Carlos Vara

Carlos Vara

Following up his single “Confident” released in February, Nashville-based artist Carlos Vara is back with the new single titled “Impossible”.

Co-written by Carlos Vara, Josh Bruce Williams, Catt Gravitt and produced by Stint, “Impossible” is about Vara’s toxic relationship with himself.

“I was very unstable at the time, and writing this song really allowed me to take a step back and really address that within myself. And confront myself. And ask myself why I am constantly in a state of self sabotage. It was a hard song to write but it was important to get it out,” explains Vara.

Vulnerable, honest and memorable, the 22 year old artist showcases poignant lyrics along with powerful and emotional vocals with this new single.

By telling his personal story, Vara is encouraging the world to be unapologetically themselves throughout his art and his message.

Signed to Warner Records, Carlos Vara is a name you want to keep on your radar.

“Impossible” is now available worldwide.

Photo credit:  Marcus Cooper

Photo credit: Marcus Cooper

Please introduce yourself - where are you from?

Heyy!!!! I’m Carlos Vara. I just turned 22. I grew up in South Carolina but now call Nashville, TN home.

Could you describe us your childhood a little bit? Any favorite memories?

I had a pretty unique experience growing up. My dad is from El Salvador, and my mom is Greek-American; so you can only imagine the strong personalities in my family haha. From the time I was born till about 3rd grade, my parents were nightclub owners. Around 3rd grade, my dad has this whole life conversion, and he closed everything down in one day and became a pastor.
So, my childhood memories range from playing games with my sister in the VIP room of the nightclub while reggaeton music is blasting through the walls, to being at my dad’s church everyday of the week and watching my family sing in the worship band. I guess my favorite part of all of the craziness was that I was introduced to the arts at a very young age.

Growing up, what were you passionate about?

I never really enjoyed school or sports, but I was always fascinated by music and writing things. I loved singing but it was just something I instinctually did. I never thought in a million years I would be known for my voice, because I never thought I’d actually have the guts to sing in front of people. Writing was the first thing I fell in love with. I had a 3rd grade teacher who was very big on creative writing, and I fell in love with it. I was dead set on growing up and becoming an author someday.

Do you remember your early musical memories?

So so so many. Singing in the car with my mom. Listening to early 2000’s pop on the radio. Singing in church. And many more!

What did you grow up listening to?

Well, with my dad being a Latin night club owner when I was younger, he always listened to variety of Latin music reagatton, bachata, and cumbia. Now, he only listens to Christian music. My mom was pretty young when she had me, so I have lots of memories of her blasting Mariah, Whitney, Christina and pretty much everything on pop radio. Her parents were super musical as well and raised her on the Beatles and all the hippy music in the world. I grew up in the south, so there was always country music around and gospel too. My older sisters would listen to everything from Taylor Swift to My Chemical Romance. I was definitely surrounded by lots of different musical influences.

At what point did you realize music had a special place in your life?

I’ve always had a special connection with music. I remember being a kid and getting emotional in the car listening to certain songs. I don’t think it was till I was about 15/16 when I was like, “Wow, I want to do this forever." I have Tourette’s syndrome, and around freshman year I had to leave school because my tics were so bad that they were causing me pain and injury. I was in my room pretty much everyday, bored out of my mind and lonely. I was hurting a lot mentally and physical, and I needed an outlet. Music became my way of expressing how I felt; it was my release. I spent hours in there everyday singing karaoke on YouTube, learning basic piano chords, and writing lyrics.

When did you decide to fully pursue music as a career? What did your friends and family think of it?

I knew I wanted to pursue it when I was about 15. I auditioned for a reality singing TV show at 16 and was on that for a bit. It was my first real insight to the industry. Prior to that, I had literally never even had a voice lesson in my life or a show. So, I went through that experience, and after I got eliminated I realized that I loved music, but really had no idea who I was as an artist and what I wanted to create. I knew I loved music, but I had so much more growing to do.

A few years later, I had a songwriting friend/mentor who was moving to Nashville and encouraged me to move there too after I graduate. I was still finishing my senior year of high school, but I knew I wanted to go ASAP. I was dead set on getting out of my town and chasing my dream. I got my school to let me do my schoolwork remotely, and I left. I had enough money saved for first months rent, and that’s literally it. Lots of people didn’t expect me to last. I had many friends tell me to rethink my situation and that I’d be back once I realized how hard it was. Luckily, my mom was supportive of my dreams, and my dad was just like “whatevs." 

So, I packed up and left. Got a full time serving job at Chilis, and I wrote songs with anyone willing to write with me. It was terrifying that I had no plan besides working and writing until something happened. I had no idea when that would be - I just knew I refused to ever give up or stop. I had no friends, and I was paying all my bills myself. The first year was full of constant lonely days and soul searching. But it was all needed, and made me the person I am today.

"Impossible" is your new single. What's the story behind this song?

I had written a little version of the chorus one night 2 years ago at like 3am and a verse melody. It just came to me while I was mumbling random words at the keyboard. “Impossible. I’m so Impossible. You’re so impossible” that’s all I really had, and I didn’t really know what it was about, but I knew that it was going to be called “Impossible.”

Could you describe us the songwriting/production process? Who did you work with?

I brought my idea in to a session with two of my fave co-writers in Nashville, Josh Bruce Williams and Catt Gravitt. We dove into it, and initially we were writing it to be about a relationship with someone. But it didn’t feel right.. something about it was not genuine. I had never been in a relationship with anyone and I didn’t feel like I connected. 

So we started over, and then I realized, “holy shit this song is about me." The song is about me battling with myself. I’m really hard on myself and have always struggled with a low self esteem, anxiety and depression. My co-writers really encouraged me to be as honest as possible and helped made this song one of my favorites ever with their lyrics and melodies. The vocal is still from the day we wrote it and demo’d it. After I got signed to my label, I brought the song in to a producer named Stint, who is a badass. He really brought the production to a new level and height that I wanted it to be at. It’s everything I could have ever wanted in a song and more.

What did you feel when writing "Impossible"?

When I wrote “Impossible”, I was going through a very hard time. I hated myself. I knew I loved music, but didn’t really have much love for anything else in my life. I had not been out of the closet for very long, and I was still really struggling with that experience. I carried a lot of pain in my heart and I was honestly a wreck. I was haunted from certain things that have happened in my life growing up and hurt from how certain people reacted to my coming out. I was angry at everyone, and I was working 50 hours a week at restaurants not knowing if I would ever even be good enough to make a career out of music. I was very unstable at the time, and writing this song really allowed me to take a step back and really address that within myself. And confront myself. And ask myself why I am constantly in a state of self sabotage. It was a hard song to write but it was important to get it out.

What made you want to release "Impossible" as a single?

It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. I always try to make all of my songs as honest and vulnerable as possible, but this one really tapped into something that I can’t explain. I was able to pour my hurt into something and create something beautiful out of it. It was a huge step in my healing process. I love love love the song. The lyrics, melodies, the production... this song is a piece of my heart.

What message do you want to convey through this particular song?

That people hurt sometimes. I think a lot of people have felt the way I have. Maybe in different degrees and through different experiences, but we’ve all had battles we’ve had to fight within. 

How would you describe Carlos Vara, the artist?

I’d describe Carlos Vara the Carlos Guevara the kid from South Carolina...except with more eyeliner, haha. I’ve never really thought about this question. I just write what’s on my heart and what I’m going through and hope people connect. I do music because I need to make art to survive and cope - luckily, I’ve been blessed enough to be put in a position where people around the world can get to experience my art and life through cool videos, social media and photo shoots. But at the end of the day, I am always me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a visual... I love a show... I love a lewk... but I am myself. I say what I say. I wear what I wear. I write what I write, and I live how I live. 
I am not afraid to put on display the most extravagant parts of life, or the absolute worst.

What does it mean for you to be an artist? 
To be honest, vulnerable, real, kind and outspoken. Connecting with people. Doing what’s right. Not being afraid to be unapologetically yourself... whatever that is.

What advices would you give to younger generations around the world?

You are beautiful, you are important. You are capable, regardless of what anyone ever says about you. Love others and be kind. Don’t compare yourself. Gay is okay. Love love love love. I could go on and on.

What message do you want to deliver to the LGBTQ+ communities?

I want to be the artist I never had. I’m sure there are plenty of amazing artists who have inspired countless LGBTQ+ people to be themselves and proud. But I personally never had one growing up, probably because I wasn’t allowed to listen to them lol. 

I guess I just want to deliver the message of life and vulnerability. Whether that is a bop or a sad song. I want to encourage people to be themselves and also want to let other people know that it’s not always an easy life of rainbows. It’s hard. A lot of us in the LGBTQ+ have been through some very tough times. I just want to be real about it and tell my story in hopes to inspire others while still giving the gays what they want and need.

How do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for being a kind person. I’m sure there are lots of people who find me crazy, loud and wild. But at the end of the day, I hope that people will say that I’m a loving person who genuinely tries to make everyone feel welcomed and loved. I really want to encourage the world to not be afraid of being themselves, and I want to be remembered for my welcoming spirit, love for humanity and honesty -- also my outfits, because I have PLANSSSS for some wild ones. 

Connect with Carlos: