Imagine leaving your country in search for beauty, love and truth. That’s exactly what Caroline Cotto was brave enough to do after her 22nd birthday. She toiled away in the NYC music scene for years before she left to live in Paris and explore Europe for artistic opportunities to enrich her writing and music. She dreamed by the Seine, wrote in cafes and wandered the Louvre for hours. She describes this as her own beautiful version of the Lost Generation. Caroline then lived in London playing blues and soaking up the history of her rock heroes before moving to New Orleans.
Growing up, she spent her time reading literature and writing poetry. Her passion for poetry began when she read Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee." At a young age, this poem spurred her curiosity for the capacity of love and suffering in the human soul. She became a published poet before the age of twelve and garnered local attention for her essay, “What does the American Flag Mean to Me?,” which she won two years consecutively for a contest given by the Daughters of the American Revolution society.
Words were not enough. Caroline needed a vehicle for these words. Music became that vehicle. She remembers her father playing The Beatles songs on guitar. He taught her a few chords and then she became obsessed with the instrument. The first song she learned was The Beatles, “It’s A Hard Day’s Night.” Incorporating everything from blues to rock to soul, she was on a quest to find her voice. She began to sing and play at church, talent shows and even during recess at school. She carried her guitar everywhere and it became her most trustworthy companion.
As a teenager, Caroline performed her original music at open mics. She would watch clips of Woodstock and blast classic rock to ignite her inspiration. She went to Connecticut College for two years before transferring to New York University. At Connecticut, she became active in the New London music and poetry scene. She performed spoken word and sang at college events and parties. When she returned to New York, she became a regular performer at the famous East Village music venue, Sidewalk Cafe - and even performed at a Jeff Buckley Tribute Show with guitar legend, Gary Lucas. Quiet, but determined, she knew her home was somewhere outside New York in far away lands in different cities meeting strangers who shared her passions.
Before she left to Paris in 2015, Caroline recorded her debut EP, “Devil in Me” in the Catskills. Her EP became number one in the Blues Charts in Paris on ReverbNation - and held that spot for several years. After she spent over a year and half in Europe, she felt the South beckoning her. She went on a road trip across America and ended up in New Orleans. Like her previous voyages to foreign places, she did not know anyone in the city but followed her desires, and arrived like Odysseus after his long voyage - home.
In New Orleans, success didn’t come easy. She spent days and nights in jazz/blues clubs across the city meeting musicians and building her name. She honed her craft and sound by playing three to four hour gigs and sitting in with various bands. In 2020, she filmed a music video for her single, “A Momma To Cry To.”
Caroline Cotto is an artist who has thought deeply about her experiences. Her poetic lyrics and soulful voice weave the story of a woman on a journey to her salvation, a woman who has sacrificed the familiar for her dreams, a woman with incessant curiosity and desire to better herself and the world. Currently, Caroline is recording new music - and she never goes a day without writing by a burning candle.