Q&A Scene: Carla Troiano ~ WOMEN Of SOUL

Tell us about your new single that’s part of the Women Of Soul ‘Feel Good’ album? 

I am lucky enough to be the vocalist for 2 songs on the incredible Women of Soul Album. 

I have the honor of singing a beautiful ballad on the Women of Soul Album called “Not ready to say goodbye”- Written by the incredible Chelsea Wilson. The song tells a story I am sure many of us have experienced in life. We have all been heartbroken and in a space of denial at times when it comes to matters of the heart. When I was recording the song, It was a really emotional experience to go through that journey- anyone can go in and belt out a song- But I knew this song needed the emotion and heart behind that story to bring the song to life. That heartbreaking moment- the moment where you are in a space of shock, where your entire world comes crashing down. where you almost want to pretend it’s not happening, and you tell yourself that there is or may be some hope there, I unlocked myself and my true artistry. This song is so special not only because of a stunning arrangement and music but because it so honestly expresses the human experience of loss and what it feels like to be left in that space. 

Every single lyric is raw, emotional and real, yet at the same time,equally powerful and  vulnerable.  Not ready to say goodbye for me- Is a song about truth, a song about being defenseless, but trying one last time anyway….it’sabout being real and also allows me to be a storyteller, be authentic and connect to an audience. This song moves people to their core. It moves me every single time. It’s truly a career highlight to sing this song and tell this story.  

I also sing “I’m on it” It was written by a team of women that I have admired and worked with throughout my career- Thando, Audrey Powne, Monique Boggia, Chelsea Wilson and Kylie Auldist

I am so thrilled to be the voice of this bad ass disco diva queen energy song! 

This song makes me feel fierce, unstoppable, powerful, sassy as and like a Bonafide disco queen and that is exactly how I want every single person to feel when they hear it. That you are worthy, that it is ok to take no prisoners, that you are allowed to be unapologetically yourself and walk away from situations that don’t serve you and back yourself. 

This song was inspired by the disco soul queens of the past, that paved the way for women to have a voice, to own their own power, to be sexy, to be strong, to be educated and talented and own themselves and when I recorded this song a I took all the greats in with me, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Chaka Khan, Stephanie Mills and embodied their energy, in particular when we were discussing the arrangement of the song I was really inspired by one of my favourite disco divas  Evelyn Champagne King and passed this on to the band and the writers to embody this feel and in particular the groove and bass line because as the vocalist I wanted it reflect that style as the storyteller of the song, groovy, funky, in control and sexy. 

If you are ever having a bad day, put “I’m on it” channel your inner disco queen and back the hell out of yourself and it will make you feel like a badass… 

This song truly inspires me to take my power back and it’s really a privilege to be the voice to a song written by and performed by so many badass, talented and inspiring women!!! 

What’s your favourite work at this point in time

I have been the lead vocalist of original soul/funk band Mayfield for the last 10 years and we released a 12 trackalbum “Victim of Circumstance” in 2017-. It was all self funded, produced and written and I have the LP Hanging on my wall in my bedroom and everytime I look at it. I think- yeah!!! WE DID THAT! 

We also released a single last year called “Get you Together” which is groovy and funky. Original music is no easy feat and I’m really proud that this band has been going for 10 years creating music. 

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

A nice home made lasagna made by Nonna. Comforting, heartwarming, feels like home, makes you feel nostalgic and always loved. Accompanied by a negroni- Strong, authentic, powerful, fiery and commanding and to finish off a nice ricotta cannoli– hard on the outside, but sweet on soft on the inside. HAHA- Can you tell I have an Italian background? Haha 


Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

I’m always overpacked- Everytime I tour/travel for music my suitcase breaks and I have to tape it together with the ol’ handy Gaffa tape- I always want more reverb!

When I was recording “Not Ready to Say goodbye” I had to have the whole studio almost at black out and I kept having to take breaks because I was getting emotional. I recorded most of the song sitting down and laying down during takes”- It took a look to get there and open up- The session was a really big one- One of the best of my career so far. Incredible working with Anna Lavaty our producer and having Chelsea- the writer of the song in the space at the same time. 

 What, or who, inspires you?

People that are genuine, kind and hardworking. Ambition inspires me and so does follow through. Anyone can talk the talk…but you have to walk the walk too. I am inspired by people who go out and get what they want and strive to be the best version of themselves and also those who give back to others and pay it forward. 

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Difficult Woman- Written by Paul Kelly and Sang by one of my all time favorite singers Rene’ Geyer. I also have to Say “Chains”- By Tina Arena and Pretty Much anything that Gwen Mcrae sings. “You outtaknow”- Alanis…SO MANY! So many Prince songs, Aretha, Stevie wonder…I could go on forever! 

What’s next for you?

 I am working on my debut solo album to be released next year and I can not wait for the world to hear what I have been working on. 

What’s your scene?

I love to be surrounded by like minded creatives and people that love music, art, culture, learning, exploring, and collaborating. Live music venues, creative spaces, galleries, design spaces, studios- Anywhere that creative magic can happen.




Australia’s premier collective of female-identifying artists Women of Soulis proud to share the first two tracks from their forthcoming full-length LP Feel Good, set for release on June 2 on House of Valerie Joan. Featuring more than 25 creatives, the album contains contributions from artists such as Kylie Auldist, Stella Angelico, Thndo, Maria Moles, Monique diMattina, Vanessa Perica, Kathleen Halloran, Tamara Murphy and many more. With Chelsea Wilson as executive producer and Anna Laverty as producer and engineer, the album was entirely composed, recorded, performed and produced by an all-female team, a rare feat in the Australian music industry. 


Lifeline draws on classic pop songwriting such as Carole King, but the sweeping cinematic arrangement paired with classically trained violinist and vocalist Rita Satch’s impressively gorgeous vocals evoke thoughts of Lianne La Havas and Emily King. A dynamic live performer, Satchhas appeared at world renowned festivals such as Glastonbury and Cheltenham Jazz Festival (UK), won first prize in the Unsigned Only International Songwriting Competition and is a regular collaborator with ARIA winner Barney McAll.  The track was co-written by Rita Satch, Miss Emilia, Chelsea Wilson and Alzzy during the Women of Soul songwriting intensive. Funded by the Creative Victoria Music Recovery program, the intensive saw 30 Melbourne-based artists collaborate on new compositions. 


“I see this song as an anthem for anyone who feels like they’re caught in the storms of life,” says Alzzy. It’s a song about the power found in the choice to fight and to hold on to hope, no matter what obstacles lie ahead.  Finding your lifeline means finding the perseverance, resilience, and strength to push through and overcome the challenges you face. It all starts inside – you can feel like you’re sinking and surrounded by rising waves, but when you choose to keep fighting, it means that triumph is still possible.”


I Am Enough wields a powerful and heartfelt, uplifting message, reminiscent of India Arie’s Video and the more recent feel-good anthems of Lizzo. The song features poet, lyricist and vocalist Candice Monique who has an inimitable style that fuses neo-soul and hip-hop. A prolific writer, her extensive catalogue includes collaborations with Professor Griff of Public Enemy, Rich Medina, Metals and P-Phazes.  I Am Enough was co-written by Monique, vocalists Thndo and Chelsea Wilson, pianist Mon Boggia and trumpet player Audrey Powne.


“The song is essentially about realisation of self-love and self-acceptance, overcoming the pressures society puts on us to look/be/act a certain way, especially when it comes to body image, and allowing ourselves to just be amazing .. it’s about throwing all the self-criticism away and embracing our own unique brilliance” – Candice Monique 


Recorded at Sing Sing East and Tender Trap Studios, this exquisite and uplifting Feel Good LP was executively produced with precision by Chelsea Wilson, engineered and mixed by producer Anna Laverty andmastered by Kathy Naunton at Db Mastering. And it must be said that this unique album is not a compilation – each song was deeply thought through and developed collaboratively with the songwriters, musicians, vocalists and production team. Also doubling down as the collective’s Artistic Director, Wilson offers insight into the extraordinary effort involved in bringing the Women of Soul album to lifesaying, “For a lot of artists in the collective, the last few years have been incredibly challenging professionally and also personally – there has been family loss, divorces, births, unemployment, marriages and illness. So, the fact that amongst all of this, we managed to bring together over 30 creatives to make an album is no mean feat. I am really proud of the work, it stands together as a great album to listen to. Wilson continues, “I think some people will be surprised by the sounds, it is a more mellow and sophisticated sounding record than our first which I think shows the development of a lot of the artists musically over the last few years.”


Currently in Australia, only 20% of APRA AMCOS songwriter members are women or female-identifying, with only 15% of annual royalties going to female writers. Worldwide, less than 2% of recording producers are women. The Women of Soul record is significant and isone of the very few albums in Australia to be produced, composed, recorded and performed by an all-female team. The album recording and songwriting provided employment throughout the pandemic lockdowns and offered a meaningful opportunity for female artists to collaborate in a safe environment. For many of the artists, it also provided a professional development opportunity; for some it was the first time they had appeared on a commercial release, for others it was their first time arranging for an album or assisting with engineering. And for almost all, it was their first creative project postlockdowns, so being able to write and work together proved to be a cathartic, healing and emotional experience


To honour the LP and the Women of Soul fans, there’ll be an album launch show at The Toff In Town on Friday June 2. Spotlighting the immense talent and expertise of all those involved, all songs on Feel Good were recorded live in the studio (with some overdubbed vocals and strings), and hence the record boasts an authentic sound comparable to their energetic and inspirational live show. So, get to know this masterpiece of a record, and whip out those dancing shoes for what is a guaranteed feel good night celebrating the talents of some of the finest females in the Australian music industry.


Lifeline and I Am Enough are released today.

Feel Good will be released on June 2 via House of Valerie Joan.

Tickets to the album launch show at The Toff In Town are on sale now.




Songwriters “Lifeline”: Rita Satch, Emilia Schnall, Chelsea Wilson, Alyssa Allet

Songwriters “I Am Enough”: Thndo, Candice Monique, Chelsea Wilson, Audrey Powne, Monique Boggia

Executive Producer: Chelsea Wilson

Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Anna Laverty

Mastering: Kathy Naunton 

Assistant Engineer: Natasha Newling

Additional Engineering: Laura Hancock

Graphic Design: Vanessa Fernandez

Photography: Nicole Cleary

Recorded at Sing Sing East Box Hill and Tender Trap Studios Melbourne 

Drums: Freyja Hooper (Lifeline), Maria Moles (I Am Enough) 

Bass: Tamara Murphy

Guitar: Kathleen Halloran

Piano/Keyboards: Monique DiMattina 

Percussion: Neda Rahmani

Cello: Anita Quayle

Violin: Fem Belling, Rita Satch 

Backing Vocals: Alzzy, Emilia Schnall, Chelsea Wilson (Lifeline), Sickone and Candice Monique (I Am Enough) 

Women of Soul is led by Artistic Director, Vocalist, Broadcaster and DJ Chelsea Wilson. Since 2011 WOS have presented live original music from artists including Mo’ Ju (VIC), Nkechi Anele (Saskwatch) (VIC), Odette Mercy (WA), Clairy Browne (VIC), Alphamama (NSW), Randa and the Soul Kingdom (WA), Tara Lynch (The Transatlantics) (SA), Milan Ring (NSW), Shae Mourtzakis (QLD) and many more. The collective has been featured on ABC Radio National, Mi-Soul London, PBS 106.7FM, RRR 102.7FM, and were guest hosts on triple J’s Roots ‘N’ All program. Performance highlights include Melbourne Recital Centre, The Malthouse Theatre, Federation Square, Adelaide Fringe Festival and a special live broadcast from the MPavillion for Australian Music Week on ABC Radio. Their debut self-titled album was nominated for Best Soul/R’n’B Album at The Age Music Victoria Awards. The collective aims to empower women in the music industry through songwriting, recording and live shows. Women of Soul also engages women behind the scenes in supporting roles including sound engineering, production, photography, lighting, producing and childcare, overcoming barriers to women participating and thriving in the music industry.



Rita Satch – Vocalist/Songwriter 

“Soulful vocals with a jazz-tinged charm, there’s a defiant, modern approach at play here.” 

–  Clash Magazine.

Classically trained violinist, vocalist and songwriting Rita Satch seamlessly moved from the jazz world to the soul scene with her debut self-titled EP.  Brought up on jazz and soul greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Nina Simone, Rita Satch has a powerful voice that transcends time. A dynamic live performer, she has appeared at world renowned festivals such as Glastonbury and Cheltenham Jazz Festival (UK) and won first prize in the Unsigned Only International Songwriting Competition. Satch regularly collaborates with ARIA-winner Barney McAll (Sia, Gary Bartz) who featured her in his most recent releases, “Precious Energy” 


Candice Monique – Vocalist/Songwriter 

It is said Candice Monique fuses Classic & Neo Soul, Jazz, RnB, Funk, Blues, Folk & Spoken Word – some statement, but when you listen .., you’ll see the description is spot on” –  Paul Miller Soul Show – BBC Radio

Poet, lyricist and vocalist Candice Monique has an inimitable style that fuses neo-soul, hip-hop, spoken world and soul. A prolific writer, her extensive catalogue includes collaborations with Professor Griff of Public Enemy, Rich Medina, Metals and P-Phazes. Her debut album “In My Soul” (Freestyle Records) with her band The Optics generated Candice BBC airplay and international recognition, drawing comparisons to Me’shell Ndegeocello, Lauren Hill and Erykah Badu. 


Chelsea Wilson – Women of Soul Director/Vocalist/Songwriter/Producer

“A goddamn soul/jazz powerhouse”  – Beat Magazine

Chelsea is a Melbourne based vocalist, songwriter, broadcaster and producer. Her debut album “I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me” was lauded #2 Album of the Year on ABC Radio National and nominated for Best Soul Album at The Age Music Victoria Awards. An internationally acclaimed live performer, she headlined the Arts Centre Melbourne stage at the Australasian World Music Expo, and made her UK debut at Glastonbury Festival, subsequently selling out the famous London Jazz Café. Her second album “Chasing Gold” was nominated for the Australian Music Prize. 

Behind the scenes, Chelsea is an advocate for the Australian music industry and women in music. She has held roles including Artistic Associate of Melbourne International Jazz Festival Congress, Deputy Chair Board Director of Music Victoria, and Artistic Director Brunswick Music Festival. As a guest speaker Chelsea has appeared at music industry conferences such as NYC Jazz Congress USA, Indie-Con and Bigsound and is a guest lecturer at Melbourne University and Monash University. The former Music Manager of iconic Melbourne radio station PBS 106.7FM she has presented radio programs for PBS, Mi-Soul Radio UK, triple j and Delite Radio London. An advocate for Women in Music she was a founding member of the Music Victoria Women in Music Advisory Panel, has managed the Women of Soul Collective for over a decade and currently produces the Control Podcast, highlighting women and gender diverse creatives. 






About Mary Boukouvalas 1576 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.