As a writer and radio host, I always find it to be a fun experience when interviewing music artists and creatives because their minds can take you on a journey. In addition, I’m able to gather a firsthand account of the hurdles they’ve overcome to produce their works of art. Recording artists Carla Iris is no exception. She has weathered the storm and used her musical talents to uplift herself and others. I caught up with the sultry songbird on one of her busiest days and she was kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions for Let’s Connect!
Here is our Q & A.
Let’s Connect: Where are you from originally?
Carla Iris: I was born in Seba, Puerto Rico on a military base to a military family. My origin is Puerto Rican and Black.
LC: At what age did you discover your passion for music?
CI: Music has been my ingrained in me sense I was old enough to understand it. But showcasing my individuality didn’t become a real passion until I went through some necessary life changes. My divorce.
LC: Who are/were your influences?
CI: Wow… I have so many, but my main influences have always been the under dogs. I am Solange fan. Respect to her sister Beyonce, but Solange captures the uniqueness and eccentric qualities of my soul. Sebastian Kole, Emily King, Eryn Allen Kane, Esperanza Spalding are my present day influences for sure. But the ones that ignited my heart were Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, Musiq, Stevie Wonder, and the Temptations. I can remember listening to the Temptations in my bedroom as a kid – on my little CD player/stereo box.
LC: Do you also write? Music? Poetry?
CI: Yes. I write poetry and music. As a matter of fact, I have written so much now that I know it’s time for me to show the world who I am. So this year I will be working on my album.
LC: Tell us about your first public performance?
CI: My very first performance was with Distinguished Soundz at Phileo. I’m not quite sure what event it was, but I remember being nervous like nobody’s business. This was the first time I ever openly sang anything in public that wasn’t gospel or Christian music. There were a lot of emotions running through my body, but I was excited above it all. I remembered thinking, that I was doing something i never had the courage to do before.
LC: You’re a mom and a full time worker, how do you balance it all?
CI: (So funny since I had to pause to go to the store, pick up what I needed for dinner. Then cook that dinner for my kids and cook me something else since I’m trying to get back on this healthy kick… hahaha Lordt!!!)… (moving on) Add full time student to that and it equates to VERY long days! It can become very stressful at times, but I look back at my kids and remember who I’m doing all of this for. It takes a Village though. I have a couple of people in my corner rooting for me and encouraging me when I need it most. And it seems that when they can’t be there that god plants the right people in my path to sew something in me when I least expect it.
LC: What is your day job?
CI: I currently work for Integrity Rehab in marketing as the Community Wellness Coordinator, but starting on the 7th of January I begin a new career with the City of Killeen as the Senior Activity Manager for the Killeen Senior Center at Lions Club Park and the Bob Gilmore Center.
LC: You’re making moves for yourself, what’s next for Carla Iris?
CI: So many things! My goals are probably similar to most (I can only hope). To leave a legacy for my kids is probably my biggest goal. I understand that obtain anything in this life we have to make sacrifices, push ourselves beyond self, and keep our eyes focused on what’s important. 2019 has already brought so many blessings to me and the year hasn’t even started yet. This year I’ll begin a new career that will bring the financial increase I’ve prayed for, I am on my path to completing my undergraduate degree by the end of this year, and I will begin working on my album. This is the year of growth for me and I’m excited to start walking in my purpose! My own personal legacy.