When Carmen started singing in school chorus at the age of six, she discovered a deep affinity for music. Growing up immersed in the angst-ridden alternative rock era of the 90s, Carmen’s earliest musical influences included Nirvana, Tori Amos and Nine Inch Nails. At thirteen she discovered her mother’s vinyl collection and listened endlessly to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, expanding her musical exposure into the classic rock realm of the 60s and 70s, where she found inspiration in favorites Joni Mitchell and Led Zeppelin.
At nineteen, Carmen packed her passion for music and an old upright piano and moved from her native Los Angeles to San Diego, determined to give voice to the songs inside her. Secluded in her tiny cottage, Carmen taught herself to play, and the songs swiftly came. But personal struggles kept Carmen concealed with her songs for nearly a decade. During those years of singing in secret, Carmen focused on intellectual expansion and academic pursuits. She earned an undergraduate degree in psychology; and in the fall of 2008, she began law school.
During the summer of 2009, Carmen found herself in despair; she hadn’t played a piano or written a song in over a year. She realized she’d never be fully alive without committing herself to her music. From the top shelf of her closet, she took down a shoebox of dusty old cassette tapes filled with piano compositions, vocal melodies and song ideas she’d been recording for years. She nurtured the songs to life; and in August 2010, she recorded a humble four-song demo titled, Years. Summoning all the courage she could, she started playing open mics and small gigs around San Diego, simulanteously thriving in her last year of law school. She graduated in May 2011 and four months later released her debut full-length album, The Hive.
The Hive marked the culmination of a decade of songwriting and delivers carefully-crafted deeply emotive musical compositions. The 8-song album is a lyrically courageous exploration of psychological trauma, capturing both the fragility and strength of the human psyche. Three years later in December 2014, Carmen completed production on her third musical release, a 5-song EP titled Moments of Mercy, relying solely on words, vocals and piano to confront the complexities of intimacy both with others and with the self. Moments of Mercy displayed once again Carmen’s daring willingness to use her musical voice to shine light on some of the most personal aspects of the human experience.
Carmen lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her beloved husband and their magical French bulldog Mr. Monk. She is currently self-recording new material for a 2017 release.