There’s no mystery to the source of Hassett’s musical identity. The São Paulo-born singer-songwriter grew up in a Brazilian community in Chicago, studying piano and guitar from an early age, and writing and recording her own tunes on her father’s reel-to-reel before she hit her teens.
Besides absorbing the Brazilian music her parents and extended family enjoyed listening to at home, Hassett soaked up rock, blues, funk and all of the other sounds popular in the Windy City. It wasn’t long before she turned pro, playing and sand singing with Chicago bands and lending her voice to jingles for national advertising campaigns.
Hassett moved to Los Angeles and built a career singing backup on tour and in the recording studio with the likes of Billy Idol, Sergio Mendes, Gino Vannelli, actor/musician Gary Sinise, Grammy award-winning soul legend Solomon Burke, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira, Mike Patton, and a bevy of Latin music superstars. Hassett backed up Lila Downs, Natalie Cole, and Caetano Veloso when he was honored at the Latin Grammys. Hassett also lent her voice to the movie soundtracks of Rio, Rio 2, Netflix’s Like Father, and Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle.
Carla studied at Chicago’s Sherwood Conservatory and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music. She is now on the commercial music faculty at California State University, Los Angeles. Among her influences, Hassett cites Caetano Veloso, Elis Regina, Jorge Ben Jor, and her “patron saint” Carmen Miranda, as well as Aretha Franklin, Freddy Mercury, and Amy Winehouse.
On her previous album, +Blue, Carla explored the meaning of “home” and the complexities of growing up between two countries and cultures, stylistically expressed through tropicalia and samba. But as the great Freddy Mercury once said, “give the people what they want”, on “Adriana,” “Sempre Odara”, and “Three Kings”, Carla does just that; embracing the understated power and beauty of her home’s most celebrated music – bossa nova.
Carla’s advice for Brazilian musicians who want to move to Los Angeles:
I would advise having a solid education from a recognized music program, and/or have experience and skills playing in both Brazilian, and American genres. If you play or sing really well, have experience, and are a nice person to be around, you can find work as a musician here. Americans really admire skilled Brazilian musicians, and know we have something very special to offer!