New Artist Interview: Rob Carona!

Rob Carona hails from San Diego, California. This songwriter moved to Nashville about a year ago to follow his passion of music. Fresh out of high school Rob picked up a guitar and taught himself to play by listening to songs off of the radio. At the time San Diego had a big coffee shop scene so he took the route of artists like Jewel, Jason Mraz, and Jacks Johnson and paid his dues at local venues.

Back then Carona was playing country music, which wasn’t popular in that area. He started testing out other genres, became a song-writer and started touring around the West Coast. Proudest moments include working with Brian Mcknight on a few songs and opening for Kenny Chesney.

“When you go from playing coffeeshops of 20-30 people to an ampitheater of 50,000 people it’s pretty crazy. It’s an eye opening experience of wow it’s a whole new level, understanding the professionalism that goes into that.” A big fan of Chesney, Rob grew up listening to his music, learning to write songs and going to country clubs.
As cool as it was playing for a huge crowd, Carona admits he loves performing for intimate audiences. Why? That way he can see people’s reactions and know what he has to do to get the fans engaged.

Rob met Jill Pavel from Heartsongs Music a few years back while working on his “Drive” EP a few years ago. She’s been a champion of his music and they’ve been working together ever since. He enjoys partnering with veterans to give back to a community that is near and dear to his heart. “In this day and age it’s not like your making tons of money. You really have to decide why you’re doing it and if I can use it to give back in anyway that’s always important to me with any of my projects.”

His new single “Down To The River” just dropped and Rob is excited for everyone to hear it! Would you believe it was actually his first co-write in Nashville? Not aware that it would be his single, he sent it to a producer friend and people flipped out.

When asked about the concept of the song Rob says “It really came from a deep place of meaning of what Grace and redemption looks like and turning my life around. Surrendering and knowing that every single person has some type of battle that they are fighting everyday.”

We talk about how society has become detached to human struggles, because of social media, where everyone feels like they have to put on a mask and pretend all is well. “Your past doesn’t define you. There is love and grace and hope if you are willing to lay it down and surrender. Your worthy of it. There’s me singing come down to the river with me as your not alone in it.”

At 37 years of age, having been writing for 20 years, Carona has seen the ups and downs of the industry. He wants his brand to be authentic. “It’s not model shots and me going to red carpets. It’s me and my kids and my everyday routine that I want people to resonate with.” His family is from New Orleans, so he grew up on Blues and Jazz music. His upbringing has heavily influenced his music and recently Rob has been pursuing that swampy gritty direction with his sound.

What’s next for Rob? The focus is on writing, as he’s looking to start opening doors with publishers and getting sync placements on TV. Carona wants to broaden his catalog and make his music more accessible to people. An EP is in the works, so stay tuned. He is also planning some shows for spring/summer, including house concerts and writers nights.

His ultimate goal is to be able to support himself with his music. “I do want to perform. I love being onstage. Having that outlet is always important to me, but an ultimate goal is to use my writing and my art as a way to both support my family, fulfill my passion and give back to people around me.” He also shares that he loves teaching and has been using his passion and skills to teach song-writing and artist development to young artists just starting out.