Carolina Hoyos: A Girl I Know

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Photo by Sami Drasin

As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine’s Summer 2019 – Special Pop Edition

It’s hard to encapsulate someone as prolific and well versed as the LA-based Carolina Hoyos. Not only is she an accomplished DIY indie musician; she’s a working actress, host, director, philanthropist, and overall creative force. Hoyos is releasing her first new single in three years this month, and she’ll also be appearing as an actress in a highly anticipated new Amazon Prime series. Read on to learn more about this inventive superwoman’s creative pursuits.

You’re releasing a new single, “El Diablo,” the first single from your music project, A Girl I Know’s forthcoming EP Disco Encontrado on June 14th. Is the new EP performed entirely in Spanish?

Yes! I found that I sing in a whole new way in Spanish, so I wanted to explore more of this new voice of mine and connect with that side of my culture and my audience at the same time. I’ll get back to English and even some Quechua material as well, but for now, I’m in love with singing in Spanish.

You’ve directed quite a few of your own videos. Can we expect one for the new single as well, and will you be in the director’s chair again for it?

I will be directing a video for the single this summer, yes. I’m teaming up with some incredible women to make some really exciting content this summer. I’m excited to get back to the chair and direct now that my vision has sharpened a bit.

Your 2016 album, The Lost Tapes, which was dedicated to your father and his fight against cancer, was a completely crowdfunded album. Are you taking this same approach with your new EP?

Sort of. I’ve self-funded this first release and will be exploring Patreon, Twitch, and other subscription and tipping based avenues going forward. I’m also pitching content to some studios that may produce some music video films, so it’ll likely be a combination.

What have you found to be the hardest part about crowdsourcing?

Not only is running a funding campaign a doozy, but producing, packaging, and sending out the merch can be a ton of work. If I had to do it over again, I’d try a more digital approach to the kind of perks I’d offer, but I’ve been told that you only get one shot. Audiences have a hard time going to bat for more than one project from the same person. And with so many crowdfunding projects out there now, people are constantly inundated on social media. So it’s really up to the artist to figure out how to be self-sufficient beyond the first successful campaign. It’s tough, but there are other avenues to explore. The Patreon and Twitch options are reasonable, and there are varying levels of support one can offer. I’ve been writing grants and applying to fellowships, with some success. I also collaborate with several friends from comedy troupes I’m in that branch out and work on other projects together. One of my mates, Jazzy Byner, just released her first sketch for her new venture, and she needed a tune to fit the vibe. And now I have a rocking new music video teaser that also ends with a laugh!

https://www.facebook.com/JBPJazzyBProductions/videos/562557514267733/

You’re not just a musician. You’re also a skilled actress. We’ll actually be seeing you on the highly anticipated Amazon Prime series, Too Old to Die Young, which premieres the same day as your single release. Can you tell us a bit about your character, Antonella?

She’s a risk-taker, for sure. She’s caught up in this crazy world with limited options—and it’s bleak, but she’s slowly finding a way to survive. And she’s artistic in her plight, so we’ve got that in common!

You have a very eclectic Peruvian Quechua-Inca Afro-Latina background, and you were just selected as a fellow for the Native American TV Writers Lab. What is the purpose of this workshop, and what are you working on with them right now?

I was selected after writing a sitcom pilot about my Dad moving in with me for cancer treatment. It was a big detour in my life—I had first pulled back from acting in order to rush finishing my record before his treatment was scheduled to start. That’s when I jumped into directing—out of necessity to market the record, but also because I could see the music video and knew what I wanted to do with it. Once my Father’s treatment started, I had to put my career on hold entirely to focus solely on his care. I wasn’t acting or making music at all by that point, so I started getting ideas for shows and films I would make, and I knew I had to learn how to write screenplays in order to convey those ideas to a crew. It all stemmed from being my Father’s caregiver. How something seemingly so dark and depressing could inspire so much creativity in a whole new medium is a real blessing.

In the Writers Lab, I’m digging a bit deeper and stretching to see where else I can go as a writer while I find my voice. They say to write what you know, so, I’m developing a crime drama! I had planned to write another sitcom, but the HBO show Barry inspired me with the way they mash up my two favorite genres (dark comedy + crime). The Lab is not only teaching us story structure and how to develop a new series, but also how to pitch it and the psychology behind it. It’s fascinating stuff, and I’m really grateful for all of the life events that led me to this path and to Patricia Gomes and Ian Skorodin at La Skinsfest for the opportunity.

What’s next after the EP release? Will you be touring?

The EP will roll out gradually over time, and sometime in the next year, I hope to be able to tour. It really just depends on scheduling. I’ve got another series that I’m acting in, that I’ve been asked to write music for, so I’ll be at the behest of a shooting and recording schedule and letting the chips fall where they may.