About Carmen Rodgers
Carmen Rodgers has graced a wide assortment of independent R&B recordings since the early 2000s. Known for lively and soothing vocals and unreserved songwriting covering a broad spectrum of emotions, her solo work includes the albums Free (2004) and Stargazer (2015), and the EP release Hello Human, Vol. 1 (2021). For the majority of her career, she has been a close associate of the Foreign Exchange and that group's Lorenzo "Zo!" Ferguson.
Rodgers, who was born in Mississippi, raised in Texas, and is based in Brooklyn (after a period in Atlanta), debuted in 2003 with "Ain't No Time," a fluid slow jam that appeared on the Hidden Beach label's Hidden Hits, Vol. 1 compilation. Another version of the song led off her debut album, Free, independently released the next year. Several additional tracks from Free appeared on compilations, while "Just Believe" was placed on the soundtrack of the basketball documentary 25 Strong. Rodgers returned after a lengthy break in 2010 with an EP entitled The Bitter Suite. Around the same time, she established a tight bond with the Foreign Exchange, touring and recording with both the group and affiliate Zo!, heard first on Zo!'s ManMade and FE's Love in Flying Colors, albums released during a four-month period in 2013.
Recording-wise, 2015 was Rodgers busiest year yet. Her album Stargazer arrived through Purpose Music Group that February, and was followed with appearances on Foreign Exchange co-leader Nicolay's City Lights, Vol. 3: Soweto and FE's Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey. During the next few years, Rodgers contributed to assorted FE-related projects, collaborated with Anthony David and Jermaine Hardsoul, among others, and often performed with Zo!, either as a duo (billed as Zo! + Carmen Rodgers: "Piano & a Microphone") or backed by a full band. Toward the end of 2020, Rodgers released "Again and Again," a Nicolay-produced single that led to Hello Human, Vol. 1, an EP issued in February 2021. ~ Andy Kellman