We’re back again with another week of Maria Mar’s Local Radar. I’ve been pumping out features on local bands like crazy, and the attention these acts are getting is better than ever! This week I’m going to dedicate my article to one specific artist in particular. Although she may have blossomed out of the local scene, these are the kind of artists that deserve attention, because they did it the right way with hard work, real talent, and perseverance. New Jersey is known for many of its local acts gone big, including The Parlor Mob, Nicole Atkins, The Gaslight Anthem, and so many more. It’s always inspiring for local musicians in our community to hear success stories of artists following their dreams, almost encouraging not to give up hope. Many relatively “unknown” bands have gone on to fulfill their desires to be on tour and perform for audiences across the country. They start by performing locally, as there are many venues that only feature local bands. Take advantage of this to give yourself an idea as to how popular your music is. This industry is a tough one to be a part of, but if you love it enough, you will succeed. The artist I’m about to talk about exemplifies the thrill of being not only a music fan, but also a fan of the human spirit in all of its passionately dramatic and enthusiastic glory. You may already know her, in one shape or form, from hearing a song or seeing her photo. It’s nice to focus on an artist on the rise that is actually famous for their talent, and not what they are wearing, who they are dating, or if they put out another fragrance. Please allow me to introduce, or reintroduce you to, a talent that goes by the name of Cara Salimando.
Cara Salimando is a songwriter and performer that is more than proud to call New Jersey her hometown. Currently based out of NYC, she is a young talent, but the only thing young about her talent is her age. After all, in the words of the late, great Aaliyah, “Age ain’t nothing but a number.” She wrote her first song over 10 years ago, and it became somewhat of a pattern, pumping out verse after verse. I have to take a second to touch on the importance of songwriting for artists. I understand that music is a job, but it needs some passion and soul in order for it to affect me. After hearing only a few of her tracks, I instantly felt that Cara is honestly one of the most creative songwriters out there. Her voice is a distinct beauty, and her songwriting is also beyond her years. Although I don’t know her personally, she seems to be unafraid of sharing intimacies, and speaking in absolutes. When I was young, I thought all musicians wrote their own material—how naïve of me. However, I am not here to knock those who don’t, but I’m here to praise those who do. Cara has a solid roster of performances under her belt, having opened for various acts or eclectic genres, including Mat Kearney and Anthony Green, along with performing at festivals including Lilith Fair and Bamboozle. She has teamed up with Glassnote Records and their publishing arm, Four Song Night, as they continue to pump out hits for artists such as Mumford & Sons and Phoenix, and she’s even worked with Universal Motown.
I can relate to Cara, for she’s a woman with many roles, and dominates each one of them. She wrote, recorded, and released 12 EPs worth of material, in addition to her Glassnote work. She has stated in recent interviews she is a fan of social media, releasing songs through Tumblr and Facebook. To sing her praise a little bit more, last spring she had her first artist placement, as her song, “Telescope,” was chosen for superstar Cheryl Cole’s album. I can only imagine the excitement that flowed through her veins upon getting this news. My favorite track of hers is “Deceiver,” which is available on iTunes now. Her powerful, passionate, poetic piece of work that we call a song from a woman whose voice and style seem to posses all the qualities music lovers seek, will hit you in the heart with this one. I also love “Here’s To Goodbye,” which could be considered an anthem for many, with her soulful tone and heartfelt lyrics. What this track (and most of her tracks do at that) is manage to present a young woman’s inner feelings and raw emotion over sensual and haunting music. Must of what is given here can be described as poetic-like verses almost sounding like an album of Cara’s spoken words/poetry, declaring herself to those who are ready to listen; deep and submerged to say the least. Music like this cannot be calculated; it can only ever be real. It’s an extra bonus that she is beautiful on the outside, having such an innocent face, yet singing with such emotional depth. Basically, it’s rare to find a talent that is essentially ripping out a piece of her life and showing her bare soul through her songs, being open with emotions and honest about her vulnerabilities.
So what hasn’t Cara done, you ask? The answer is a lot. She is a woman on a mission, and nothing is getting in her way. If you’re looking for something real, refreshing, organic, and buzz-worthy, Cara Salimando is your answer. She is a diamond in the rough in the music scene these days, and I feel 2013 is going to be her biggest year yet. With a stellar résumé, she can only continue to grow as an artist. Salimando will be releasing her first full-length this April, with the new single “Lost Boys” in February, which I cannot wait to hear and see which direction she is heading towards this time around. You can find out more about her at carasalimando.com. Cara is a triple threat with a formidable knack for challenging raw emotion, and is a burgeoning talent. Her music forces you to open your mind, for her rhythmic melodies and smooth, silky voice, are joys to behold. Be sure to watch out for Cara and get her on your radar sooner than later. After all, if I’m dedicating a whole column post to her, she is most definitely worth every word. It’s somewhat hard to put into words how talented she is without you being able to hear it for yourself, so make it easier on your ears and grab a song. She’s an artist that local musicians should aspire to be like; maybe not in the same genre, but her determination, drive, and perseverance are traits to mimic in this industry. Congratulations to Cara on all of her success, and cheers to a long-lived career in the music industry. The local Jersey music scene is proud to have her as an alumnus, for she is nowhere near done; she’s just getting started.