Carmen Rodgers has made her mark over the past decade as one of the bright stars of the independent soul movement, both as a singer and as a sought-after songwriter.
The Mississippi-born Rodgers began performing as a child, and by her teen years she was regularly singing in choirs around Dallas. She attended Kansas State University to study both engineering and music, but moved to music full time upon her return to Dallas. She landed a gig as a backing vocalist for hot soul singer N'dambi while also writing songs for other artists like Geno Young.
Rodgers also became the host of an open mike program at the popular Sankofa Kafe in Dallas and developed her own following as a live performer. Her recording career soon began with individual track inclusions on compilations, most notably Hidden Beach Records' "Hidden Hits."
In 2004 Rodgers independently released her debut CD, Free, a mellow, lyrically strong disc that deservedly became an underground soul hit, staying in the CD Baby top 10 for months and resulting in a European distribution contract with Expansion Records. The next year she landed a track on the popular soundtrack to the basketball documentary 25 Strong.
Rodgers fans had to be patient, because her sophomore album took a long time to come to fruition. But her ambitious examination of a love relationship began to take form in 2009 and resulted in the EP The Bitter Suite, was released digitally in Spring, 2010. It showed that Rodgers had continued to grow as a writer and got fans excited to hear a full album. They would have to wait a bit more, though. Rodgers continued working and recorded Stargazer in 2014, slated for an early 2015 release.
by Chris Rizik