Her strong and distinctive vocals will definitely catch your attention on first listen, that's for certain. Meet the rising star, Carly Pearl. Carly is a singer-songwriter based in New York who daringly embarked on a solo career during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She recently rose to fame online, drawing in millions of views on TikTok as well as tens of thousands of viewers on her TikTok lives. We caught up with her to talk about her journey in her life and career.
Lucky Girl Syndrome and Pronoia: A Lucky Coincidence?
Amassing millions of views on TikTok, Carly Pearl's song Pronoia seems to line up well with the recent rise of "Lucky Girl Syndrome", a trending positive mindset shift that has taken the internet by storm at the beginning of 2023. "Lucky Girl Syndrome" is a new way of manifesting goals and desires, where one uses repeated affirmations (positive statements) to create positive assumptions, with the goal of attracting like things into one's life.
Pronoia itself is a song that carries an uplifting message, with lyrics that encourage the listener to see their lives from a brighter point of view. Carly had said in her videos that Pronoia is just another word for Lucky Girl Syndrome, which led us to believe that she must've written the song based on the trend. But apparently, that isn't the case at all! It appears that the stars have aligned for Carly, as she actually wrote the song before she even knew about the trend!
"I actually wrote Pronoia before I heard about Lucky Girl Syndrome – it was a beautiful synchronicity," she said to us. "I believe that when there are ideas that are important for the human collective to hear, we catch them and express them in different ways. Lucky Girl Syndrome and Pronoia are mindset techniques that can help us change the way we look at things. There are so many things we can’t control in our lives, but there is so much power in realizing that we can control our thoughts and get to choose how we view our own story."
"When I started believing that the universe was working for me and not against me, I began to see everything I’ve been through in a new light. I started seeing every experience, even the painful ones, as lessons I was meant to learn. I became grateful for it all, and that energy is magnetic. New people and opportunities started coming my way, and I found a new purpose in why I’m here and how I’m meant to use my gifts. This mindset brought me my first viral song; if that’s not some Pronoia or Lucky Girl Syndrome working its magic, I don’t know what is!"
One line from Pronoia stood out to us and many others, and it goes like this: "Losing him, but I'm finding me, and it's bittersweet." This line appears to center around the theme of loss, and Carly has a pretty interesting take when it comes to that lyric in particular and on loss itself.
"It’s interesting, many people have reached out to me about that line – it has meant many different things to different people. I’ve gotten messages from people who are healing from a loved one passing, a miscarriage, a breakup, and even a shedding of their old self-narratives. Loss and grief are feelings we all experience in our lives, and although Pronoia and Lucky Girl Syndrome won’t stop you from feeling pain, the concepts can help you transform that pain into purpose."
Out of curiosity, we also asked Carly whether Lucky Girl Syndrome could possibly help someone get over a breakup. "I’d say they absolutely can," she said. "When we believe the universe is working in our favor, it becomes easier to release people who no longer feel aligned with our dreams, and to trust that there are amazing things we’re creating space for."
Early Music Influences And Amy Winehouse-esque Vocals
When listening to her songs, you will find that Carly has a very unique music style. This is evident in her choice of genre and overall vibe. We discovered that the music that she listened to growing up had influenced her music style in the present. "I grew up listening to lots of jazz, soul, and musical theater.
There are definitely elements of each genre in my music. Ella Fitzgerald has always been a huge influence of mine. I love how distinctive her tone is, and the way she uses her voice like an instrument to create so many colors and textures.
Nina Simone always spoke to me too. The way she captured important messages and passionately shared them in her lyrics continues to inspire me. I also owe a lot of my ideas to Frank Sinatra, Lauryn Hill, Adele, Carole King, and Bill Withers."
If you listen to soul and jazz music, you'll find Carly's vocals to be notably similar to Amy Winehouse, an icon of the genres. Many people have actually thought the same! They both possess a deep alto voice with a certain je ne sais quoi to it – the best way to describe it is that they both have rich, velvety vocals and masterful techniques to their singing.
Carly herself has covered some of Amy's songs, and after hearing them, we think she'd be perfect to star in a biopic! "Amy Winehouse is a legend – I will always admire the gifts she left us with," Carly told us. "I love singing her songs, and I’m honored that I remind people of her. She brought jazz, hip-hop and soul together in a fresh new way. She led the way and inspired many of us to play in a new light."
"There’s no right or wrong way to make music, there’s no good or bad – it took me a long time to believe that, but it was quite liberating once I did."
A Leap Of Faith Towards A Solo Journey
Before she embarked on a solo career, Carly was actually a part of a national touring act called Scruffy Pearls as a lead singer. "I will always be grateful for my time in Scruffy Pearls. I wrote and released my first songs, I toured with them, opened for incredible artists, played festivals, and learned how to perform with a band," she told us. But unbeknownst to us, being in a band isn't always pleasant and fun. "Being a part of a band has its pros and cons.
It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of a group and get on stage with your best friends, but it can also feel like you're losing your own identity as an artist at times. I wanted to hear my own voice, and I knew I had songs inside of me that I needed to release on my own," Carly said. After some time had passed, Carly decided to take the plunge on a solo career. "When the pandemic hit, all our shows got canceled and it seemed like the universe sent me the perfect opportunity to sit with myself and listen to what I wanted.
It was a very hard time in my life. I felt lost and uncertain, but that’s when I started meditating and reading books to help change my mindset. That’s when the seeds for Pronoia were planted."
Taking Inspirations From Everyday Life
Every artist has their own personal way of coming up with songs, and Carly is no different. She comes up with her songs as she lives through life, making use of the things she sees and hears. She walked us through her creative process, which is as follows:
"I hear ideas floating around the streets of NYC, the conversations I have with friends, the books I read, the videos I watch online, and especially the time I spend in nature. I try to quickly write down concepts and words as soon as I catch them. One of my favorite things about being an artist is how it can make you a great listener and observer."
"I love to change up my environment - spending a few days in the hustle of Manhattan, then a few days on a lake on the North Fork of Long Island. The contrast keeps my energy flowing and helps me process my ideas. I work with lots of different producers and musicians nowadays.
Sometimes I enter a session knowing exactly what I want to write about, and other times I let the chords channel an idea. One of my favorite ways to write when I’m on my own is to put on an old instrumental I find on YouTube and make up my own melody and lyrics for it. It’s a great way to get ideas rolling. There’s no right or wrong way to make music, there’s no good or bad – it took me a long time to believe that, but it was quite liberating once I did."
On being an Actress...
Aside from music, Carly also acts. She appeared on television in a variety of roles, most recently as a guest star on CBS's FBI: Most Wanted. "I studied musical theater in college, and I’ve always had a passion for both music and acting. There’s something intoxicating about jumping into a role and walking in someone else’s footsteps.
It’s always a challenge and a step out of my comfort zone," she said. The two forms of art appear to correlate in some way, and that is further confirmed by Carly's statement. "Music has definitely been my focus over the past year, and I’ve really enjoyed bringing some of my acting experience into my work. I’ve loved making music videos and even short form videos for social media. The two art forms feel very aligned and I’d love to continue doing both throughout my life."
The Most Challenging Song To Cover!
For a singer, vocal mastery is a must. To do this, a lot of singers challenge themselves to sing vocally difficult songs as practice, as not all songs are created equal - some can only be sung by truly seasoned vocalists. We asked Carly what song is the most challenging for her to sing. "I’d say Adele’s song 'Someone Like You.' She has such a powerful, iconic tone, and some of her songs are very high!"
Carly does a lot of covers on her TikTok. She covers various songs from various genres, and always puts her own twist to the songs she covers. "I make covers on TikTok all the time, and something I have come to realize over the past couple of years is that pretty much any song can be sung in a different key, tempo or perspective. It may not be better than the original, but it could be beautifully different when you make a song your own," she said.
Carly finds heartwarming messages from her listeners to be absolutely special and memorable. "Every time I receive a message from someone saying that they start every morning with my music, or that my song came to them at a time in their life where they needed it, I’m deeply impacted. My intention is to use music as a means of helping people." It's true - Carly's music is just perfect to start the morning with, especially with all the positive messages in her lyrics. Her music is the kind of music that can surely help people look at their lives from a brighter perspective.
New Music Anytime Soon?
On new releases, Carly has been working hard behind the scenes, cooking up some exciting new songs that we simply can't wait to listen to! "I’ve been writing a lot and I can’t wait to share the new music. Lots of singles are queued up for release this year. I can’t say too much, but there is a high vibrational soul anthem coming your way soon!"
Website, Socials, Streaming Platforms (and more)!
Find out more about Carly Pearl through her website, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Listen to her music on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Also, watch the music video for her song "Flow" here.