Broadway powerhouse actor/singer, ASCAP Award-winner, and Billboard chart-topping pop songwriter Carla Bianco releases her first Contemporary Christian EP, You Love Me As I Am, today, Friday, October 8, 2021, through Ivory Note Records/BFD/Sony Orchard. The physical EP is set to release on October 29, 2021. To stream or download Carla Bianco’s new You Love Me As I Am EP, click here.
A lifelong Christian, Bianco, who is perhaps best known for her starring turns as Maureen in the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical RENT on Broadway and the West Coast, was discovered by legendary music producer and manager John “Jellybean” Benitez (Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Sting), who signed her to a management and publishing deal while she was still in college.
The powerhouse pop vocalist soon inked a distribution deal with Sony/RED and released two albums as a recording artist on Ivory Note Records. She went on to become an ASCAP Award-winning, No. 1 Billboard chart-topping songwriter. Her work has received international press coverage, including features in publications such as The New York Times, The New York Post, and The Huffington Post, as well as television performances including Good Morning America. She has shared the stage with the likes of Platinum-selling Grammy winner Kenny Loggins, and she has appeared in commercials and notable films including Unstoppable with Denzel Washington, and Promised Land with Matt Damon.
Bianco’s new direction on her upcoming EP marks a stylistic shift for the acclaimed singer/songwriter and performer, who experienced a spiritual reawakening following the death of her parents, when life-long feelings of self-doubt and insecurity threatened to take over her mind and heart.
Five years ago, while still wrestling with her losses, Bianco participated in a spiritual retreat, where she says she was overwhelmed by the grace of the Savior she has called her “Best Friend” from childhood. She began to experience the unequivocal, unconditional love of God in a brand-new way. She also felt God calling her in a new direction artistically, leading her to pen songs of worship, praise, and self-reflection.
“Something just broke loose,” she explains. “During that retreat, I was immersed in scripture and felt His love and reassurance comfort me and distill a new sense of identity and purpose unlike any I’ve ever felt before.” The result is her stunning new EP, You Love Me As I Am.
“I am so grateful to finally be able to share this music that was created during such a difficult time in our world,” says Bianco, who wrote the project during the 2020 pandemic lockdown. “I felt inspired to write the songs on this EP in the beautiful assurance of God’s love and presence, in spite of this past year of uncertainty and fear that we all experienced. This music is a jubilant proclamation that we are so very loved, and it is the divine love of God that will heal us and unite us.”
“We are thrilled to continue working with Carla on her new album!” says Bob Frank, CEO of BFD/Sony Orchard. “Her songwriting is inspiring, and we are proud to be involved with her and this project.”
“From the moment Carla sat down at the piano to sing me one of her songs, I knew she was a gifted and talented artist,” says Jellybean Benitez, who has expressed his excitement about Bianco’s new music and direction.
Bianco’s formidable writing talents are on display throughout the 7-song EP, which draws on the production skills of Sam Hart (Aaron Shust, Tasha Layton). Hart steps into the co-writer’s chair for a few songs as well.
The EP kicks off with the shimmering power-pop declaration of faith, “Love is the Answer,” that extols love as the answer to every question, and the direction for every path of life.
The song segues effortlessly into the title cut and debut radio single, “You Love Me As I Am.” Penned by Bianco and produced by Sam Hart (Aaron Shust, Tasha Layton) with an infectious groove that will hook listeners from the first note, the song, which highlights Bianco’s crystal-clear vocals, is a nuanced anthem of revelation, humility, and devotion to Jesus.
“All For Your Glory” is a joy-infused pop tune that begs for audience singalong, and could easily find its way into contemporary worship services on Sunday morning. Bianco pulls back for an introspective, prayerful mood for “Guardian” which exudes an intimate, worshipful attitude as Bianco sings, “I raise my eyes to the sky. You hear me when I cry, my Guardian!”
“Vessel of Your Love” uses a minor key to ratchet up the intensity, which ebbs and flows like the waves of a troubled sea. Bianco returns to the power-pop genre for the thumping, head-nodding, song of encouragement, “Hero Rising.” The project closes with the peace-evoking, piano-driven confessional, “You Are My Hope.”
“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to share this wonderful assurance I have discovered as if for the first time,” says Bianco. “I can’t think of anything I’d rather sing about than God’s unconditional, unshakable love for me.”