Carrie Zaruba was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, a collective melting pot of musical tastes. With influences like The Dixie Chicks, Little Big Town, Stevie Nicks, and Patti Griffin, Carrie’s musical interests ranged from folk to country, and even a little rock, with everything in between.
[box_light] “I was exposed to all kinds of music growing up,” Carrie recalls. “It made me appreciate music as a whole so much more, finding elements in each genre of music that I could relate to.” [/box_light]
While it quickly became her passion growing up, she made the decision to make music her education and her life. Unlike many up-and-coming songwriters today, Carrie has an extensive educational history in music. She attended the notorious Baltimore School for the Arts and then The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, studying vocal performance in opera and jazz while earning her Bachelors degree. Carrie graduated in 2003, having established and maintained valuable connections in the music industry throughout her educational tenure.
But the music world first took notice of Carrie Zaruba, on a national level, during the 2005 season of “American Idol,” for which Carrie auditioned on an impulse via encouragement from family and friends. Soon though, what started out as a quick audition on a whim turned into an extensive run on the show, as she surpassed hundreds of thousands of contestants to reach the Top 100. Despite her strong performance and the notoriety it earned her on the musical spectrum, Carrie had mixed feelings about her experience.
[box_light] “It has done great things for a lot of people,” Carrie says of “American Idol.” “There was a lot of talent to compete with, and the singing and performing were things that I loved about the show. But unfortunately, other things got in the way of that. I became very aware that it was a reality television show. I was happy I made it as far as I did on the show, but when it was my time to leave, I was ready.” [/box_light]
Since then, Carrie has developed a sound all her own, and has been working the music scene for the past few years with a confident persistence that has one over many in Music City and beyond. Her unique blend of soul and country, including those elements that have influenced her since her upbringing, cultivate for a fresh new sound and feel. This is unprecedented territory, not only for Carrie Zaruba, but for country music in general.
Her latest single, “Woman On A Mission,” released earlier this fall, is an anthem about chasing one’s dreams, which is the battle cry of up-and-coming songwriters in Nashville and across the country. Carrie Zaruba is walking, talking (and singing) proof that hard work, a lot of talent, and dedication can make the difference between music as a passion and music as a living. Like her single suggests, Carrie is a woman on a mission, continuing her journey as an emerging star in country music.