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South Jersey R&B musician has dreams of winning a Grammy

New Jersey artist has big dreams of a career in music
New Jersey artist has big dreams of a career in music 03:16

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Musicians across the U.S. are celebrating Sunday night, having just wrapped up the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.

In the spirit of music, CBS News Philadelphia went searching for a local recording artist with dreams of hitting it big, and got an expert's opinion on what the future may hold

Even when no one is watching, Karlia Gutierrez sings for the stage. 


For now, her stage is the Philly apartment of her music producer, co-writer and guitarist, Nathaniel Lemisch. They were dorm buddies at Drexel University when Lemisch first heard her voice. 

"It's very powerful, and it's also like she has a lot of control over her vocal runs, which I feel like is very unique," Lemisch said. 

"I remember going over to his dorm room. We were recording with blankets over my head and over the mic," Gutierrez said. 

From humble beginnings to a professional partnership, the duo released Gutierrez's first EP "In Time" in January, a mix of R&B and indie soul. 

"It was really, really nice to kind of release it and let it go because it did feel like I just let so much off of my chest," she said.

Because to Gutierrez, each note is a means of catharsis and nostalgia.

"I always like to refer to my songs as these little time capsules or snow globes," Gutierrez said, "like, you shake them up, and everything just kind of comes back."

For as long as she can remember, music was a part of this South Jersey girl's life. She played piano and trombone in jazz band, but her love was always singing.


"In normal life I feel very humbled, I feel very normal. But when I am on stage, it's kind of like, this is my show," she said. 

But for this part-time waitress and biology graduate, her dream of a full-time music career feels far away.

Eva Andersen: "Would you ever want to win a Grammy?"

Karlia Gutierrez: "Oh yeah, for sure!"

Maybe not too big of a dream, as according to 100.3's Ash Mac, Philly sets the perfect stage for a career in R&B.


"We've seen Jill Scott, we've seen Patti LaBelle," Mac said. "You know what I mean? We've seen all of these phenomenal artists that are trailblazers and shake tables and they come from Philly."

CBS News Philadelphia showed Mac Gutierrez's music. 

"Yes, that's amazing! I love it," Mac said. "Clearly she has talent, that's what I love about music, right? You might come across the person that might be the most shy in the room, but as soon as you put a microphone in front of them, as soon as you put a saxophone in their hands, they're able to share their story." 

"My band and I are playing at the Apollo on Amateur Night," she said. "I'm super excited."


You can find Gutierrez's music on Spotify under simply "Karlia."

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