What surprised me the most about Todd Carey was how easy it was talking to him, forgetting every now and then that I didn’t personally know the singer. He’s the type of person that could be anyone’s buddy, the worst and best type of artist to interview, because the flow of conversation is so seamless. A conversation on his career quickly turned into our mutual appreciation for Katy Perry, or comparing our Spotify’s top 10 songs of the year. (His is less embarrassing.)
Basically, Carey always has something to say.
He will continue to join a group of amazing artists in Train’s Sail Across the Sun’s music festival cruise in Miami, which I mentioned was cool because Train’s ‘Meet Virginia’ is one of my favorite songs.
“I think that that puts your music taste already in a cool place,” he said, “That’s such a cool song.”
So, that’s how I found myself in a cool place doing a cool interview with the very cool musician Todd Carey.
Recently releasing his hit single “Don’t Know When to Quit,” it’s the third release from his upcoming album.
“This song is definitely a major departure from me, which I don’t get to say very often. I don’t think people expect the unexpected from me. They see this smiley guy with catchy, well-crafted music, and they think that’s what I’m about. It’s awesome, and I worked very hard to create what I do, and who I am. But it’s rare that I get the opportunity to throw a curveball, so to speak, and ‘Don’t Know When to Quit’ is definitely that.”
The track itself is darker than most of the sound Carey typically is known to put out. It starts in a very minor key, and there’s no instant melody to reel the listener, say, like his major hit song “Nintendo,” but that’s because Carey wants the audience to listen closely.
The title of the song only offers one truth. The second is discovered listening to the song. Carey expresses a less obvious truth to those that don’t personally know him.
“But I guess I don’t know when to quit,” he sings in the chorus, “And I don’t give a sh**.”
After touring nationally and performing on stage with such diverse artists, like Fall Out Boy, Andy Grammer, The 1975, John Mayer, Jason Mraz and O-Town, Todd Carey has solidified that he isn’t going anywhere. He doesn’t want to offend his haters, Carey is too nice of a guy for that. But he does suggest that they stop wasting their time.
“It’s inspired from certain people telling me that I don’t have what it takes to make it in this music universe. This year was a huge year for me. I got married, I had a baby, and I’m just giving less of a shit about people’s opinion of what I should be doing, or if I have what it takes. I think this was the first time that I was able to put that into words.”
“Lyrically, it is super different than anything I’ve done. It’s honest and autobiographical, and it’s like addressing very much who I am as a person, and putting it out there for everyone to hear. The next song is a ballad, called ‘Infinity,’ coming out January 10th, which I actually haven’t told anybody.”
I am at a cool place doing a cool interview with the very cool Todd Carey, now given his cool new song’s exclusive release date: January 10th.
In his new album, Carey dabbles with different styles. This is perfectly welcomed in a time where the biggest song of 2019 was the fusion-of-rap-and-country masterpiece Old Town Road.
“Listeners today are less genre-ist. This project for me is a reflection of that. Letting go a bit, and not forcing it to be this one thing.”
“Everyday you open Spotify, there’s a million new songs coming at you. I think artists are following suit and trying to be included in that. Without feeling pressured, it kind of inspired me to want to do that, to put out more music, do it more regularly. There is a very big ‘but’ on this,” he laughs, almost revealing a name, but he corrects, “People can do that and easily sacrifice quality. An amazing piece of music is going to stand on its own, and it doesn’t matter if there is a lot of music around it. If you’re pushing music just to be in the headlines, then it can be a smart marketing move, but not necessarily about great music.”
So, what constitutes a great song for the “Nintendo” singer?
“I don’t think anyone really 1,000% knows if it’s going to be popular until it’s out there. I think it’s important to be honest with yourself and surround yourself with people who are honest with you.”
This is especially true considering how many of pop’s biggest stars, like Katy Perry and Madonna, are putting out singles, even albums that are not managing to chart. It’s impossible to know what will hit with the masses, and this laborious fact extends to all areas of life. Even nudes and affairs don’t guarantee press anymore.
Carey is as talented at singing as he is at song writing (this is the first time that I say this complimentary), so I had to ask the most controversial question in the music industry, depending on the job of whom you’re asking. What’s more important: good lyrics or a good beat melody?
“That’s a tough one, man. I’ve actually read over the years that a hit track is more important than hit lyrics, or a hit melody. A piece of music can sell a song and make it a hit. It has a better chance of making something a hit than what’s on top of it.”
Carey has sure been hitting the hit pieces of music touring with such amazing, world-known artists. But could he pick a favorite?
“I would say Train. Out of all those artists, they are the only ones I’ve gotten to actually perform with them. I am so grateful to them, the lease they have now given me over my career. I’ve also loved opening for The 1975, I am such a huge fan of them.”
And everyone can celebrate the new decade watching the cool and talented Todd Carey perform live with Train in Miami, February 14th – 19th.