By Michael Solender
After Arsena Schroeder realized her musical gifts would allow her to have a prosperous career doing what she loved on her own terms, she harnessed this revelation to encourage others to explore a similar journey.
Schroeder, an independent recording artist, songwriter, producer and educator, married her business savvy and education with her personal experience navigating the music industry to create a pop-soul infused musical career where recording, performing, educating and inspiring other creatives is a full-time calling.
“I’m confident I am doing what I was created to do,” said Schroeder, who founded Dear Soul Music Company as a platform to provide resources to emerging musical artists looking to advance their careers. “Just because you’re an artist, doesn’t mean you have to be a struggling artist. I want people to know they can connect with the possible and that becoming a working artist is a real career avenue worth pursuing.”
For Schroeder, realizing the possible is a continual joy and a path with a songbook full of rewards.
Her musical training and education include voice, guitar, piano, and musical theory. She’s worked with producers and instructors at Detroit’s Skybirst Records, Pfeiffer University, Charlotte Music School and others.
She’s performed across the globe singing at venues such as Rockwood Music Hall in New York, Ebenezer’s Coffee House in Washington D.C., the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, Pa., La Loca Music Bar: Pom in Prague, Czech Republic, Charlotte’s Neighborhood Theatre and Soul Junction at Johnson C. Smith University.
Schroeder was named a Knapp Scholar by Pfeifer University, received a Gates Millennium Scholarship, a Communities in Schools Grant and an ASC Regional Artist Project Grant. In 2018, her music video for “So Many Plans” was nominated for Best Pop/Soul Music Video at the Carolina Music Video Awards.
She’s recorded several EPs with dozens of self-composed and arranged songs, drawing from her life experience and faith to create music that resonates with her audience.
“I enjoy when my songs connect with others,” said Schroeder. “To know what I am creating encourages others is energizing and lets me know I’m headed in the right direction.”
Her plan for her 2019 ASC Creative Renewal Fellowship is to continue her creative growth by sharpening her knowledge of the music business by working directly with coaches and mentors in the industry.
“Taking time to replenish my own creativity is rewarding and something I can bring back to share with others I work with,” Schroeder said. “I’m excited by this opportunity.”
Schroeder says she enjoys being part of Charlotte’s creative scene and feels the artistic community is one where collaboration takes precedent over competition, a quality she respects and wants to nourish.
“Charlotte’s creative community is growing like wildfire,” says Schroeder, “I want people to know we can build on each other’s strengths. Through live shows and artist workshops, I want others to see we can all succeed together.”