-----CARLA HASSETT BIO-----
Carla Hassett takes the listener on an introspective journey on her third album, CIRCULO, revealing expressions of sorrow, joy, grief and redemption and one that allows you to travel through time into a world of upbeat adventures. From Brazil to Chicago to Los Angeles, and back again; the sultry Brazilian-born singer and composer returns to her roots and back to the sounds that made her fall in love with the music that captured her spirit forever. Sexy samba blends with the slow grooves of American soul in twelve tantalizing tracks, sung in both English and Portuguese. Carla’s journey to introduce her audience to the passion she found in music helped her to draw inspiration from a deeper, more emotinal place.
Maturing as an artist communing between continents and cultures, Carla struggled to find her own voice, which often felt pulled in opposing directions. Eventually she found a way to pay homage to and integrate the creative landscape of Brazil with the soulful sounds she heard on Chicago’s unsegregated pop radio stations. Her voice became a place where all her divergent influences coexist harmoniously in one place.
“I wanted to take my audience back to the music that defined me as an artist,” says Carla. “Growing up in Chicago in a very Brazilian home where we spoke only Portuguese, I fell in love with the samba, bossa nova, and MPB that my parents played, as well as the soul and pop music on the radio; music like Bill Withers, Al Green, Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac.”
The melodies on CIRCULO take a cue from the popular music she listened to as a girl. Carla remembered hearing songs that spoke to her of love and loss, while always holding onto a sliver of hope. It was a universal theme which resonated in the passionate music and culture of Brazil. A regular visitor to São Paulo, Carla moved back to the place of her birth for almost a year while working on the album. She immersed herself in the electrifying energy and culture of the city and its contemporary, sizzling community of artists.
“Talking of coming full circle,” shares Carla. “When I was in São Paulo, I was living in an apartment that was in an area near to where I was born, and unbeknownst to me until later, just around the corner from where my parents met while they were in college.”
Unlike her previous album, “Quero Saber,” which featured an eclectic mix of acclaimed collaborators (including Mike Patton), Carla made CIRCULO a personal journey and claimed the music as her own. Spearheaded and produced by Léo Costa, the album makes use of Los Angeles’ impressive community of working Brazilian musicians, bringing an audible authenticity to the project. Guest producer James Gadson, the legendary drummer and vocalist (who worked with a slew of artists including Bill Withers, Martha Reeves, Randy Crawford, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, BB King, and Rose Royce), recorded Carla’s vocals on the board that he purchased from Berry Gordy; Motown’s west coast board, which was used to record the iconic artists who helped to shape the distinctive Motown sound.
“I want people to experience the joy of music, to see where that passion comes from,” says Carla. “I didn’t want to rely on anyone else to make that journey happen. This was my full-circle story, although James Gadson did make a special appearance on my cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Another Day to Run.’ Hopefully, CIRCULO warmly beckons you to listen to the album when you feel sad, so that it might fill your heart with a touch of Brazilian alegria, esperança e amor.”
Having had her voice likened to Bebel Gilberto and Flora Purim, there is just no denying that Carla’s music has been defined by her own experiences. With a versatile and skilled voice, Carla has toured and recorded with popular acts such as Billy Idol, REO Speedwagon, Gino Vannelli, Solomon Burke, Jon Anderson (Yes), Christopher Cross, Sergio Mendes, Mimi Betinis, Mike Patton, and many other American and Latin artists. She sang on feature films Ask the Dust and Rio (including the Oscar nominated track "Real In Rio") and as a backup singer in the 2012 Latin Grammy Person of the Year show honoring Caetano Veloso and featuring, among others, Seu Jorge, Natalie Cole, Nelly Furtado, Juanes, Alejandro Sanz, Juan Luis Guerra, and Lila Downs.
Carla regularly traverses North and South America and continues to perform in venues big and small. She teaches music at Flea’s Silverlake Conservatory of Music and continues to work as a performing and studio vocalist.