Carley Bearden Prizes Her Peace and Mental Health Over Success
In conversation with Cabus, budding Fort Worth musician, Carley Bearden opens up about discovering who she truly was during her college years, pre-music career, and staying true to herself as a working artist. Carley covers everything from valuing mental health to challenging artists to 'put their head down and work'. Our new video format is now on YouTube where we take you into the studio for a front-row seat in these conversations. As always the full episodes are available on Spotify and Apple Music.
photo provided by artist
"Though it was my first show, and I sounded nervous, I felt so free. This needed to happen".
Cabus dives into the episode by asking Carley, "[What is the] First song you heard that made you feel something inside?" This kicks off an immediate conversation about the musician's 2018 existential encounter with herself, her love for Mac Miller, and a series of events that inherently led to the pursuit of a music career.
What's interesting about Carley's story is that she doesn't have a history of musicianship or a lifelong dream of being on stage. Before finding herself in the artist seat, Bearden was a softball player checking College off her list of life to-do's that we're all handed with our high school diplomas. She found herself looking to materialistic things to fill a void she couldn't find with her physical eyes when she connected with a longtime friend, and fellow Fort Worth artist, Averi Burk. It was then that a homesick Carley learned to harness her creativity and use that ability to express herself. Soon the collegiate softball player found herself on a stage, nervously singing into a mic, surrounded by "the boys" (her band) and a crowd of 180 people. Bearden recalls, "Though it was my first show, and I sounded nervous, I felt so free. This needed to happen." That single experience sealed the deal for Carley for her foreseeable future and she hit the pavement running towards music.
photo by Chlo Subia
Carley soon began taking social media to the extreme. She covers what that means in terms of sponsorships, brand deals, and other ways she was able to make money as an artist. This came easily for the artist after she found success on Tik Tok and brands turned more towards 'micro influencers' that showcase originality.
"You don't have to have a song thats trending... you don't even have to be known. You just have to have a drive. [People] can tell."
Speaking of originality. Cabus prompts Bearden in their conversation with a question that shifts the topic towards 'creating an aesthetic' and how many artists get caught up in that. "It's important to be your authentic self because people can tell. Everyone is just now starting to realize that, and I'm happy. That's what drives all of the love." Carley confesses that she still struggles with the aesthetic even though she likes that her aesthetic 'doesn't match her sound'.
photo by Chlo Subia
After discovering her own lane in the world genres as Southern Indie Pop, Carley and her band are gearing up to release an EP sometime in the future, however, at the moment we can anticipate a stream of singles. Each of her songs are inspired by personal experiences and leave the artist completely open and vulnerable but it feels like she exists in this space, inviting the rest of us to follow suit.
Check out the Artist Uprising podcast to listen to the full conversation with Carley Bearden and other interviews with creatives from across the globe. You can find Carley online on her Instagram and website.