Detroit has a rich musical history that needs a light shined on it at all times, and thanks to artists like Carmen Mi’Chelle – the legacy continues on. We talked to this R&B dynamo about the local scene, summer anthems – as well as her own – as well as her goals outside of music, like working with none other than Issa Rae.
Kendra: You’ve got so many creative aspects about you, have you always been someone drawn to the arts?
Carmen Mi’Chelle: Yes, I always have. I love the arts! I love music, painting, acting, crafts, writing, poetry, etc. I grew up in a musical family. My mom is a singer and me and my brothers all played instruments, so I heard music all the time. I was also in the glee club as a child and quickly adapted to loving the stage and being an extrovert in the arts.
Kendra: So let’s talk about your latest single, “I Was Wrong.” Not every day do we hear a song that admits a wrong. What inspired this track?
Carmen Mi’Chelle: I was originally asked to write this song for a new upcoming film. Since writing was my first love, I was able to dig deep into a past time where I may have felt pain from losing someone. Sometimes it’s not always the other person. Sometimes it’s you. And it’s ok to admit that. Especially when you really love someone.
Kendra; In this, as well as in “Summer Baby,” you kick things off by speaking a bit. That is something that takes me back to the ‘90s. Was this your way of paying homage to the R&B of then?
Carmen Mi’Chelle: Man, yes I love the 90’s music era. I listened to Ashanti, Brandy, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys, and so many more of my favorite R&B ladies! I also added a melody inspired by SWV in this song because I felt it in the music. I believe that real music will never die as long as we keep it alive. A lot of the music of the 90’s inspired me to be the artist that I am now.
Kendra: You’ve got a few tracks officially out now but almost two dozen on your Soundcloud. Are there any plans to revisit those songs from four…five years ago and make a record at some point, or are you focusing on the new material you’ve got going on in your head?
Carmen Mi’Chelle: My SoundCloud was more like a diary to myself. It represents all the times I was in a state of creativity and high emotion inspired by life. I love to record myself and store my music because you never know when it will be useful. I like to just let my music flow and feel the vibe. As of right now, my goal is to share myself with the world through my music whether it’s new or revisited.
Kendra: Speaking of, are there plans to drop a record this year?
Carmen Mi’Chelle: Yes! I actually dropped a re-release on May 29th of my song “Bad Thing” which was first featured in the movie and its soundtrack “DYMEZ”. So yes, I have new music on the way!
Kendra: You’re out in Detroit. Now that’s not a city I’m too familiar with. What’s the music scene out there like?
Carmen Mi’Chelle: Honestly, believe it or not, the music scene is very versatile. I float throughout the underground music scene and I’ve heard and met so many dope artists ranging from rap, poetry, spoken word, live bands! I love it all! And I’m proud to represent the dopeness that comes out of Detroit! As for myself, I don’t put myself in a box with genres. I appreciate and create all types of music and cannot wait to share that with the world.
Kendra: Again, you’ve got a lot of creative aspects about you because on top of being a singer you’re a model and an actress. What are some goals you have with being on screen?
Carmen Mi’Chelle: Yes! One of my goals is to work with Tyler Perry and Issa Rae! I plan to be in more commercials and work on set with popular movies and TV series in Hollywood! I’m also a producer and scriptwriter. I will be filming the first feature film I wrote called “Captured” this year and I’m so excited for this process! Look out for it on Tubi and Amazon Prime soon.
Kendra: Time for a side note – with it being summer, I’d love to know your go-to summer anthem? Like what song must you listen to when the weather is perfect and the sun is out?
Carmen Mi’Chelle: I love, love, love listening to music with high vibrations like Erykah Badu for example. Music that’s about manifestation and good vibes so that I can meditate or sit in the sun and relax. But my go-to for summertime mornings when you wake up and clean your home like a Sunday morning is Dionne Farris – “Hopeless.”
Kendra: Lastly, with “I Was Wrong” out now, what are your plans moving forward? We talked a bit about new music, but what about performances soon?
Carmen Mi’Chelle: I’ve had a couple of performances since the release, and I have more upcoming events. Meeting new people and networking, I will see many shows in the near future. So stay in tune with the journey as one my goals is to perform in states across the country!