Indie Artist Carla Paige
Breaking into the entertainment industry is no walk in the park. Everyone wants to do what they love and be able to live off it, even artists. Chasing a dream that seems to be one in a million is a huge risk, but there are people who have simply decided that fear is no obstacle. Hailing from Cobb county Georgia, 21-year-old Carla Paige shares with us her story as she navigates through forging a career in the entertainment world.
What would you call yourself? A rapper? A poet? A singer? An actress?
I would consider myself to be all those things but, I am using my foundation as a singer/songwriter to provide opportunity at a larger spectrum to showcase all of my abilities because I am to use every talent that God blessed me with.
Give a short timeline of how you’ve gotten to where you are in your career.
I started off as poet/writer in elementary school and started singing at 7. I fell in love with music from that point on. I performed wherever I could in the city at local talent shows/events. I started rapping in middle school as well as acting while still continuing to sing in concerts/assemblies. I won the 8th grade talent show that got me my first studio session. I attended Pebblebrook High School and auditioned into the magnet program where I was in the drama and dance department. I joined a girl group, and started doing music and writing songs whenever I could. I continued to perform all around Atlanta. I went to VSU [Valdosta State University] where I majored in musical theatre and took that step into becoming the artist I said I would be. I left school, and now I'm making it happen.
What makes you stand apart from people who have your same aspirations?
My name and everything I'm putting behind it. Carla Paige. There is no one else with that name doing the things that I am doing. There is no one with the same amount of drive as me, with the story that I have, moving for the reasons that I do. I'm unique in that aspect. Every little detail of who I been crafted to be, where I've been sent to go, the people I've been sent to reach and inspire, everything I leave my fingerprint on is individualized. No one else can ever do that.
Ultimately, what do you hope to accomplish as far as career goals are concerned?
One of my biggest dreams/goals is to open an academy for creatives. Musicians, writers, singers, artists, dancers, directors, etc. everyone. I'll keep it at that (just wait on it). Also just to be able to create freely as an artist around the world.
What keeps you encouraged on your journey? How have you been able to stay so motivated?
The bigger picture is what keeps me motivated. Just understanding that my family, my friends, myself even are here for only a moment in time. What am I doing to leave an impact large enough that even time can't contain its depth? That motivates me. I don't want to work in vein. And my family, my friends, and myself are all included in that bigger picture because I'm bringing them along whenever this journey takes me. I've lost motivation so much in this past year. My life seemed to fall apart at so many points, but I just remember that it's bigger than me, and I pick myself back up.
Any major setbacks?
Depression. That has been my biggest setback honestly. I've always struggled with it my entire life, but I've become so open about it because the only way to fix a problem is to first admit that you have one. It's a constant battle of questioning myself, where I'm supposed to be, if I'm even good enough, etc. and it's like I'm fighting who I think I am. Depression gave me an identity my whole life that wasn't contingent with who God called me to be. Another challenge is just my circumstance. It's so easy to fall victim to the environment you're placed in, but winners make it happen and losers make it excuses. But I don't think I would want an easy route. The hardships in my circumstance strengthened me in every regard.
What do you hope people see when they look at how far you have come or what do you hope people understand about your story?
That even in how far I've come, I have such a long way to go. That there's never a point that I will have it all together. That I am a constant work in progress. That even in my success, I'll still be looking for ways to improve myself and improve those around me. That I work so hard for a reason, and that reason is bigger than myself.
What advice would you give to women who have similar interests as you? What do you wish someone would have told you about the path you have chosen?
I would tell those women first and foremost that the most dangerous thing in this world is not knowing your worth. And if you don't know it, take that time to find it. It is so important that we know who we are. Life can rob you of so much, make you feel like you should be okay with so much, allow you to be stagnant, etc. when you don't allow yourself to know that you can change the world. You have so many people in this world saying you can't, allow those to just be words and nothing more. I wish someone would have told me to be okay with being alone because that's where you'll often find yourself. Most people won't understand your vision in this process because it's higher than what their minds can comprehend. With that being said, you have to have that mentality to keep fighting if you have none on your team or a million on it.
What’s next for you? What are your current goals, and what are you doing to work towards them?
The start is what's next for me! I'm working on taking over the world. [laughs] But I'm working on my EP, I have an opportunity that allows me to invest in my dreams comfortably, and I'm working on a lot of things on the business side. I'm working 6 days a week, nearly 12 hours a day, and spending the other half of the time in the studio. I have so much coming.
What comes to mind when you hear, “Dangerous Woman”?
Ah, I thought about a mass murderer or something maybe [laughs] just kidding. But I immediately think to myself, why is she dangerous? I think of a woman who has to be labeled as such because it's the only way to understand her reality. It doesn't deny that she may indeed be of danger, given her circumstance, but it's makes me want to know more about her and her story. Her justification. Kind of like the term "crazy". It can be passive term to label someone because they aren't understood.
What makes you "Dangerous"?
Because I'm not afraid to break any molds that have already been set in place. I'm not afraid of change. I'm not afraid of adversity. I don't know what it means to give up. I'm not afraid to take any situation head on because I refuse to live under my means. I'm not afraid of taking risks. And on a larger level, to be able to break down a system that has been put in place to manipulate us, I have to be willing to apply force to it in any way that I can until it bursts.
To keep up with Carla, you can follow her on social media at: