t need a telescope, just your naked eye
Out of the blue, the brightest star is you

Supernova, in the galaxy of you and me
Supernova, I can’t fight the laws of gravity
How did our worlds collide in a thousand points of light?
You shine so bright, Supernova

There’s no other planet where I would like to be
Hope I do for you what I know you do for me
Thank my lucky stars in the heavens above
Your celestial body is all I’m dreaming of

Supernova, in the galaxy of you and me
Supernova, I can’t fight the laws of gravity
How did our worlds collide in a thousand points of light?
You shine so bright, Supernova

©2004 Carla Hall/Soulflower Selections/ASCAP
Lyrics reprinted with permission.

Supernova – Carla Lynne Hall – vocals; Christian Cassan – guitar

Supernova photo credit – NASA Blog