Carmelina Cupo began writing her own songs at age 9, and by the time she was 11 she had won first place in the famous Festival Canoro in Salerno, Italy. Fluent in both Italian and English, Carmelina has always used languages to influence her writing and her singing style. 'I want every song I write to touch someone somewhere, somehow.' The stage was no stranger to Carmelina growing up. She started dancing at the age of 5. Throughout her elementary and high school years, she landed lead roles in the school musicals and plays and won various poetry-writing contests. After leaving high school, her focus stayed on writing. From poetry to songs to journal entries and daily thoughts, Carmelina never put her pen down. In 1999, Carmelina was signed to Synergy Records and by 2000 she emerged on the music scene in Vancouver, with her debut album, I Don't Look Like You, stunning audiences with something they'd never heard before - a fusion of acoustic alternative pop and Italo-Latino rock music. This would be the start of a rollercoaster of events and a whirlwind of travels for Carmelina. Shortly after her 2000 release, Carmelina was selected as a featured artist for the 2000 Nemo Music Showcase in Boston, Massachusetts, where she performed at the famous Kendall Cafe. A few months later, her song, 'Waiting', was recognized by Billboard Magazine. Carmelina received an Honorable Mention (Top 500 finish) in the Billboard Songwriting Contest out of over 10,000 entries in the Pop category worldwide. Ken Eisner of The Georgia Straight states, 'Carmelina's main advantage is that she is a clever songwriter'. By February of 2001 she had defeated over 700 entries to win the BC portion of the 2000 Canadian National Songwriting Contest with her song, 'Careless Words,' which she co-wrote with her brother, Antonio Cupo. This win found Carmelina in Toronto at Canadian Music Week, where she was able to connect with other award-winning songwriters and industry folk. It also opened doors for airplay on CHR radio in Canada and the USA as well as national press like the National Post's Cori Howard that interviewed Carmelina in Vancouver. Cory states, 'B.C. music diva Carmelina Cupo has skin like caramel, a voice like sweet liquid and a debut CD that's getting airplay across the country.' Upon her arrival back in Vancouver, Carmelina received a phone call from Grammy Award winning producer, better known as judge #1 on American Idol, Randy Jackson. She had met him 6 months prior in Los Angeles and gave him a demo and he had been searching for her ever since. When he finally found her number, he called. After chatting with Randy about her album and her direction in the business, Carmelina was re-energized. She performed many shows in Vancouver, including one show at Vancouver's renowned Commodore Ballroom. Two months later, Carmelina was nominated for Best Pop Album at the West Coast Music Awards up against the talented Nelly Furtado. In September 2001 Carmelina received a call from the Nashville Music Conference asking her to sing the National Anthem for the opening hockey game that kicked off the Conference. Needless to say she was doing something right. By the end of 2001, Carmelina decided to take a trip to Europe where the buzz started to grow. Her first stop overseas was Warsaw, Poland. Carmelina sang at the 'Wielka Orkiestra', the largest televised children's benefit concert in Poland. With well over 30,000 people in the audience, and a Canada t-shirt and hat on, in -20 degree weather, Carmelina got the crowd going and shocked them at the same time! As her fans chanted, she decided to leave a little piece of Canada behind. She threw them her Canada hat and t-shirt, which initiated a moshing frenzy to grab the garb. The crowd loved it. After Poland, Carmelina headed to England, where she did a photo shoot for the release of the album in the UK and then to Italy, where she did a 16-night tour with her band. In January 2002 Carmelina met Vancouver musician/producer Adam Popowitz (Mollies Revenge, Atlantic). They gelled instantly and fused their ideas and goals for the following year. This would be the start of a songwriting synthesis and the next phase in Carmelina's career. Now working independently, she decided to start her own label. Thus, Wicked Vixen Records was born and the recording of her second album began. In January 2004 Carmelina was finally finished her recording and began to do some local shows with her band. Those who were expecting the old Carmelina had another thing coming. With a brand new look and sound, her audiences were pleasantly surprised. 'It's been a few years since the last album and in these years I've done a lot of traveling, writing, and personal growth,' admits the Vancouver, British Columbia, native. 'Change is going to be inevitable and that's the beauty of maturing and growing up'. With all her ammunition fully loaded Carmelina finally returns with her Wicked Vixen Records release, 'i-5 Dreams', giving her listeners 12 powerfully-dynamic rock/pop tracks that successfully blend driving guitars, wicked percussion, and vocals that are honest and penetrating. With so much of her self in these songs, Carmelina even throws in a couple Italian tracks, which truly showcase the diversity of this irrefutable talent. 'These songs are very different than the songs on the first album,' Carmelina states. 'These are definitely more mature, deeper spiritually, and very personal. I wrote them at a time in my life that I like to call 'beautiful confusion'. It was a time of individual and spiritual growth. Unfortunately, in finding myself I had to let some things that were very dear to me, go. It was a sad time in some respects, but I believe everything happens the way it's meant to happen, and through it all I managed to find my inner peace. Some of the lyrics I wrote are purely dreams and daydreams, which I put into my own situation. Others are true stories fueled by break-ups and emotional ties. The beauty of this album, however, is that it's not all dark or all light, it's a unification of both depths and it's an album that I believe, both sexes will be able to take something from'. Carmelina Cupo is the full package. Her second release, 'i-5 Dreams', offers a universally appealing sound, which manages to be edgy and melodic. Her ironically vulnerable innocence and undeniable beauty captivates audiences instantly. MTV Asia's, Sheng Yuen, wrote '...Carmelina has a chiseled face (with cheekbones that could easily slice soft margarine) and piercing eyes, pretty much the kind of look that would be the envy of most women worldwide.' Add her ambition, drive and determination as an artist to the mix, and this girl is unstoppable. It's that very strength she exudes that has given her credence among her peers and in the industry. Carmelina has re-entered the battlefield with 'i-5 Dreams'. Her infectious songs will linger with you: from the guitar driven, radio-ready chorus of 'i-5 Dreams,' a song of personal strength that makes you want to jump on the i-5 highway and drive off into the sunset with the stereo blastin', to the darker, moodier track, 'Barely Alive', which reveals a deeper, spiritual side of Carmelina Cupo. Poised to cement her place as one of the hottest rock/pop artists of 2004-5, Carmelina Cupo has arrived...again.
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