About Carmen Chiles
New York, NY
Carmen first fell in love with the guitar while it was in the hands of her big brother, and her story began, when he passed it on to her. A self-taught artist, Carmen’s inspiration came mainly from listening to the music of her favorite artists in her college dorm room, and playing along day and night.
Urged by her friends, Carmen began playing coffee houses in Elizabethtown, PA, and it was there that she truly felt she had found her purpose in life. Immediately people were drawn to Carmen's music by her unique voice and meaningful lyrics. The onstage experience, the connection with the crowd, drawing people in, and hearing their feedback after a show was what made her want to write that next song.
During her years in college, Carmen’s summer months were spent at home in Lancaster, PA playing music with her brother and friends every day in their basement. Shortly after graduation, the Chiles duo and friends finally decided to start their own band, CCB (Carmen Chiles Band), and they began playing venues in the Philadelphia area.
Music was never about stardom or fame. It was about being around her brother and sharing the joy of making music with people she loved.
While still with the band, Carmen decided to put her business degree to work, and took a job as a hotel manager in upstate New York. During the year and half that she was there, Carmen realized her passion for music had grown to where she knew she needed to move to New York City to make her dream come true.
As fate would have it, Carmen met a patron at the hotel who had connections to a music talent agency with a job opening in New York City. Despite not knowing anyone in the Big Apple, she knew this was her chance and decided to take a risk.
Carmen started work in the city as an assistant to a music talent agent, and continued to do shows with CCB, not realizing that fate would soon step in again. That same talent agent would need an opening act for a festival, and that opening act would be CCB.
It was by far the biggest stage Carmen had ever stepped on, but she felt right at home along side national headliners as she performed in front of 5,000 people. She glowed as her music and energy flowed through the first class sound and lights and into the crowd.
The agent was impressed by her performance, and the two co-workers decided to join forces as artist and manager. Shortly thereafter, with the help of her newly found manager, Carmen started recording what would become her first album “SOULution.”
Still working the nine to five, Carmen would constantly make long trips to Hi Lo Studios, ironically located in upstate New York. During this time Carmen showed her dedication, as the recording process involved long commutes, late nights, and early mornings.
Though the rest of her band was still in Lancaster, CCB continued to play together, but the distance would soon prove to be too much. With a heavy heart, she made the tough decision to leave CCB and start her own band. It was time for Carmen to plant musical roots in NYC, continue to grow as an artist, and take her dreams to the next level.
Through the process of auditioning new band mates in Manhattan, Carmen discovered a new leadership role and would meet a musician who would become a friend, band mate and recording engineer for the remainder of the recording process.
Between rehearsing her new band and doing shows, Carmen began the final stretch of the recording process in Manhattan. Upon completing “SOULution”, Carmen had played guitar, piano, bass, harmonica and organ on the album which features collaborations with late great blues guitarist Billy Perry ("Work It Out") and platinum recording artist Al Mac of TROOP ("Our Time"). Her destiny continued to manifest itself.
Carmen began to gain attention and things began taking off. She found herself opening for industry giants such as the legendary Brian Wilson, Gym Class Heroes, Kansas, Foreigner, Keith Sweat, and Omarion.
Her debut album “SOULution” was released in August 2007, and within four months Carmen signed a licensing and distribution deal for the CD with Amplitude Records International.
The struggles that she faced while getting to this point are clearly reflected in the album as she so eloquently expresses her great appreciation for the unsung hero’s in today's society thus allowing her listeners to relate to the many struggles that we all face everyday.
“Hear Me Feel Me Understand Me” was inspired by a complete stranger. A hard working man who Carmen happened to see washing the windows of a bank late one night; hence the first lines of the song, “Oh why’d you wipe me clean like a window pane, now they see.”
“I feel that my journey and all the struggles and obstacles I’ve had to overcome in making ‘SOULution’ are really not that different than the struggles and obstacles we all deal with everyday. The key is to look deep within yourself for the answers.” ~Carmen Chiles
“SOULution” is available now on iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster and Sony Connect.