“The Time Is Now” – Carlo L’Chelle Dawson ’01

“The Time Is Now” – Carlo L’Chelle Dawson ’01

Carlo L'Chelle Dawson, College of Charleston

Day job: High school English/creative writing teacher in Rock Hill, S.C.

Night job: Caring for her family and performing at artist showcases and other events in the Rock Hill/Charlotte area

Carlo L'Chelle Dawson, College of CharlestonDiscography: The Book of My Revelation (2008)

Helping out with “The Time Is Now”: Her husband, Christopher Dawson (co-arrangement), and Derrick Bartell (production)

The message of “The Time Is Now”: “Follow your dreams. Do what you want to do. I was in my third year at the College, and I was majoring in biology. I wasn’t really happy majoring in biology, and I knew it. But it took Quentin Baxter ’98 – I call him ‘Professor B on the Stix’ in the song – to give me the confirmation. He said, ‘Are you really doing what you want to do?’ So I started asking myself that question, praying a lot, talking to my mom and just came to the decision to switch to English. So, that’s where I got that message: Follow your dreams. No matter what, follow your dreams. There are all these expectations out there – from your family, from your friends, even from yourself – but sometimes you have to do what’s right for you.

“And, for college students, the message is to take advantage of each moment you have in college. Don’t take anything for granted. Even though sometimes it gets hard, you’ll be glad you did it. When you look back, it’ll all come together. Even when it seems like you’re going off path, it’s OK, because everything ties in. It all comes together. I wouldn’t trade my time in college for anything in the world.”

Keeping in character: “This song is pretty much my style. My music is all introspective and positive. It’s who I am. That was my goal: writing something that was true to my style and that would be meaningful to any college student – or person, for that matter – who hears it.”

Origins of a song: “I consider myself a writer first, a singer second, and I think the lyrics and music sometimes evolve out of my poetry. But, it’s hard for me to describe where it comes from, because it’s so much a part of me – writing is just who I am. When writing a song, I go through a process of pouring out all my emotions on paper.  Next, I rewrite, rewrite and rewrite. And then, I think about the arrangement and edit the lyrics. Often, I am amazed by the final product. I started writing poetry and songs at a very young age. It was how I expressed myself and talked about what I was going through and what was going on around me. I used to get bullied often (they say that people don’t like it when you’re your own person), so it was my kind of therapy. But – beyond the lyrics and the writing – all I know is my music comes from me.”

Check out more music by Carlo L’Chelle Dawson.

Carlo L'Chelle Dawson, College of Charleston

Lyrics for “The Time Is Now”

No matter how scared you are
Believe and you will go far
Make the most of each day –

Look back in time
as I press rewind
back to ’96 on the CofC campus
Felt the cool breeze and the shining sun
Knew this would be my foundation
Not in 4k but still on my first day,
saw my mama’s tears & the years
as she said bye on St. Philip’s,
Then she cried and left me with this …

When I hear dem say-oh –
The time is now – oh –
To follow your dreams – oh –
The time is now

Shared my destiny with roommates from Chi, NYC, and all over the country
We were so young, so carefree, late night walks in the city.
Had some teachers who made it hard
And some that turned the light, thank God
Some who taught me the history
Some who taught me about me

When I hear dem say-oh –
The time is now – oh –
To follow your dreams – oh –
The time is now

The biggest lessons weren’t in the classroom
Gospel choir, AKA, performance troupe
is where found my way
My heart lived for the stage
Professor B on the sticks
Said, Be straight up on the six
Time to be real with me
And make my own destiny

When I hear dem say-oh –
The time is now – oh –
To follow your dreams – oh –
The time is now

No matter how scared you are
Believe and you will go far
Make the most of each day …

Listen to all of the songs on The Soundtrack.

– Photos by Sully Sullivan

7 comments

  • Love the song, love the Singer even more, But I’m biased she’s my wife. Her art of using words get better with time and she’s always positive in her delivery. Thanks for sharing and loving through words. The world is a better place because of your gift.

  • Just took a listen. It took me back to my Freshman year at Columbia College in 81. New people, new places,new experiences, new fears and a hold lot of dreams and aspirations. Keep going for yours. Don’t just dream to live, live the dream!!!

  • Great JOB! Continue to use the “GIFT” that you have been given…it will definitely take you to where you want and need to be!
    GOD’s wonderful BLESSINGS to YOU always!

  • What a beautiful song and a timely message. I am so proud of Carlo who has always dared to dream, but more importantly to step out on faith and reach for, work for and expect the possible. This song will give hope to those who may be wavering for just a moment.

    Keep singing, keep writing, keep inspiring!

  • Wow, I’m breathless!! My sisters told me you were good but I didn’t know until now!! Keep faith and you will come out on top!! Love it!! Love you Cuzo!

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