Todd Carey is a singer/songwriter out of Chicago. He recently released “The Duets Project” EP. It is something that he’s had in his mind for a long time and he was super excited to share it with the world! I got to sit down with him and chat about what he’s been up to lately and his future plans. Check out what he had to say!
Hayley Holmes: Where are you originally from?
Todd Carey: I am originally from Chicago, IL and I currently am living in New York
HH: Awesome! How long have you lived in New York?
TC: About three years now. It’s an amazing place. It’s crazy and overwhelming at the same time but it’s just an amazing place!
HH: Yeah, for sure! I was there recently and I loved it! Ok, What inspired you to get into music?
TC: Let’s see, I think music is a very natural thing. I feel like it’s just there but you do need inspiration. I don’t know what inspired me first but the love for it definitely came from my parents. They were always playing music of all kinds. My mom was a musician as well. She was a music teacher. I also was inspired by the great music growing up. Like The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Elvis… all of the classics!
HH: Ok this is kind of a random one, but if you could have dinner with any five people dead or alive who would they be and why?
TC: (laughs) That’s a good one! Um, number one, Paul McCartney because he’s Paul McCartney! Number two, the lead singer of Fish, which is like a jam band. Number three, Dave Matthews. Number four because I’m reading his book right now, Nick Hornby, because he wrote About A Boy and High Fidelity. And number five… wow I’m stumped. This is suddenly becoming a really big deal to me! Oh! I’d like to have dinner with my grandpa. He passed away and I’d like to have dinner with him again.
HH: Where do you get inspiration from your songs?
TC: Inspiration comes from everywhere. I mean one of the most common places you see is girls. (laughs) In the history of pop songs you see every good song talks about girls. Number two, life stories. Things that have actually happened and come out of real life. Number three, pure out of air imagination and ridiculousness. I’m a liar. (laughs) and lastly, just fantasy. Stuff I would like to do.
HH: Have you written any songs for anyone else?
TC: Yes. A guy named Chris Gelbuda. I wrote a song for his EP. I’ve co-written a lot of songs for up start artists. Also a guy named Brasher Brown. I produced pretty much his whole album.
HH: If you could only sing one song for the rest of your career what would it be?
TC: WOW. You like to as the hard questions! I’m really bad at decisions so this is a tough one! Well, hmm. Definitely one of my songs… I would say maybeWatching Waiting.
HH: Great! I like that song a lot! Ok, what’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on stage?
TC: Thanks, Hayley! Thanks a lot! Hmmm. Well, in my old band I was playing a show at The Mint in LA, and I was wearing shorts which I never do, and my fly was open the whole time. It was really embarrassing.
HH: So, tell me more about The Duets Project. Is it something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time or where did you get the idea for that?
TC: Yeah it totally is! That’s a great question. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time for sure. It came about in a totally organic way in which I wish all my music came about. It had been kind of bubbling in the back of my mind for a while. I did a duet with Amber * called Gotta Be Next To You and everyone was like “This thing with Amber is really cool! You should make it a side project or something!” And I was thinking that’s so awesome, but I have to make an album right now… And I did a duet with Sara Barellies that unfortunately didn’t make it onto the album and so I got the idea and just went with it. I didn’t force it or anything it was just a really cool thing.
HH: Totally. I really enjoyed it! What would you be doing if you weren’t singing right now??
TC: Playing guitar.
HH: Wow. That’s clever! Who are your musical influences?
TC: The Beatles, Paul McCartney, The Greatful Dead.. um 90’s alternative rock. Like grunge. Pearl Jam and Nirvanna. Bob Dylan probably… From there like the approach to Jazz… like Miles Davis. Dave Matthews, of course. Yeah that’s probably a good amount that shows you who I am!
HH: Ok, another random question… If you could enlarge any animal and ride it into battle what animal would it be?
TC: (laughs) I’ll answer that question if you answer where you came up with that!!
HH: I worked at a summer camp and we used it as a get to know you question!
TC: I love it! I would enlarge a Honey-Badger. It’s really ferocious!
HH: That’s so great. Ok hailing from a city that has spawned so much great music in the past 15, 20 years, how has that rich windy city music tradition helped you in your career?
TC: That’s a great question. This is something that’s come up in almost every interview but no one has asked me the question you just asked me directly. Chicago is such a rich metropolitan area, but without all of the stuff that slows them down… Like the haters. It’s right in the middle of the country and people are really open to all types of music in Chicago. It’s a great place to start. You still get all of that without starting in a huge city like New York or LA. The people just wanna rock out and it’s awesome.
HH: You’re an extensive road warrior. What are your top five favorite venues to play in?
TC: Another great question. I love Shoeless in Chicago. I love the House Of Blues in Los Angeles. I really love a place called The Evening News in North Carolina. There’s this little bar called The Hitching Post in Georgetown, NC. And lastly, any Chicago Street Festival.
HH: Where do you see yourself in five years?
TC: Doing the thing just much more developed… as a writer, singer, guitar player, and producer. Touring on a much better level and having a really solid home life too for sure.
HH: On a smaller scale, what’s next for you in the near future?
TC: Good question. I’m going on a tour in August, The Float Away tour. I’m touring with a guy named Bushwalla. He co-writes a lot of songs and lives with Jason Mraz!
HH: That’s all I got! Thank you so much for your time, Todd!
TC: Thank you! That was a great interview Hayley!
Be sure to check out The Duets Project on iTunes now and catch a show on The Float Away tour if it comes to a city near you!
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