Power Series: Finding Your Voice
My Beauty Squad has a duty to the community of women that want to uplift and empower each other. This Power Series showcases women of different backgrounds, talents and careers and shows us the bits you don't get to see centre stage.
Introducing Caroline Alvares, a member of London girl band Four of Diamonds
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I'm 23, born and bred in south London. I’ve always loved, I’ve been singing since I was little and it’s has always been a part of my family. My dad's side of the family are all into music, they all have amazing talents singing and playing guitar so at every family party we would make our own music. I’ve kind of always seen that growing up.
My cousin is a really good singer in India and I’ve always looked up to him much like I’ve looked up to Shakira, Christina Aguilera and J-Lo and remember watching their videos on MTV when I was younger and knowing that thats what I wanted to to do.
I used to to do that cliche thing they do in movies, where you take the deodorant can and sing around in your room pretending your on stage, I just knew that one day I’d be swapping the can for a real mic.
How did your career into music begin?
I guess it started when I was 7 and started taking music lessons; the guitar, piano and violin and I am now classically trained in all 3. But my main focus was always to be a pop star.
It wasn’t something that my parents were always supportive about, because as a parent, you always want your child to study right? But I think my dad definitely knew how badly I wanted my music career to take centre stage and he was always giving me encouragement by telling me he knew I was going to make it.
So I went to University to study commercial music which is like the law and business side of the music industry. Plan B was to be an entertainment lawyer so I would’ve done a law conversion after my degree. But that was very far sighted because I was hoping I would make it before having to take that route.
When I was 14 I was really focused on trying to get my career jump started, so I was looking around for opportunities and there was this fashion show going on at the time called Miss Amor Latina, they wanted two performers on the night and so I took the plunge and sent in my recording along with a little paragraph explain my passion for singing. I actually ended up singing that year and the two years after that.
At around 15, I decided that I wanted to make more youtube videos uploading some covers and I wanted to start making my own music. I actually wrote a Reggeaton song during a holiday and worked with a producer to make it come alive. It was my first track called ‘Kitty’. I started collaborating with more latin artists in London after that.
I started getting booked for a lot of parties, and all of those experiences helped me build the character I am today. I gained and built a lot of stage confidence and my overall presence with these experiences and don’t think I’d be where I am today without it.
You were on X factor right? How did that change or effect your career plans?
So in 2016 I got scouted by an X-Factor talent scout that found me on youtube. I did an audition in front of the producers and they told me they didn’t want to put me through as a solo artist but they were getting together a band and wanted to know if I was interested. It was a near miss because I was actually in NYC and almost missed this audition. Once I got there it was a room of 30 girls and we were there from 9 am to 6pm. We made it to the final 4 and thats how Four of Diamonds was created. We finished the X -actor in 8th place and then signed a record with Virgin EMI. Fun fact we’re actually the first band to be signed with Virgin EMI!
How did you overcome fear whilst jumping into this super-tough industry?
So the first fear I really had was the way I looked. I’ve always had a thing about my weight. I was never really what you would call ‘slim’ and growing up all you saw in the media were slim pop stars. At 14 I got to my heaviest weight and was just really worried that I wouldn’t make it or be excepted because of the way I looked. Even when I got into the band I was paired with 3 gorgeous slim girls and was worried that I’d stick out. As I’ve grown older I’ve accepted myself for who I am and I'm happy being me and that shows growth.
Another thing is that there's always stage nerves, but I believe that you can channel those fears in the right way. Use them to fuel you and get you pumped for a performance. Nerves are a good thing, it shows that you care so its always good to give you that bit of adrenaline.
Before a performance, what is your favourite hair & makeup go-to look?
So my go-to looks, in terms of hair my first would definitely be a beachy undone sort of loose wave because it looks quite natural and I love flipping my hair around! The second would be a really slicked pony tail whether high, low or mid. I also put in extensions to give it a super full and long look from Beauty Works. I call this the ‘Ariana’ because I love having long hair.
For makeup, funnily enough I used to be really bad at makeup, but now there’s a look I always go for. It’s a peachy eyeshadow with a bit of shimmer and a really dewy foundation and highlighter. I want to be more adventurous with makeup because I feel a bit more confident now I’ve learnt to do my base and need to do more eyeshadow look. I used to get so stressed out and think it was the end of the world before we started getting our makeup professionally done because I was so bad at it. Where I’ve just had to get on with it and do it I’ve become confident enough to where it doesn’t stress me out anymore and developed this makeup look that works for me. I actually couldn’t stick on falsies until about a year ago, I used to get my bandmate Yasmin to do it for me but I’ve gotten better so I can stick them on now!
What career advice would you give to someone just getting started?
My first piece of advice would be to manifest your dreams, you need to envisage what you want. When I first made my instagram handle I named it ‘singercaro’, and now its kind of cringe when I tell people about it but I won’t change it because it reminds me of my struggle and how far I’ve come.
When I was around 13 or 14 I used to record myself on my webcam in my room as if I was doing an audition for X-Factor or Britains got talent, so I literally used to stand In front of the camera and say ‘Hey, my name’s Caro, yes, I think I can win the show because XYZ’. I used to practice these things because manifesting your dreams makes a huge difference!
Be a go-getter! There are no handouts here and it’s rare to get an opportunity handed to you on a plate! Do all you can to help yourself get to where you want to be. I used to do little promo jobs when I was around 16, use all my money and found someone that had a camera that did little videos and would go and record videos with them. I used to get so stressed out finding what to wear, my hair, makeup and jewellery. I just feel like all those things make me so grateful for what I have now. Looking around now when we do video shoots and seeing how many people are there for us I just think damn, I can’t believe I’m getting my hair and makeup done right now. These are things I dreamt of. From shooting videos at my local common and now this. I feel like I’ve been living my dream all my life.
Take risks because you never know how things pan out. I used to hate singing in the choir in school, and now I’m in a girlband when I never thought I would be. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have so many amazing moments with the girls and I know we’ll continue to live many more. They’re my sisters, I love them to bits. I never imagined things would turn out this way, but they have and I love it.
How do you deal with the negative comments?
There are a lot of haters out there so don’t be disheartened by those that don’t believe in you. Doing performances and being up on stage, you get people giving you weird looks and whispering. I would see that and it's a couple of people who claim they ‘support’ me now. Believe in yourself and have a concrete group of people that also believe in you.
What is your ‘power’?
My power would be my positive way of thinking, I’m a positive person in general but that doesn’t mean I’ve not had my fair share of experiences. Getting started there was a lot of false promises but you need to keep going. When things don’t go the way you want I always thought there was something better for me coming my way. I truly believe that because if certain things had gone the way I planned them, I may not have been in the position I’m in now with the people around me and my band. Stressing isn't good either, I know that sometimes our. Mind can get the better of us but keeping calm is the best thing for your mental health.
I, like everyone has their down days. Nothing isn’t perfect in life and not everything is roses and butterflies or whatever the saying is. But I just think being positive is the way forward. So yeah, that’s my superpower.
Watch Four of Diamonds latest hit 'Let Me Love You' on Youtube now! Available on all major streaming platforms.