Today we’d like to introduce you to Carolina Hoyos.
Carolina, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I am a first generation Peruvian Quechua-Inca Afro-Latina. I was born in Washington, DC, and spent my childhood between Virginia and Baltimore. I’ve lived in NYC, San Francisco and Montgomery, Alabama, but LA is my home.
I’m very vocal about creating more space for equality in the world. I come from a line of philanthropist women and was taught early on that I could contribute my art as a way to uplift my community.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I write and act for stage and film and release records as singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist, A Girl I Know.
I also write and perform with improv and sketch comedy troupes around Los Angeles, and I’m in development to direct a couple of film and television projects I’ve written.
I create and perform as a way of communicating. I see art as language, and I consider music to be my first. I started playing the piano when I was two years old before I could really speak English or Spanish clearly. My need to create is often born out of a need to find release – often due to trauma – where I find a way to express what I’m going through. I rely on so many artistic mediums and have collected so many instruments to never feel stagnant and always find inspiration, kind of like a playground of toy instruments where it’s not about sounding good–it’s about getting out a feeling. That being said, expressing trauma doesn’t make my work all sad. I perform with a couple of comedy troupes where a lot of my work is celebrating the good inside the bad. And if it’s something I’m cast in, there is an inevitable reason I need that project at that point in my life to learn a lesson about myself and find a deeper connection to the world we’re living in.
A recent project I was cast in opened the door to singing in Spanish, and I loved it so much. Now I sing half my set in Spanish and will release Spanish language music this year. One of my goals is to learn Quechua, to connect more deeply to my Native roots. I also want to write my next album in Quechua.
Ultimately, in all that I create, I want people to see themselves. Growing up without proper representation in media created many roadblocks in my development. I want to eliminate that feeling for others and have them stand up and celebrate their heritage. If my work inspires others to create their own art or even just to stay out of trouble, then my job is done.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Grade school arts programs have suffered, and vital early life exposure to the arts is limited, creating more of a need for outside non-profit organizations to pick up the pieces. Organizations like Chicas Rockeras SELA are taking it even further with their annual band camp. I’d love to see more of that.
The new digital market has made it easier for artists to create work more affordably and you don’t really have to wait for anyone to give you the green light. But in today’s world, you need to know so many aspects of the business in order to cut through and find stability from your work. It’s a lot of work to be the best artist you can be while also being the best marketer you can be. You have to really want it to devote so much of your life to it. It really can’t be just a hobby if you want this to be your Full-Time thing. You are more likely to get struck by lightning. You could hire a team, but there are no guarantees that the team will produce any results and that money would have been better spent creating more ways to drum up your own buzz.
Writing for private funding grants and applying for creative fellowships to further a career in the arts, once you have a portfolio, is also a great avenue. We have the lowest per capita public arts spending, which is a shame, but there are other avenues. There is a method to the madness of applying and it is very similar to the marketing arm I mentioned above. It’s a skill you have to work to get good at. Local non-profits could offer more grant writing seminars and emphasize their importance in the field to give artists a crucial leg up in the field.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Come see a live show. I perform sketch comedy with Dad Jeans every third Friday of the month at ACME Noho. I’m singing my original songs at Yarmar Celebration at Haramokngna Cultural Center in late April. I’m also singing in an experimental opera called Sweet Land at L.A. Dance Project Studios in early May.
And Lift up authentic stories from people of color by liking, commenting and sharing our stories–all that social media good stuff. Watch Too Old To Die Young on June 14th on Amazon Prime and when you see me, shout me out from the rooftops! (of social media) 😉
- Website: http://CarolinaHoyos.com
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/agirliknow/
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/agirliknow/
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/agirliknowmusic
- Other: https://linktr.ee/agirliknow
Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.