31st January 2013 marks the next chapter in Gina Carey’s seventeen year career, when Gina Carey…The Songbird is released. Gina Carey…The Songbird is the ninth album of Gina’s career, and her sixth soul album. This is the start of a new chapter in the career of Gina Carey…The Songbird. She’s back, stronger, wiser and even more soulful than ever. Indeed, Gina Carey…The Songbird is the best album of Gina’s career. Earlier this week, I spoke to Gina and she told me about Gina Carey…The Songbird and her plans for 2013.

Last year, 2012, was the busiest year of Gina Carey’s career. While most albums struggle to release even one album each year, Gina was the hardest working women in soul music. She released a trio of albums between February and September 2012. 

2012 started for Gina with the release of her sixth album Love Letters, which was released on Valentine’s Day 2012. This found Gina fusing her own unique mix of soul, jazz, Nu-Soul, gospel and funk. Love Letters was the followup to Gina’s 2011 album Melodic. Not only was Melodic critically acclaimed, but became Gina’s most successful album, reaching number one album in the UK in August 2011. Then just three months after the release of Love Letters, came the sequel, Love Letters 2.

Love Letters 2 was the perfect starting point for anyone new to Gina Carey’s music. It was a combination of old and new songs. There were four songs from Gina’s two previous albums, Melodic and Love Letters. Add to these eight tracks, three new songs. You, Being In Love and You Are Right were from Gina’s next album Live, Love and Laugh Volume 1.

Live, Love and Laugh Volume 1 was released in September 2012. This was a really difficult period for Gina. Her father Eugene Harrison had died earlier in 2012. For Gina, Live, Love and Laugh Volume 1 was Gina’s way of coping with the loss of her father. In many ways, Live, Love and Laugh Volume 1 became Gina’s way of paying tribute to a man who’d inspired, encouraged and believed in Gina. Following the loss of Gina’s father, she decided to take stock of her career so far.

Having taken stock of her sixteen year career, Gina decided that 2013 was a new beginning for her. With that in mind, Gina decided that for the next step in her career, she decided for the first time in her career, to enlist the help of a manager. So, a new manager was brought in to help guide Gina’s new beginning, including her new album Gina Carey…The Songbird.

With thirteen new songs written, Gina and her management team started working on an album title. Various titles were considered, then her manager came up with Gina Carey…The Songbird. Gina decided this was perfect. With an album title, next came the album cover. For that, Gina enlisted the help of her sister, Melanie Harrison, photographer and New York model. It’s Melanie’s photographs that feature on in the publicity shots and album cover. It seems the Carey sisters are a multitalented family. Together, they’re a potent partnership, who’ll play an important part in this new beginning for Gina Carey’s career. This starts with Gina Carey…The Songbird.  However, I was interested to hear about Gina’s life and career so far. So, I asked her about her past and musical inspirations.

Gina first became interested in music when she was just aged eight. Inspired by the music of singers like Deneice Williams, Billie Holliday. Gladys Knight and Jackie Wilson. This was the music she heard at home. It inspired her to start singing. Soon, she took a few lessons and started playing piano. Little did she realize that this would be how she’d earn a living.

By 1996, Gina got her professional breakthrough. She was asked to sing backing vocals for God’s Original Gangsters. This lead to Gina signing to Grapetree Records, who would release Gina’s debut album In His Time, the first of three gospel albums Gina released. In His Time sold over ten thousand copies throughout the United States. This lead to Gina being nominated for two awards by the Black Music Academy Association of America. These two categories were the Best Female Gospel Performer and Gospel’s Rising Star. However, then after the success of In His Time, Gina came crashing back to earth. Grapetree Records folded, leaving Gina without a label.

Seven years after the release of In His Time, Gina released her sophomore album Changes. This was released on her own independent label Gico Music, which would release all her future albums. Then in 2006, Gina released her third gospel album, Tell Um. That year,  Gina received a prestigious award for her music. This was the Las Vegas Black Music Awards’ for Best Gospel Performer, which she received at the Cashman Theater. Given this would be Gina’s final gospel album, this was the perfect way to close the first chapter in Gina’s career. Her next album would be quite different, but extremely soulful.

Two years after the release of Gina’s final gospel album Tell Um, she released her fourth album and first soul album My Journey. Much had happened to Gina between the release of Tell Um in 2006 and My Journey in 2008. In 2007, Gina auditioned for America’s Got Talent on NBC TV and had performed with Lee Bailey at the inaugural EURWEB Awards. Gina also auditioned for another television show “Showtime At The Apollo.” It was filmed at the legendary Harlem theatre, where so many great singers had appeared. This seemed to inspire Gina. The judges were so impressed with Gina’s performance, that she was twice asked to be a guest the show. It definitely seemed that Gina Carey’s star was rising during 2007. This continued into 2008 when BET J played the video for her True Love single on their Cup show. When Gina would release her next album it would demonstrate her talent as a singer, songwriter and arranger.

Melodic was Gina’s second soul album and fifth album overall. On Melodic, Gina wrote and arranged the songs, while her husband John, played on, and produced Melodic. This was Gina’s most successful album, reaching number one in the UK Soul Charts in August 2011. Then, in December 2011, Gina received a huge accolade, when Melodic was named one of the best soul albums of 2011. Gina was in illustrious company, joining names like Jill Scott, Maysa Leak and Eric Benet. Then in 2012, would see Gina crowned the hardest working artist in soul music.

During 2012 released her trio of albums, Love Letters, Love Letters 2 and Live, Love and Laugh Volume 1. This she managed to do between February and September 2012. Having released three albums during 2012, Gina decided to start work on her ninth album. So, Gina returned to the studio. She started work on what would become he ninth album Gina Carey…The Songbird. 

When I asked Gina to tell me about Gina Carey…The Songbird, she said partly, the music has been influenced by the music she heard growing up. It’s also slight more experimental. Still, Gina Carey…The Songbird sees Gina fusing her usual unique mix of soul, jazz, Nu-Soul and funk. There’s also a hint of folk, country, blues, Latin and African music. Gina describes the music as “super smooth, soulful and funky” but also “inspirational, playful, sassy, sultry, mystical and mysterious.” To that, I’d add hook-laden. Ballads and dance-floor floor friendly songs sit comfortably side by side on Gina Carey…The Songbird, which will be released on 31st December 2013.

To coincide with the release of Gina Carey…The Songbird on 31st January 2013, is Hey Mr, a hook-laden fusion of musical genres and influences. After that, the soulful, jazzy, dance track My Sunshine will be released as the sophomore single. Then the sumptuously sultry and sensuous Step Into My Love will become the third single. For the fourth and final single, is another uptempo, funky, dance track My Hero. The four singles are just a tantalizing taste of the thirteen tracks on Gina Carey…The Songbird. These thirteen tracks mark a new chapter in the career of Gina Carey…The Songbird.

Gina has dedicated Gina Carey…The Songbird to her late father, Mr. Eugene Harrison, the man who inspired, encouraged and always believed in Gina. Having heard Gina Carey…The Songbird, I can honestly say that this is a very fitting tribute to Gina’s father. I’m sure Mr. Harrison would be proud of the music on Gina Carey…The Songbird. This is just the first step in a new beginning for Gina Carey…The Songbird. During 2013, Gina hopes to tour the UK and in the future, hopes to collaborates with other songwriters and producer. So, Gina Carey…The Songbird is just the first step in the next chapter in her career. With new management helping guide her career, then Gina Carey…The Songbird marks what will be the start of a new, exciting and successful chapter in the career of Gina Carey…The Songbird.


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