Cara-Mel's Music Ministry: Countdown To Nashville

My Story….Countdown To Nashville, TN

Hi, my name is Dana Lawrence (music brand Cara-Mel) and I am a female Hip Hop/Inspirational Artist. My musical style can be best described as a blend of Hip Hop/R&B, Neo-Soul, Down South, and Dance meets Trap with a Social Justice aspect. I began my musical journey at the tender age of seven listening to Oldies But Goodies; where my interest in R&B artists such as Stevie Wonder and Al Green led to me writing full R&B/Soul ballads and playful up-tempo tunes by the age of eleven. Deeply into jazz artists such as Kenny G and Najee, I started playing the saxophone in the sixth grade and was invited during my first year of playing to the All-City Band; where I was ranked third chair overall in my hometown of Chesapeake, Virginia. By the age of fourteen, I became intrigued with Miami Bass, Down South and Hip Hop music with influences such as Salt-N-Pepa, Tupac, Lauryn Hill, Slick Rick, and A Tribe Called Quest; this is where my style of rhythmical writing took off into my own creation early during my indie music career.

However, after years of struggling to get on with a major label, I made the mistake of giving up the pursuit of my musical dreams and stopped creating and producing music. Once hanging up that microphone, I spent several years working as a special education teacher and in fitness. In 2008, I started a health and wellness business, which became very successful throughout the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area for five years. However, during the mid-2013 economic slowdown and the federal government’s sequestration; cutbacks forced the company's closure. The sudden loss of income led to the foreclosure of my home and subsequently bankruptcy.

Attempting to get back on my feet, I was hit with another blow; being diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), which is considered the earliest form of breast cancer. Once given this devastating news I began to reflect on life and some regrets. It was during this time I vowed to go back to one of my greatest past loves; which was music. This motivated me to record “Broke,” my first hip hop song in years. The street promo song, “Broke” placed me on the map when it caught the attention of DJ SIDEREAL from Minnesota and landed a spot on the “Stamp of Approval” mixtape song bangers of the year in 2015. This song was written and recorded to reflect the frustrations of living check to check; which everyone can relate to at some point in their lives. Following my return to the music scene, I released “Back To The Grind;” a sneak peek of what was to come from my highly anticipated debut mixtape “Racial Profile,” which was released in September of 2016. Since then, my music has been placed on several mixtapes such as “Never Falling Off,” hosted by the On By Society Movement and DMV vs EVERYBODY 3, a popular DMV Music Plug local artist’s series.

Fast forward, 2018 ended on a great note. I was looking forward to collaborations with various artists and my career began expanding. However, excited about new opportunities ahead and while recording new works; I was hit with unexpected news. After a routine exam, it was discovered I would have to lace up those combat boots once again with the diagnosis of breast cancer (DCIS) in April 2019. But, this time it led to a mastectomy that same year in June 2019. However, with discipline and perseverance, now a two-time pink survivor I worked hard to get back to my music career and living cancer free in a little over nine months.

Though not easy, my hard work over the years is paying off in this new season of my life. With this said, I have been given the opportunity to perform in Nashville, Tennessee on the Bobby Jones Presents Show that will air on the Impact Television Network. This show is viewed by millions across the globe. And just the thought of how many souls I can touch with this performance alone is just a beautiful thing. In addition to this, I have been blessed to obtain some amazing professional musicians to come along with me on this journey. But, I need your help.

The band and I are due to film down in Nashville around mid-April. However, we need to raise $6,500 by April 7, 2023. With this funding, I will be able to pay for rehearsal space, band expenses, travel (rental car/gas), as well as for food/lodging. During this time of giving, I plan to keep you all posted on the results via my social media; as I am claiming VICTORY of accomplishing this goal with your help. Please click the above video if you are interested in hearing my story and learning more about how you can give for this particular event and/or my music ministry.

And for those who are not able to give at this time; know that you are still so appreciated. The best thing an individual can do to support me does not even include monetary acts. Meaning it can go a long way if you just connect with me on my social media platforms (subscribe/like/comment), go to my website directly to purchase content/merchandise, and join my mailing list. These are all amazing priceless acts of kindness and support. In fact, one of the most important things someone can do when discovering new talent or a product created by a small business is to share. Everyone knows somebody, and with that in mind “word-of-mouth” is one of the most valuable tools anyone can use to help support. I want to say thank you in advance and if you so desire, please share my story. I pray that it encourages others along the way to never give up.

Thank you,

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Dana Lawrence
Falling Creek Farms, VA

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