This collective belief is that the pandemic has birthed the age of agency — what’s often referred to as “The Great Awakening.” Even though we are almost in the post-COVID age, many people feel inspired to look within and nurture their mental, emotional, or spiritual needs.
Carla Patricia Morrison Flores is a singer-songwriter who was born Carla Patricia Morrison Flores. The past few years have forced Carla Morrison to examine her own identity and determine what she hopes to accomplish in this life. The Mexican-American artist has already enjoyed a successful career — boasting three Latin Grammy Awards and two Grammy nominations for her first two full-length albums, “Déjenme Llorar,” Released in 2012 “Amor Supremo,” released in 2015 — and became known for her Soprano vocals and mesmerizing songs about love and heartbreak. Morrison’s songs had a way of touching our hearts, and Morrison felt lost. She felt anxious, depressed and unsure if it was worth continuing to make music.
After a decade-long career building a solid musical career, Morrison quit her Mexican management firm after 2017’s tour and took a needed sabbatical to recover her mental health. She relocated from Mexico to Paris with her now-husband and coproducer Alejandro Jiménez in 2019, unclear about what the future held. She was already having mental problems and wasn’t sure if she wanted the music to continue. Then, in 2021, her father was killed by COVID-19. She began to feel depressed and was able to find the path to self-discovery that led her to her current album. “El Renacimiento,” It was released April 20, 222. It is currently in use nominated for the Latin Grammys Best Pop Vocal albumOne of the greatest singles on the album is “Peace” “Encontrarme,” Song of the Year nominee. “El Renacimiento” It is not only the first complete album by the artist in five years, it is also one of the most vulnerable.
“Before I set the goal of writing the album, I was really hesitant about coming back to music during my hiatus. I didn’t know if I had the mental health tools to confront everything that comes with being in this business, being an independent artist, and publicly sharing my own emotions through my music. I thought I needed time,” POPSUGAR interviewed the artist via email. “Once the pandemic hit, I was confronted with the question if I would even be able to do this again in my life — if I would actually let it go. But no, I wanted to make music. Music gave me purpose.” The 36-yearold shared how she realized quickly that music was how she connected with people.
Once she overcame the thought of never returning to music and realigning with her purpose, Morrison was able to birth the new album — “El Renacimiento” As the concept and working title, it is “rebirth” in Spanish.
“As we all collectively experienced the pandemic, it became crystal clear that I wanted to call it ‘El Renacimiento,'” She adds. “I wanted the songs to make sense of my journey. Now, anyone in the world going through something similar can listen to the album and maybe relate.”
The album deals with mental health, grief and rebirth. It also highlights the joy that can be experienced when we persevere through life’s toughest lessons. The album’s most poignant single is a celebration of recovery and coming home to yourself. “Encontrarme,” You can also find lyrics like “Ya no quiero seguir/Dejé de Sonreir/Entre todo perdí/Toda razón para vivir/Quiero Volver a mi/La persona que fui.” This translates into, “I don’t want to continue on/I’ve stopped smiling and in all of it I lost/All reason to live/I want to return to me/the person I was.”
One of the strongest tracks on the album, “The Last Word” is “Ansiedad,” Which means anxiety in Spanish. Morrison wanted this song to portray what panic attacks really feel like. She sings raw, powerful lyrics like: “Quiero hablar y no puedo/Respirar y no puedo/Caminar, olivar, enfrentarlo y no puedo,” Translate “I want to talk but I can’t. Breathe but I can’t. Walk, forget, confront but I can’t.”
“My music has always focused on love and heartbreak. Sometimes I would touch on personal struggles or feelings of loneliness. But I had never addressed my relationships to mental health.”
Morrison said that her anxiety was a result of the stress she is experiencing. “has always been there,” It’s been a part her life since she was 9 years old. “My whole life has been a journey of self-discovery because I’ve always looked everywhere for help. I attended therapy sessions. Reiki sessions, healing sessions, ketamine infusion sessions — so many places,” She said. “My music has always focused on love and heartbreak. Sometimes I would touch on personal struggles or feelings of loneliness. But I had never addressed my relationships to mental health.” The artist shared how her struggle with her mental health led to a new chapter in her adult life. This was after turning thirty. “At 30, my own life crisis made me question everything,” She adds. “I realized I had to take a stand for myself and really fight for that in order to begin feeling better.”
Morrison says that putting out the album was her way of supporting her Latinx Latinx friends who struggle with mental health issues. According to the Pew Research CenterWhile Latinx communities are equally vulnerable to mental illness as non-Latinx peers, they face significant disparities in access to treatment and quality. Morrison wanted to make listeners feel validated and seen in their struggles.
“Older generations did not prioritize mental health. They were never taught to pay attention to that part of their being.”
“In the US, we have been talking more about mental health within our communities in Mexico and Latin America. However, many of us still live or have close contact with our families,” Morrison: “Older generations did not prioritize mental health. They were never taught to pay attention to that part of their being. Consequently, they minimize these kinds of struggles.”
Morrison also stated that she believes that people now have the ability to communicate with one another. “more inclined to have open discussions about mental health.” She insists that she believes in the power of persistence “there is a lot of judgment and talk of being loco/loca,” Many Latinxs of older generation still associate mental health issues and the need to see an therapist with being. “crazy.”
Therapy and holistic modalities — along with creating music — really helped the singer get through one of the hardest periods of her life. It took her feeling like she was at rock bottom before she discovered how healing music is to her, she said. Morrison’s journey to self-discovery has not only brought her closer to music, but it’s also changed the way she makes music. Fans have been savoring her new sound, which earned her two Latin Grammy nominations.
“I think ‘Encontrarme’ is one of the best songs I’ve written in a long time, and I’m very proud of the album . . . But I think what makes me happy is the people that feel seen from it.”
“Since there’s so much new music right now, I was not at all expecting to be nominated,” She shares. “I think ‘Encontrarme’ is one of the best songs I’ve written in a long time, and I’m very proud of the album . . . But I think what makes me happy is the people that feel seen from it. That’s what’s really important to me. Of course, being nominated and having the Grammys make me and my music feel so special.”
Morrison also discovered herself by choosing her own path. Morrison has made changes to her diet in order to improve her physical health. She takes CBD supplements to support her mental health. She regularly exercises, does yoga, and meditates. She enjoys long walks in Los Angeles and relies on her support network of family and friends to help her prioritize creativity. She feels today peace, joy and immense gratitude for all of it. One thing she is certain of is that music will always be there.
“My music has been my partner,” She said. “I will always be grateful for the creation of music and its existence [and] the way it chose me to do this style of music with my voice.”
Image Source: EstebanCalderon/Photo Illustration By Michelle Alfonso