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MEET CAROLYN MARIE

Sleep? There's not much time for that. "I'm always on the move, I like it that way," she said. "I'm one of those people that worries about not being busy." - Renee Kiriluk-Hill, NJ.com


 

PRESS BIO: *23 year old, Carolyn Marie is a recording artist currently working on her debut album, Backstage Pass, with a multiplatinum and Grammy award winning team.  The young, ambitious, rock inspired singer and songwriter graduated with her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, ranked as one of the top three dance programs in the nation. While attending college full time, Carolyn simultaneously juggled a full-fledged music career spending hours in the studio diligently creating what the world will soon know as Backstage Pass.  As an independent artist, Carolyn has quite literally opened doors for herself. Her unstoppable enthusiasm and exacting nature led her to seek out and work with top industry professionals such as Grammy award winning producer, Earl Cohen,  whose credits include the career launching album "The Fame"  for pop music's icon, Lady Gaga.  She has also worked closely with EMI/Sony ATV producer, Synematik, whose most recent credits include Boys II Men and Kat Dahlia. Miles Walker, the Grammy award winning engineer with countless hits including the chart topping album "The New Classic" by Iggy Azalea, mixed and mastered the track on Carolyn's new record that features inspirational icon, Eric LeGrand. Carolyn has been noticed for her high energy performance, and meaningful lyrics. Her singing and songwriting are acclaimed "Powerful and captivating voice with beautiful melodies and emotional lyrics. Reminiscent of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. We'll see her at the top of the charts!" Not only is Carolyn releasing her debut album, Backstage Pass, she is also unveiling her jewelry line, The Carolyn Marie Collection by Sara Sela, that is edgy while still embracing romance and femininity. Currently, Carolyn Marie and her band, The 7:30 Players, are playing both originals and covers at some of the best night clubs on the east coast.  "She is a star in the making!" Faith Verrill, RAW NYC Manhattan Director

 

- Nominated for "Outstanding New Band/Soloist of 2014" in the Lehigh Valley Music Awards (LVMAs)

- Finalist in RAWards for "Musician of the Year" representing New York City

- "Surrender" was awarded 'Finalist' in the US Songwriting Competition

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The 7:30 Players

 

Carolyn Marie and The 7:30 Players are a Top 40 cover band playing both covers and originals in some of the best bars and nightclubs on the east coast.  

Carolyn Marie / Vocals

Sarah Nova / Drums

Zach Loss / Guitar

JOE Bongiorno / BASS

WORD ON THE STREETS

WCTC at the CD release party for Jersey artist Carolyn Marie!

 

ERIC LEGRAND a pop singer? 'Believe' it

STORIES VIA ASBURY PARK PRESS, COURIER NEWS, THE DAILY RECORD, HOME NEWS TRIBUNE, FOX, AP, NBC, 101.5, AND MORE!

Give a microphone to Eric LeGrand and ask him to make an inspiring speech? No problem.

Do the same thing and ask him to sing pop music lyrics? Well, then the nerves kick in.

The do-it-all former Rutgers football star is about to add musician to a resume that includes author, actor and activist as he is featured on a song that he co-wrote. It is set to hit iTunes and Google Play later this week.

"A lot of stuff doesn't get to me, but making music touches people and that's what got me," LeGrand told Gannett New Jersey. "I'm not going to back away from the challenge. Whatever comes from this, I'm ready for it."

The collaboration – entitled "Take Back The Power" – is part of the debut five-track mini-album for Carolyn Marie, an aspiring solo recording artist from Central Jersey who graduated Rutgers in 2014, the same year as Avenel native LeGrand.

Like millions of others, Carolyn Marie, 23, is inspired by LeGrand, who became the national face of spinal cord injury research for the hope that he has generated and the fundraising he has done since he was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle in October 2010.

"It's a very emotional song because he goes into his story and the feelings inside of him when he was injured and laying on the operating table, and how he is going to push past it," said Carolyn Marie, whose real last name is Ferraro. "We wanted this to be a song for anyone who is struggling through something. It was a message to believe in yourself."

The project is set to come to fruition Thursday with its public release through pre-orders, followed by a March 19 broader release to all digital distributors such as Spotify and Amazon.

But its origins date back more than a year to their first meeting at a New Year's Eve party.

"She was very persistent that she wanted to make a song and she wanted me to be in the song," LeGrand said, a hearty laugh disrupting the memory. "I'm like, 'I'm not a rapper or a singer or anything. Can I do this?' She had all these ideas of how it could work."

Soon, the two go-getters were meeting twice a month for two or three hours at a time, writing lyrics and swapping background stories – Carolyn Marie's older brother has Down syndrome. The-back-on-forth text messaging was constant.

"I thought, 'It's another platform to tell my story,'" LeGrand said. "I've told it speaking, in documentaries, in newspaper articles. Why not take the opportunity to do that? You never know what could come of it. I love jamming out. Back in high school, everyone thought they were going to become a rapper."

Carolyn Marie didn't. She preferred dance until her ballet teacher at Rutgers encouraged her to audition for musical productions, which required acting and singing and ultimately created the rock-inspired voice she used to convince LeGrand to join her.

"His upbeat personality and positive attitude, when you are around him you just feel so alive," she said. "He had so many struggles to overcome. It inspired me to write. We wanted something sporty, with big drums, anthem-y and super powerful-sounding. It describes his personality perfectly."

LeGrand's musical tastes range from rappers like Lil' Wayne and Drake to the heavy metal of Quiet Riot or the pop stylings of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. The smash hit "Dark Horse" between Perry and rapper Juicy J inspired LeGrand.

In the final product, which was produced by Synematik and recorded at Premier Studios in New York City, LeGrand sings:

I'm going to go back to that field

On that turf where I once laid

Get back up and say

I finished that last play

"I was nervous as anything," LeGrand said. "When I went into the studio, my heart was racing. I was like, 'What am I doing right now? What did I get myself into?' But she kept me calm and she was like, 'You are going to enjoy it.' Every word that she said came out true. I had a great time."

A launch party for the song is scheduled for April 23 at The Grand Ballroom of the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, with proceeds going to Team LeGrand of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, said Carolyn Marie.

LeGrand doesn't know if he could perform live without laughing, but he has no doubt his partner can.

Carolyn Marie's first full extended play is set for release in April.

"She can really sing," LeGrand said. "She has a passion and how hard she is working to get her career going stood out to me. I applaud her for that. Her passion is based on music, but it's the same as mine to walk again."

Staff writer Ryan Dunleavy: rdunleav@gannett.com

Rural rocker chases pop star dream

STORY VIA ECHOES~SENTINEL

Chasing a dream is a relentless task, but for Carolyn Marie, being busy is fine when you’re going after something special.

Since graduating from college at Rutgers Mason-Gross School of Arts, Marie has spent her time singing for any ears that will listen, with dreams of singing for stadiums full of ears.

Marie, 23, didn’t know she wanted to be a professional singer growing up. She spent the first few years of her life in Millington and then moved to Readington after first grade. Her father, Al Ferraro still owns Millington Auto Body.

Growing up and being entrenched in rural towns made it so Marie had to keep herself busy. She had no clue that what she did to pass the time as a child would be so dominant to her life as an adult.

“I’m in the middle of nowhere over here, so I was always dancing and acting and singing, because I was younger and had to entertain myself. I would like to write a lot of poetry and take as many creative classes as I could,” said Marie.

She said she always gravitated to the arts growing up, whether it was dance recitals, school plays, or poetry, but never anything that let her express her voice out loud.

That opportunity came during her first year at Rutgers, where she was practicing ballet.

“When I was in my freshman year my ballet teacher wanted me to audition for the show, and I had to sing for it,” said Marie, who hadn’t considered singing for an audience before.

After her first singing audition she got into “Kiss Me Kate” with the New Jersey Youth Theater. She then went on tour, performing “Kiss Me Kate” and “Smokey Joe’s Café,” right after.

She described the experience as an excellent time. “I really loved singing and dancing with them,” said Marie. But just like when she was growing up, singing and dancing to her own tune in her rural towns, Marie felt the desire to really share her own voice.

“I didn’t want to be directed anymore,” she explained. Just like that, she was back to her childhood, where writing music and singing for herself fueled the passion in her heart.

After graduating from Rutgers, Marie put her feet down and hit the path to a solo music career hard. She contacted producers, wrote as much music as she could, made backing tracks to sing along to, and searched for other musicians with whom she she could play live.

Marie called it all a part of a hard learning experience. She yearned to play live but needed a band to do so. It was difficult for her to get live gigs, and when she did something was a bit off.

“I started to do gigs with spot bands that my producers knew, but I couldn’t connect with them,” said Marie. With a revolving door of musicians, she couldn’t get the chemistry down the way she wanted.

“I had my pop songs and backing tracks, and it wasn’t as fulfilling to be alone and not in a band, and it was harder to gig. So I decided why not get a band together. Let’s get a set of covers and originals and do this.”

The 7:30 Players

For the last year and a half Marie has been playing with her band the 7:30 Players. Every Thursday through Saturday, Marie and the 7:30 Players try to book a venue.

Recently they’ve played in Hoboken, Branchburg, Manhattan, Philadelphia, and the legendary venue where all New Jersey-born artists have to pass through as an initiation rite, The Stone Pony.

“Right now I feel very comfortable with everyone in my band,” said Marie, who is excited that she has people who are close and she trusts to play with on the weekends, while also having time to work on her solo career.

The 7:30 Players play top 40s and mix in some of their own originals. Although Marie has a smoother voice on her more pop sounding solo song, she breaks out her rough vocals for the band.

“I have the gruff in my voice like a Joan Jett kind of thing,” Marie described.

She spoke on her love for the singers like Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks, and Janis Joplin, but when it’s just her and a studio she sees herself in more of a Katy Perry zone.

As far as Perry’s lyrics, Marie loves the more inspiring type of pop music she puts out rather than materialistic pop music.

“I kind of find myself going to an uplifting place and put a positive twist on everything I put out. I don’t want to put out things that are a bad influence on anyone,” said Marie. Although she didn’t rule out becoming edgier in the future.

For now, Marie is living in the moment, something she’s worked hard to do. On Feb. 12th she turned 24 and all the work she’s put in the last few years allowed her to celebrate her birthday a little harder this year.

Marie will be giving herself the best birthday present she could ask for, launching her single and music video, “The Moment.”

With her lack of a city life that leads to music studio connections, she believes her uplifting style will carry to great heights. Hopefully her music will lead others like her as well.

Hunterdon singer-songwriter releases single in time for Valentines Day

STORY VIA NJ.COM AND THE HUNTERDON COUNTY DEMOCRAT

Breaking up may be hard to do, but in her new single Carolyn Marie Ferraro wants listeners to remember the earlier moments that were special.

Co-writing "The Moment" helped her move on, and she hopes it does the same for others who may be feeling bittersweet this Valentine's Day.

A new single and music video will be released on Feb. 12 by Carolyn Marie, a Readington Township resident and 2010 Hunterdon Central High School graduate.

Ferraro graduated from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a degree in fine arts and dance and is a dance instructor. She also sings with Carolyn Marie and the 7:30 Players, appearing at clubs largely in northeast Jersey and Philadelphia.

Earl Cohen produced "The Moment" for Ferraro. He is a multiplatinum and Grammy award-winning producer who has worked with artists including Lady Gaga, Pink, Usher, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston.

Ferraro said one day she was "working with Earl" and "feeling a little down" following a break-up. She said they worked on an instrumental track, a ballad "slow but that still had strength."

She said she kept it going with fellow songwriter Jeff Gueritey. "We kept going back and forth with the lyric and melody" until they hit on "The Moment. I wanted it to be something that reflected the heartbreak," while acknowledging that the end of a relationship doesn't erase the happy moments that came earlier.

"It has a lot of emotion in it, yet it's very positive," she said. "I like to keep my messages and music" on a level that "everyone can relate to" and find uplifting. At the same time, she said she seeks "that pop drive and catchiness" that "makes you want to listen to more," and hear "that positive message."

The evening of Feb. 11, Ferraro is to be interviewed on The Wiseguyz Show on DDV Radio.

Hunterdon friends have long known about her passion for dance, growing up she said her weekdays were spent at school or New Jersey School of Ballet, and at New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble weekends.

She liked singing, and creative writing, but never thought about combining them in a career.

Ferraro credits one of her Hunterdon Central English teachers, Mr. Smith, with getting her hooked on poetry during an Honors Imaginative Process course. "I'm not a morning person, and it was first block, but it was such a fun class. He showed us different ways we could go about creating stories and poetry."

In college a ballet teacher convinced Ferraro to combine her singing and dancing in musical theater. "That's when I found out I was super passionate about music too," she said. "I have these two elements going on. It's good, because they relate."

About a year ago she formed the band, which has Zach Loss on guitar, Brian Como on bass, and Sarah Novack on drums. They practice several times weekly and perform original and cover tunes on weekends.

In March, Ferrero is releasing a second song, inspired by fellow Rutgers alum Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed making a tackle during an October 2010 Rutgers game.

"We graduated the same year and we're both writers," she said, explaining that they met on New Year's Eve a year ago.

Her music video has been on pre-order on iTunes and Google Play, and is to be available widely starting Feb. 12. She has been nominated for a Lehigh Valley Music Award for "Best New Band/Soloist of 2014."

Sleep? There's not much time for that. "I'm always on the move, I like it that way," she said. "I'm one of those people that worries about not being busy."

Stay with NJ.com/hunterdon for more on Carolyn Marie.

Readington woman worked with Grammy winning producer on new single

STORY VIA NJ.COM AND THE HUNTERDON COUNTY DEMOCRAT

A new single and music video will be released on Feb. 12 by Carolyn Marie Ferraro, a Readington Township resident and 2010 Hunterdon Central High School graduate.

Tomorrow evening, Feb. 11, Carolyn Marie Ferraro is to be interviewed on The Wiseguyz Show on DDV Radio.

Ferraro's single is called "The Moment," and was written with Jeff Gueritey. She said the song was written following a couple of breakups, and is meant to be "something that reflected the heartbreak," while acknowledging that the end of a relationship doesn't erase the happy moments that came earlier.

Ferraro graduated from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a degree in fine arts and dance. She teaches dance at the Academy of Dance Arts in Whitehouse and at Prestige Dance in Flemington.

She also sings with Carolyn Marie and the 7:30 Players, appearing at clubs largely in northeast Jersey and Philadelphia.

Earl Cohen produced "The Moment" for Ferraro. He is a multiplatinum and Grammy award-winning producer who has worked with artists including Lady Gaga, Pink, Usher, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston.

Ferraro has been nominated for a Lehigh Valley Music Award for "Best New Band/Soloist of 2014."

Stay with NJ.com/hunterdon for more on Carolyn Marie.