Brenda Carsey – Living from a place of love and gratitude

Singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist; From the age of five, Brenda Carsey has been on the difficult but rewarding life path of the musician, serving this plurality of roles that have given her great insight and even greater instinct for what works and how.

photo by Tammie Valer

Wrapping herself head to toe in the fine, colourful silks of Neo-Soul and Jazz, Brenda’s classic sound transcends the term “revival” and steps into a dimension of contemporary continuation of venerable musical traditions steeped in the zeitgeist of the current generation.

When I think of your love
I get so high
Oh no I can’t get you off of my mind

Brenda Carsey is releasing “Man of Mine”  the fourth and final single before the eventual release of her upcoming full-length studio album “Cognizance”. The song is a very personal tune that was inspired by the love she feels for her partner, and as we’ll come to learn, it’s a fairly unique and special addition to her catalogue.

If you can share, what did your partner say when you showed him ‘Man Of Mine’?

He teared up, smiled, and smoosh-faced. He said “I love it. It’s an instant new classic. Reminds me of all the best Neo-Soul songs.”

You admit that lyrically, this song is a bit of an odd-duck from you. Why is that?

I don’t usually write love songs that are rooted in joy. Most of my writing and inspiration comes from observing and experiencing the heavier elements of the human experience and societal failings such as gun violence, abuse of women, gaslighting and manipulation, depression and pain, capitalism, and control. My happier-toned songs tend to centre around themes of self-reflection, growth, consciousness, and acceptance. Always big concepts, big lessons. This new song, “Man of Mine”, sincerely wrote itself and arose from the genuine love and gratitude I have for my partner. It is deeply moving to experience the kind of commitment, support, kindness, and love that my partner has shown me. Through his willingness, I have learned the depth, softness, and possibility of love and what it means to have a true relationship. It’s a gift I cherish. Writing and releasing this positive love song is one small way I can share this love with the world.

Having written this song from a place of love and gratitude, do you feel like that’s a part of life you’ll want to explore more in the future?

Living from a place of love and gratitude is how I move through the world and live on a daily basis. It is at the core of my art and of my existence on this planet. To experience all that life has to offer me, to give back, to uplift others, and to create music that is honest and moving is my art and purpose.

Sometimes, it isn’t other music that inspires one to create. Outside of the realm of music, what gives you that creative jolt?

My inspiration comes from direct experience, deep pondering, and reflection, observing people and behaviour around me, and nature at large. Living life as fully as I can provides for the unexpected, the happenstance, the experience, the lessons, and the connections which can all provide inspiration.

What can we expect out of Cognizance? What were/are your goals for the album? Will you be taking the album out on tour? Where would you like to go?

You can expect an extraordinary album of music with sonic diversity, both from different instrumentation and from different genres from song to song. It’s a true ‘album’ of music with an energetic and thematic throughline that breathes, grows, and keeps you guessing. Each song can stand confidently alone as a single as well. The album features some of my favourite musicians in Los Angeles. I couldn’t be more proud of who I worked with from music to tracking, mixing to mastering, photography to packaging. It’s a work of art and it’s been a long time coming. I can’t wait to finally release this baby into the world! The album is set to be released in January 2023 (stay tuned!). I have made limited edition vinyl records for the first time with stunning photography throughout and will have some other unique and fun merch items as well. I will be celebrating the release of the album digitally and physically with a big release show in Los Angeles at Moroccan Lounge (check my website and socials for details to be announced) and I will be touring the album throughout the rest of the year. 

photo by Tammie Valer

For the average listener, it’s easy to notice what kind of music has inspired you and informed your sound, but what if we try to dig a little deeper? What artists have influenced you that you think isn’t immediately obvious to most people?

I think what may not be immediately obvious to those who don’t know me is that I love listening to terrestrial radio. I love not knowing what or who I’m listening to and discovering new music. I like being an antennae and experiencing the full spectrum of music that finds me. All of that being said, the breadth and diversity of music in my mind and soul that has influenced me, even if I’m not actively aware of it, is huge. Which artists have influenced me as a young person first digesting music versus which artists have inspired me as I’ve aged are broadly different. For the purpose of this interview, I’ll throw a few names out there so my fans and those reading this article can go and listen to these wonderful musicians’ works. Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Radiohead, Zero 7, Air, Gorillaz, Bill Withers, Jurassic 5, Deltron 3030, Aesop Rock, Wu-Tang Clan, Queen, David Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Alicia Keys, A-WA, Hiatus Kaiyote, Tinariwen, The Mars Volta. I’m gonna stop there so I don’t overwhelm people. But all of these artists and more hold a special place in my heart.