FLYC: Hi Carolyn, thanks a lot for the interview. Your new single Ain’t about that is going to be released right a week after the CMA Fest 2020 would have happened. How bad is it for an artist like you not being able to present yourself in a huge event like CMA Fest?
Carolyn: It stinks. CMA Fest is the biggest country music festival in the world and to be officially a part of the lineup is an honor and dream come true! I was looking forward to playing the Spotlight Stage and meeting so many new people. Of course, safety comes first so I totally understand the necessity of canceling – but it is a huge moment to shine for all the artists involved (especially the independent ones). Hopefully 2021 will be bigger and better!
FLYC: 2020 so-far was a year with quite some fateful events. You are a New York girl, originally from Long Island. How did you experience the whole Covid-19 situation in and around the Big Apple?
Carolyn: It’s been tough – Long Island/NYC was a huge hotspot for the virus. At one point, we had the largest infection rate in the world. We were all hunkered down in our homes and suddenly found ourselves scared to even go to the grocery store. Such a crazy time! Luckily, my husband and I were able to do a lot of home projects and make the most of the downtime.
FLYC: You had to alter your plans due to the current situation. However, you were very present in online concerts during the quarantine time. Do you feel that it nevertheless harmed the contact to your fans and making new ones?
Carolyn: Ironically, I think this time helped me increase my contact. I’ve spent more time than ever before on social media, engaging with my followers, cranking out content, performing over 40+ virtual concerts, connecting with fellow artists, and even teaming up with various radio stations and media outlets for Facebook and Instagram live streams. It’s led to some really cool opportunities that wouldn’t have happened without all the time at home!
FLYC: Did the time at least give you more time to spent with your husband?
Carolyn: For sure – this is the most time we have spent at home together! I travel to Nashville every few weeks and spend a lot of weekends performing. He travels for his job internationally quite a bit, so it has been really nice to have an extended period of time home together. We’ve cooked quite a bit together, found some new Netflix shows, worked on the house a bunch. It has been fun!
FLYC: Your background is theater and you also did voice-overs. Could you tell us a bit and your favorite jobs in that area have been before you turned to country music?
Carolyn: I have had some incredible experiences in “my other life” (haha!) but my favorite one was probably guest starring on Law & Order: SVU. I had a pretty substantial role on an episode many years ago and to live on those sets and work with those principal actors for a week was a dream come true.
FLYC: When I saw you live on stage the last year, I felt that this acting background helps you a lot – you feel to be very present on stage, interactive with the people. What do you think – maybe apart from that – are the most significant characteristics of yourself on stage and off stage?
Carolyn: Aw thank you so much! That means a lot. I think my ability to connect with others and think quickly on my feet helps engagement with an audience/fans, as well as keep things entertaining! My years of acting/improv have probably been a huge help for the natural banter that happens with a crowd on stage. I think also my natural love and joy of music and performing is so strong in every inch of my being, that hopefully it radiates and shows on stage too!
FLYC: 2018 was a quite good year for your, with your debut EP Unbreakable doing quite well in the charts. How have the reactions of your friends and family been on the record?
Carolyn: It’s been pretty wild – I have such a huge support system from family, to friends, to friends of friends, to family members of friends, to old teachers, people in and around my community, that I couldn’t imagine being on this journey without them. I feel like we are all a team and as my stuff continues to grow, the success will be shared with all of them as well. They’ve been along from the ride since the beginning!
FLYC: Is there any song of that EP you would especially recommend to have a listen to if one is new to Carolyn Miller music?
Carolyn: Probably either Unbreakable or I’m On My Way!
FLYC: 2019 had the lovely single Summer Time. What is the story behind this one?
Carolyn: This was written by my friends Lance Carpenter, Leah Turner, and Blake Bollinger. Lance texted me one day and was like “check this out” – I heard the first 30 seconds and was hooked. I loved the storyline, could totally relate to it, and couldn’t get the melody out of my head!! It’s just a blast to perform live. This song is your ultimate summer jam that reflects back on that one summer romance you’ll never forget. We all have one – it doesn’t matter if it happened when you were 14, 22, 35, etc…no matter how much time goes by, you’ll always remember those days like it was yesterday! As for the recording process, it was QUICK. We created the whole song down in Nashville at Forty-One Fifteen Studios in a matter of 24 hours. My friends Frank Legeay and Mike Mechling produced the single. Frank played nearly every instrument you hear live and Mike mixed/engineered the song. It’s so fun to work with people you trust and love.
FLYC: Going back to the present time. Ain’t about that is just about to be released. What did you inspire to that track?
Carolyn: Ain’t About That is the first of three singles set to be released in 2020, all co-written by #1 hit Nashville songwriters. I felt this one was a great way to kick off this new chapter of music for me and my gut said “release this one first” — gotta listen to your instincts!
FLYC: What kind of song is it? Rather a slow one or a quick powerful one?
Carolyn: It is a fun, uptempo song that celebrates the moments and feelings with a loved one that can’t ever be bought, recreated, or replaced.
FLYC: If you release a new song like Ain’t about that, do you have any targets for it? For example a chart ranking, airplay times or similar?
Carolyn: I’d love to get some airplay and well as build my streaming numbers on Spotify – it’s the new discovery platform that everyone uses from the fans to industry. My goal would be to hit 100,000 streams. I’d consider that a big win!
FLYC: What are your plans for 2020 – and maybe even also 2021, if you already think about that year? New songs, maybe an EP or an album? Or a tour?
Carolyn: I plan to release three singles this year. I’d like to do an EP next year…and DEFINITELY get back on the road ASAP as soon as the pandemic settles down and it is safe to travel and be out and about again 🙂
FLYC: Nashville had a quite bad year, being hit by the storm, then by Covid-19 and finally by the current riots. Do you feel Music City can recover quickly?
Carolyn: I do – the community is insanely strong and tight knit. After the tornado, it was amazing to see all the celebrity country artists out with gloves on and garbage bags picking up debris and just helping the community any way they could, be it via donation or a lending a hand for clean up. It’s an incredible scene to be a part of.
FLYC: My final question: when you are in New York, what do you miss most about Nashville? And vice versa, what about New York do you miss most when you are in Nashville?
Carolyn: When in Nashville, I miss my husband, home, family, friends back here. When in New York, I miss my Nashville friends/family and the INCREDIBLE music scene that is unlike anywhere else in the world. It is truly the most special place!
Album covers / Videos etc.: artist material. Stage pictures by flyctory.com