A hiring freeze in 2014 made something clear to Carole Walker: her well-paying bank job had put a hold on her calling as a songwriter for far too long. She quit this job with no plan, and has spent the last four years on a journey fueled by her love of creating soulful music to connect people. This Columbus Songwriters Association member has a storied history of taking on big passion projects, honing her guitar skills and performing at various events, including CSA’s monthly showcases. On Thursday, March 1 at 6 p.m., talented musicians like Carole Walker will play original, new songs for audience feedback at the CSA March Showcase.
Michelle: When I interviewed Anthony Mossburg, he told me the biggest challenge of leaving a full-time job to go 100 percent into songwriting was the doubt he faced from people. What helped you stay steady on this path?
Carole: Doubt is the constant companion for anyone stepping out into new adventures, but what has helped me keep the path true is not being so set on where the path has to go. For the longest time I had a very formed vision of what I thought it meant to be an artist or a songwriter and what that needed to look like in order for me to see myself as successful and, to a greater scale, happy. Chasing that vision didn’t make me happy, and it only served to keep me making lateral moves artistically. Simplifying my mission to “I want all aspects of my life to intersect with music,” has opened up my scope to say “yes” to more opportunities and has made me more confident in saying “no” to projects that don’t feed my creativity.
Michelle: What’s the best thing about the Columbus art scene and music community?
Carole: My favorite part of the art scene is its abundance and diversity. My husband and I did a summer with just going to the festivals and there was something each week in every part of the city. It welcomes you to participate at whatever level you are at.
Carole Walker sings to CSA Finale Showcase Audience.
Michelle: What really amazes me is your ability to write and perform deeply heartfelt songs about the highs and the lows of life. Do you prefer writing happy or sad songs? What about performing?
Carole: I don’t know if I see songs as just happy or sad anymore. Everything just shines on the spectrum of all the colors of these human emotions. When I first started writing it was very cathartic and mostly came from a working out a negative situation. Now, I see that things spill over and get messy. Everything has its lights and darks but that’s okay, too. Songs are just portals to these moments, to the sights, smells, sounds and emotions of what created that song.
Michelle: Last December at CSA’s 2017 Finale Showcase you were selected to create a video project with Tell Collective, a commercial video and film production company — and I am totally psyched that you were! What exactly went through your mind when this happened?
Carole: I really couldn’t believe it. I just was so grateful for the opportunity that I was at a loss for words. We have started working on the concept and I still feel like I need to pinch myself.
Michelle: After you were chosen, you gave compelling advice to the audience about different ways they could help support local musicians. What advice would you like to share now?
Carole: I ultimately believe we are here to connect with one another. Support your community and be in service to each other. There are so many ways we can be involved with projects that intersect with our passions by just making an effort to reach out to one another. Simply saying, “I like what you do, what can I do to help you?” can open the door that can take you places that would be beyond your imagination.
Let amazing artists like Carole Walker take you to a place beyond your imagination, and go to the CSA March Showcase at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 1 at Brothers Drake Meadery. Just show up! Or, visit CSA’s website, columbussongwritersassociation.com, for more info.
Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art and sharing information about exhibitions, performances, concerts and more at ColumbusMakesArt.com. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at how #artmakescbus.