Carla Fleming is one of Sacramento's premiere R&B/hip hop
singer-songwriters who is gaining visibility in the region with her music. This interview was done Saturday, March 2
at Sac State in front of the Hornet Book Store. As the first of four interviews that focuses on her songwriting
and recording, this segment touches on her childhood growing up in Chicago before she moved to Sacramento.
Carla has been involved with music all her life but began getting involved with professional recording during
the past decade. She has performed at Harlow's and other local venues. Her most recent recordings have been
done at a new state of the art facility in Elk Grove. Carla's music has been featured on
a radio show called "Home Grown Music Show," which formerly aired on V101.
In this second of four SacTV interviews with Sacramento R&B singer/songwriter Carla Fleming,
she talks about her background and love for her high school, Grant Union, which she says has a family atmosphere.
Her songwritng is usually based on emotional true life experiences. She explains how her path to songwriting evolved
from writing school essays to poetry then songs.
Although she's been singing all her life, including during her
youth in Chicago, she began recording songs in Sacramento in the early 90s. One of the messages in her music is
to raising awareness about violence, as heard in her Domestic Disturbance CD. Her song and video "Heartbreaker,"
though, is a humorous view of a woman who has been cheated on by a boyfriend as she seeks revenge. The video is very
state of the art and was produced by local filmmaker Nick Leisure.
"Weapons Down" Program
Here is the third segment of SacTV's interview series with Carla Fleming from
March 2 at Sac State in front of the Hornet Book Store. In this segment Carla talks about how some of her music
comments on society. Her project "Weapons Down" is a song and video that raises awareness about various types of
violence. It's based on the Sandy Hook incident in which a young man in Connecticut shot and killed several children
in a classroom late last year.
The project involves several other local artists including jazz musician Garret Perkins,
who wrote the music for "Weapons Down" while Carla and others wrote the lyrics. "Take action now / put your weapons down"
were the words that the rest of the lyrics were built on. The group is organizing a "Weapons Down" concert in May.
Carla believes that music can spread peaceful vibrations, as in "Feels Good" by Sacramento/Bay Area artist Tony! Toni! Tone!.
The song was a national top ten pop hit and number one R&B hit in 1990.
Carla's Musical Ambitions
This fourth and final segment of SacTV's interview series with Carla Fleming from
March 2 at Sac State focuses on her future as an artist. "I would like to travel and perform," Carla says, confirming
that she would like to take her music beyond Sacramento. She would also like to be a contender with national acts
when people walk into a record store, as she wants her cover art to compete with national acts.
Her music is authentic
as well as commercial and she is aware how to package a commercial product from recording to mixing to mastering.
She works with producers who can bring extra professional talent to her work. She understands the different between
timeless and trendy songwriting, as she points out that certain music has staying power, which is the direction she
wants to keep moving.
She asserts, "I think because I write about the human condition that that's forever, like that
never changes." Time will tell if her musical dreams come true. For now she is leading the local R&B scene with
very catchy and memorable songs like "Heartbreaker" and "Rise Again."