CARMEN WHO?

Time is something many of us take for granted. We waste minutes, hours, days or years wishing and hoping, rather than doing or positioning ourselves for our time. Carmen Rodgers takes advantage of the time she’s given, creating opportunities for herself through relationships and effort, then she writes a few songs about it. It’s been over ten years since she released her debut album Free, but the time is perfect for Stargazer, her latest offering of experiences, wishes, hopes and love.

Pushing her own creativity, Rodgers added a 14-piece string section to this album, as she aimed to make a “complete” album—complete in the sense that it reaches all emotions lyrically and the production provoke the same results. It took some time for this album to come together; the form of it changed a few times, taking its final turn after connecting with Zo! and the Foreign Exchange and allowing the vibe developed by the acts take her on the road. It was that time spent with Phonte, Nicolay and Zo! that created the space for Stargazer to meld into a cohesive project.

he origins of this album began back in Dallas, Texas in the imagination of a little girl; that little girl dreamed of singing her songs with crowds of people who knew and felt the words she was singing. Fast forward a few years and that little girl is traveling with N’Dambi, still dreaming of being in front, when one day she finally steps out into a changing music business. As the major labels looked to clone megastars and provide little attention to “niche” artists, Carmen Rodgers went the independent route to release Free. It wasn’t long before she learned Industry Rule #4080 (record company people are shady) was more than a line from a Tribe Called Quest song, and it became part of her life. In the ten years since, she’s grown, not only as an artist, but as a businesswoman. She found that she could no longer defer to the experience or expertise of others without cementing who she was first. She says, “I had to understand who I was as an artist, what I wanted for my career and then embrace that”, that became her focus, among so-called experts and music-biz types.

Having grown her fan base organically, Rodgers didn’t attempt to reinvent her wheel on her new album, instead she expanded on her sound. The string arrangements perfectly wed her lyrics and voice; the evidence can be found on the elegant “Charge,” which features Anthony David and took on a new life after the strings were added to the song. The song is sexy, but the romance is accented by the production. There’s something about the arrangement of “Patience” that makes unrequited love feel so whimsical. She sings, “I keep my distance out of respect to you and your girl/I’ll be content with having your friendship…for now,” and you completely forget that she’s plotting on another woman’s man. It sounds so damn good. The bouncy, live instrumentation of “Camille Leon” is a cautionary tale of the pursuit of fame.

Having just wrapped the first leg of her promotional run, Carmen Rodgers is allowing the people to get to know her as she is now. She recently filmed a steamy video for “Charge,” which is due this month, and a video for the title track, which will follow. She encourages fans and those who’ve newly discovered her to share her with their friends and other music lovers, not to try to keep her or her music in their pocket, because they feel others aren’t up on her. We can all start today by purchasing Stargazer—which is released on her own Candigirl Records (distributed by Nia/eOne)…

Al-Lateef Farmer

Look for Carmen Rodgers in a city, on a screen or on a radio near you. Also, look for Carmen’s previous projects “Free” and “The Bitter Suite” with her hit single “It’s Me” which won for MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR at the Bronze Lens Film Festival.

LYRICS

STARGAZER

You and I, perfect kind, sent from the heavens above

Without refrain, I remain true to you my beloved

You and me, meant to be, linked like no other before

The elements coupling

We are so far beyond baby

There’s no coming down

On the other side stargazing

There’s no coming down

You and I, perfect kind, one that could never be broke

Superlative, simile, true as a word never spoke

You and me, meant to be, linked like no other before

The elements coupling

We are so far beyond baby

There’s no coming down

On the other side stargazing

There’s no coming down

We are so far beyond baby

There’s no coming down

All the other stars are gazing

There’s no coming down

Kinetic are we drawn by chemistry

We are one star exploding freely

Blinded by us the stars get jealous

The atmosphere it paints a canvas

Electricity beyond galaxies

The music of the universe begins to play

Flying high, no gravity

Catch a shooting star for me

And hold on, hold on, hold on

We are so far beyond baby

There’s no coming down

On the other side stargazing

There’s no coming down

We are so far beyond baby

There’s no coming down

All the other stars are gazing

There’s no coming down

BEYOND THE STAGE

No matter where I go, I keep on getting back to you

Everything you like, everything you do

I wrote a different story, but the pages turn to you

You waited for an encore that’s been too long overdue

Wanna go back to those days

You had all of me

Fade into your love

Color all of me

Free from all the pain

Brighter side of change

Cause it’s hard to see the light beyond the stage

You capture every part of every single thing I am

Love the way you walk for me, when I can’t even stand

Turn the music down, so I can try to hear again

Close the curtain, break the mic, so we can now began

You had all of me

Fade into your love

Color all of me

Free from all the pain

Brighter side of change

Cause it’s hard to see the light beyond the stage

Now that I have you

(I don’t want to ever let you go)

To live beside you

(Loosing you, I just can’t take no more)

Somebody told me that love can be the way to the stars

So it’s time to capture ours

Cause I’m living for your smile, not the applause

And I’m happy that we made it this far

Wanna go back to those days

You had all of me

Fade into your love

Color all of me

Free from all the pain

Brighter side of change

Cause it’s hard to see the light beyond the stage

CAMILLE LEON

Camille Leon is on her way

She wants to be a superstar some day

And any way she can, Camille Leon

A gypsy roaming wild and free

She will lean on her youth and her beauty

Oh, it’s the master plan, Camille Leon

She thinks this will change her life

What she doesn’t realize is

No matter where you go, there you are

(Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo)

Her name in lights is what she dreams

And making it out it all she sees

She’s blinded the gleam, Camille Leon

With nothing more she can exchange

She chose to make the casting couch her stage

A woman of extreme, Camille Leon

With a past so full of lies

Her new life is the way to hide

But no matter where you go, there you are

(Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo)

(Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo)

The path you chose is a lonely road

Face your fears, there’s something more

Don’t have to walk that road alone

You can change, there so much more

MAKE A WAY

I was not looking for no love affair
But where would I have found you
You know my life ain’t been no crystal stair
Never knowing which road to choose
(Then you) stepped right in and took control, yeah
(And all) the broken promises were made whole

 

Should’ve known from the start
You would make a way to my heart
Should’ve known from the start
You would make a way to my heart
Should’ve known, should’ve known

You traveled so far (so far) to find me
You held a compass to my heart (my heart) to guide me
(In your arms) I find tranquility so sweet, oh yeah
(I know you) you searched a lifetime just for me, yeah

Should’ve known from the start
You would make a way to my heart
Should’ve known from the start
You would make a way to my heart
Should’ve known, should’ve known

I was not looking for no love affair
But you found me
And now I see the possibility
Between you and me, between you and me

Should’ve known from the start
You would make a way to my heart
Should’ve known from the start
You would make a way to my heart
Should’ve known, should’ve known

(I should’ve known from the start)

Should’ve known, should’ve known

(That you would make a way to my heart)

CHARGE

Lookin at you, the world never knew
Bout me and you and how so comfortable
We laugh, we feel, our hearts concealed
Broke down to build this love so real

I grant your wish. You blow a kiss.
Our hearts dismiss all the loving we missed
The truth, no lies. Our hearts recognize
The look in our eyes. I’m so high I can’t deny it

Being here with you the world it feels so new
Nothing to prove; and oh how natural
We talk, we kiss, moment of bliss
Hard to resist a touch like this

I took a charge and you blew my heart up
Knew it from the start, just didn’t wanna give you up
My heart, my soul, this love so bold
Every little part of me feels chemistry
You blew my heart up

So warm like the sun, could it be that you’re the one
From your charge I’m so high
My heart’s open wide. Let’s give it a try

Just you and me, no mystery
Are we meant to be for the whole world to see
The truth, no lies. No acting surprised
Look into my eyes. I’m so high I can’t deny it

HEARTLESS

It’s my turn to be the fool

To wear my heart on my sleeves

Instead of trying to keep my cool

But begging you I refuse to do

This what I have to give

I hope that it’s enough for you

So if you wanna hear I’m sorry (well I’m sayin it)

And if you think it’s another game (I’m not playin it, no)

You can see me standing here, trying to make it clear

I want to be with you, but waiting I just cannot do

I’m not trying to be heartless

But when will you come back to me

This love, this love, love (2x)

Ok, I admit I made mistakes

I offer you the upper hand

Instead of trying to plead my case

Just say the word and I will stay

Just keep in mind, today’s the day

Or I will have to walk away

So if you wanna hear I’m sorry (well I’m sayin it)

And if you think it’s another game (I’m not playin it, no)

You can see me standing here, trying to make it clear

I want to be with you, but waiting I just cannot do

I’m not trying to be heartless

But when will you come back to me

This love, this love, love

Make up your mind, you need to let me know

Running out of time, you need to let me know

INTERMISSION MUSIC

This is a pause, we’re just at halftime

Sequel’s the interval’s end

We go to break, an intermission

We’ll be together again

We take a rest, just for a moment

Our mutual story goes on

Stay tuned throughout, this interval signal

Promising much more to come

Now I go, but I’m coming back to you

One day I will return

I promise to come if you love me

And I know that you do, I know that you do

PATIENCE

If I kiss you just one time what harm would it do

I know that you want me to, but for now…

I keep my distance out of deep respect to you and your girl

I’d be content in having your friendship, but for now…

I’m learning patience crushing on you

I know I shouldn’t crave your touch

But baby I do

I know we’ve got a long way to go

But true colors will show

Is it that she got there a moment before

Who knows what faith had in store

For us

So I’ll just wait right here

Till it seems so clear that it’s me you choose

I wanna wait right here, with nothing to fear

Till it’s me and you

I keep my distance out of deep respect to you and your girl

I’d be content in having your friendship, but for now…

I’m learning patience crushing on you

I know I shouldn’t crave your touch

But baby I do

I know we’ve got a long way to go

But true colors will show

Till it’s me and you (I’m learning patience)

Till it’s me and you (I’m learning patience)

Till it’s me and you (I’m learning patience)

Till it’s me and you

NOT SURE

Now I know you’ve got to make things happen

But I want to know what happened to us

Now what you do with your time I respect it

Thought that if I did I would never feel rejected or pushed away

I done been around for you like a record

But somehow it feels like a broken record nowadays

And we’ve been everywhere, all around the world together

In the same room but we’re ever so far away

And it seems that you’ve exchanged quality

For quantity in things, the glitz and glam

(Now I ain’t complaining, I’m only explaining

what this has done to me)

Never wanted to be a minstrel show

Said I wanted to have your heart and soul

But your heart and your soul you went and sold away

And I don’t know how much more I can take

I’m not sure what to do about you

I’m not sure what to do about you

I’m not sure what to do about you

I’m not sure what to do about you

You said to trust you with all I had and so I did

You wanted to have a better life and make big

But you’re hardly the man I knew

So in my mind something’s gotta give

Being real is what makes you a superstar

I love you baby not for what you do but who you are

And hopefully one of these days soon you will see

I hope you see just how it used to be

I’m not sure what to do about you

I’m not sure what to do about you

I’m not sure what to do about you

I’m not sure what to do about you

STAY

People change, they grow apart

So unpredictable matters of the heart

But you and I are cut from a different cloth

Don’t let my failure be our fall

I made a mistake, don’t let it end

Any price I will pay, my life I’ll spend

To get another chance, swim a thousand seas

Please don’t go away, just stay with me

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away

Stay with me, don’t leave

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away

Stay with me, don’t leave

You and me, we were built to last

Lean on our future, let go the past

No fairy tales, this is my appeal

One thing remains and that’s how we feel

I made a mistake, don’t let it end

Any price I will pay, my life I’ll spend

To get another chance, swim a thousand seas

Please don’t go away, just stay with me

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away

Stay with me, don’t leave

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away

Stay with me, don’t leave

Don’t turn away, it’s not too late

Don’t turn away, it’s not too late

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away

Stay with me, don’t leave

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away

Stay with me, don’t leave

LOVE STORIES

There was a girl, grew up in a small town

With people who knew all about her

They said she was smart, she had a good heart

And every night her mother

Read a storybook that she took

And fell asleep to starry nights

Finding her dreams were turning to

A philosophy of love

But who knew that there was

Something that she was afraid of

Her reflections of her beauty

Wasn’t her reality

Oh, but nobody cared, nobody shared

Except one boy who loved her

He would buy her confection to gain her affection

And listen to her story

She told stories of love, stories of life and laughter

When fairy tales come true, she lives happily every after

And it seems it’s all a dream

When fantasy is reality

And love comes knocking at your door

Love won’t wait

Love wont wait

Love wont wait

The boy he grew to be the man she knew

As someone who truly loved her

He is fascinating, he sends her heart blazing

He becomes her someone true

Oh, what she uncovers so few have discovered

The key to finding happiness

It takes being smart, you must have a good heart

Be open to share stories

She told stories of love, stories of life and laughter

When fairy tales come true, she lives happily every after

And it seems it’s all a dream

When fantasy is reality

And love comes knocking at your door

Love won’t wait for you to find that it’s open to discovery

Love made a promise to never, ever turn away

From you and me, I believe that one day

I’ll share stories of love, stories of life and laughter

When fairy tales come true, I’ll live happily every after

And it seems it’s all a dream

When fantasy is reality

And love comes knocking at my door

Love won’t wait (love won’t wait)

Love won’t wait (love won’t wait)

Love won’t wait (love won’t wait)

For me, for me, for me

T.Y.S.

What else can I give to you, without giving all myself

Then what would I have left me

What else can I say to you, when my words fall on deaf ears

And you still go and do your own thing

Listen, listen, listen, don’t speak

Until you’ve really thought this through

Don’t try, don’t try and appease me with kind words

When you actions tell the truth

Tell your story at the door, cuz I’ve heard it all before

And now I’m not so sure if I

Want this love anymore, so I’ll leave it all to you

To do what you gon’ do

You claim that you know me

But if you know me like you say

How could you keep treating me this way

Oh, this gets so old

Running hot then running cold

Swear you’ll stay but then you go away

Listen, listen, listen, don’t speak

Until you’ve really thought this through

Don’t try, don’t try and appease me with kind words

When you actions tell the truth

Tell your story at the door, cuz I’ve heard it all before

And now I’m not so sure if I

Want this love anymore, so I’ll leave it all to you

To do what you gon’ do

It’s too late, you can’t stay

Your bed was made, time to lay

It’s too late, you can’t stay

Your bed was made, time to lay

Tell your story at the door, cuz I’ve heard it all before

And now I’m not so sure if I

Want this love anymore, so I’ll leave it all to you

To do what you gon’ do