By Patte Pucell
Photo by Scott Pam Photography
I’ve been interviewing artists and writing this column for a while now. I have never interviewed anyone where I repeatedly got goose bumps while doing the interview. It finally happened when I spoke with Gina Carey an incredibly talented vocalist, musician, producer, composer, artist, film maker and overall incredibly inspiring person.
Her story starts with her dad, a pastor who encouraged her talent at a very young age. She said she was terrified at first to sing in front of an audience but her Dad pushed her and it was part of God’s plan for her. She started to perform at talent shows and was soon getting paid to sing at school district functions, corporate parties, fundraisers and homes for the elderly. She sang primarily gospel music.
In 1996, while living in the Inland Empire, she was hired to do vocals on a CD and perform on a Christian R&B label. She soon got her own offer and was signed by Brownstone Records, a dream come true for her. Her first CD sold 10,000 copies worldwide and went to #1 on the gospel music charts in the UK. She was traveling all over the US on tour and having a great time. Unfortunately, the label ran off with all the money. Gina was very disappointed as her dreams came to a grinding halt. She was a single parent at the time. She decided that she didn’t want anyone else to control her dreams and she would do it herself. She didn’t want to wait on people to make things happen for her because she believed she could go further on her own power. She never looked back. She took her tax refund of $2,000 and went to Guitar Center and asked them “what do I need to buy to record my own music?” She took the equipment home and ‘continued to bug them’ with questions on how to do it. She recorded her 2 gospel CDs and a third one in 2003.
In 2006, she won the Black Music Award, which was presented to her by one of the Pointer Sisters at Cashman Theater in Las Vegas. She walked the red carpet and sites it as one of the most profound moments of her career. She realized that she could make things happen for herself. This is something that has moved her entire career.
Today she’s recorded 12 CDs and owns her own recording and film studio. Her Melodic CD, hit #1 on the UK Soul charts CD in 2011.The UK embraces Gina’s music. In addition, her music is distributed in the UK, Africa, and Japan. She will be touring there next year.
She won the ‘Marker Broadcasting Jazz Artist Award’ in 2012. She has also won ‘Best Adult Contemporary’ Coachella Valley Music Award in 2015 and 2016. She just released “Tribute to eh Music” a collaboration with Tom Glide. She wrote the lyrics and sang. On June 18 it hit #1 on the Top 30 Song Charts in the UK.
Most ladies would be happy to rest on their musical laurels but not Gina. Her artistic passions also include theatre and writing plays. Her first one called “Ripple Effect” was a sold out show at the Ontario Fox Theater.
She married the popular guitarist and vocalist John Carey (Smooth Brothers) in 2010 and moved to the desert.
Together they did another production called “What would you do?” which premiered at Cal State San Bernardino. In 2015, while preparing for the premiere of her 3rd live stage play, “The Unexpected,” her lead actress had to drop out due to other commitments. However, despite of the setbacks, she decided to use that experience in a positive way and launch, Gina Carey Films. This was the pivotal point of her career that catapulted her into filmmaking. She decided it was better to film it. She wrote, produced and directed it. The film premiers in February.
To date she has received 4 nominations in film festivals and has won Christian awards for her films. This year she premiered it at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs to a packed theater of 200 people. She gave her cast the ‘red carpet experience’ and showed her appreciation for their wonderful work.
Gina is now working on a documentary film called “Aspire to Inspire” about triumphing through tragedy.
It features Stanley Butler and Officer Walter Combs. The premier is on September 19 and 26 at 6pm at the Education Tolerance Center in Rancho Mirage. It is open to the public. You can get the details at www.ginacareyfilms.com
Gina writes, produces, directs and edits the movies herself. She is truly a creative talent in every way.
She’s also started the ‘Coachella Valley Independent Film Makers and Actors Guild’ to bring aspiring people in the film industry together. They meet once a month. You can get details and become a member by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a free event.
She and John do a big concert once a year together and are doing one in November. Their latest offering includes a live concert at their home weekly which is turning out to be a great success.
If you haven’t seen Gina sing you are really missing out! You can find her at Fisherman’s Grotto on Wednesdays and Fridays and Rancho Las Palmas on Saturday nights from 6-10.
When I asked Gina for a message for her fans, she said “I want to live my life as a blessing to people. I want to be an inspiration. I want to give opportunities to artists. I want to be the person that opens doors. I want to put smiles on faces.”
When contacted by other artists asking for advice she tells them, “’get out and do it, stop making excuses.” She tells them she’s a normal person who completes her goals no excuses. “Live your life as a testimony, you can do it!”
Gina Carey, I have never been more impressed by anyone I’ve ever interviewed. You are brilliant.
GINA CAREY FILMS