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The Mic

Carla Rigolin Hassett

The Mic is a podcast about the lives and careers of successful singers who work in the background. Whether backing up superstars on tour or singing on films, TV, or albums, these world-class vocalists share their stories of how they rose to the top of their field. Hosted by seasoned session/touring singer Carla Hassett from her studio in Los Angeles, The Mic features in-depth conversations with some of the best singers you've never heard of. In each episode, a guest vocalist shares insights on the business, the process of singing, current and past trends, and behind-the-scenes stories. ​


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In this final episode of season 1, Carla talks with legendary singer, Sally Stevens. Sally’s invaluable contribution to film and television uniquely qualifies her to comment on the changes in the industry over the years, the Oscars, diversity, and the myriad of great film composers that she’s worked for, like Gerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer, Alf Clausen, and John Williams.


Sally Stevens is an American singer, actress and a vocal contractor. She has sung on hundreds of The Simpsons episodes, and sings the main title, which has been in use since the inception of the show. She also sings the main title for Family Guy and has worked for Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the show, as vocal contractor and singer since the inception of the series. She has sung, and been vocal contractor for hundreds of films, some of which include The Last Airbender, The Abyss, Contact, Amistad, Power of One, Behind Enemy Lines, Beyond Borders, Forrest Gump, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Sally Stevens is the mother of session singer Susie Stevens-Logan. She did the voices of Marge and Patty in the demo recording of "Dancing Workers Song".

Most recent projects included singing and vocal contractor services for Night at the Museum 3, for Alan Silvestri, composer (2014). She also contracted the male choir for Thomas Newman, for the Steven Spielberg film Bridge of Spies, (2015) and sang for vocal contractor Bobbi Page on the scores for Tomorrowland and Jurassic World, for composer Michael Giacchino (2015).

Stevens was born in Los Angeles, California, and attended UCLA as a music major. She worked as a production singer in Las Vegas with bookings in 1961 and 1962, then began to work freelance in recording and commercials in Los Angeles. She sang on the Danny Kaye Variety Show two seasons, and The Carol Burnett Showand The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Her first work in film scoring was in 1962, How the West was Won, then continuing, Doctor Zhivago and The Sound Of Music.[1][2] Other solo performances in film include The Secret of NIMH (composer Jerry Goldsmith),[3] and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Burt Bacharach, composer). In 1979–82 she was the on-camera spokesperson for KBIG Radio, a Los Angeles radio/m...


10/19/18 • 41 min

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An amazing and versatile singer, Angie Jaree talks with Carla about her work with Clare Fischer, Natalie Cole, Patty Labelle, Patty Austin, Sergio Mendes, her super group The Cleanup Crue, and her latest adventure singing on Danny Elfman’s live show The Nightmare Before Christmas. She also shares how she coped with her husband’s death while keeping an active performance schedule, and some solid advice for singers trying to break into the business.


Angie was born and raised in Chicago and moved to LA to pursue her artist and acting career in a ‘milder’ climate. Meanwhile, Angie won a Grammy Award (for Clare Fischer’s 2+2+ FREEFALL album), received Emmy Award recognition, and has become a first-call session singer and voice actor.

One of Angie’s favorite projects is being a featured soloist with Danny Elfman re-creating “The Nightmare Before Christmas” live with full orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl Halloween 2015 and 2016 and at Barclay’s in Brooklyn, NY in December 2017.

Angie has recorded and/or performed with the following artists:

Daft Punk (sang on 2016 Grammy win album), “Weird Al” Yankovic,

Sugarland, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’99, Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Christina Aguilera, Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Clare Fischer, and Walter Becker

Recent/favorite animated and live action tv credits include:

Tangled The TV Series, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”, Family Guy,

The Simpsons. Biblically Speaking, 2 and 1⁄2 Men, The Middle

Recent/favorite animated and live action film credits include:

La La Land, Pitch Perfect 2, The Muppets Most Wanted, SING!

In 2014, Angie played the role of “Donna” in the world premiere of Without Annette (a unique comedy combining improv and scripted performance)

Angie has a B.A. in Theater/Music from Northern Illinois University.

Angie's education includes several years of Improvisation study with Second City in Chicago, and Tamara Wilcox, Christopher Smith and both study and improv performance with Kent Skov in LA (ongoing)

Angie is the founder/wrangler of the improv comedy/character singing loop troupe: The Cleanup Crue ( )

Episode Links:
Sergio Mendes

Vocal Blend

Gracinha Leporace

Kevyn Lettau

Hollywood Bowl

Clare Fisher

Kenny Obrien

Reel to Reel tape

Patti Austin

Patty LaBelle

Natalie Cole

Caetano Veloso

Latin Grammy Person of the Year

A Little More Blue

Natalie Cole Holly and Ivy

Improv class

Nightmare Before Christmas

Danny Elfman

West Side Story

Marni Nixon

Paul Kreiling

The Cleanup Crue

Joanna Bushnell

Janice Liebhart

Fletcher Sheridan

Randy Crenshaw

Alvin Chea


10/12/18 • 55 min

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10/05/18 • 37 min

As a background singer, Felice Hernandez has toured with Hillary Duff, and sings in Oingo Boingo Dance Party. As a session singer, she has contributed to films, TV shows, albums, and award shoes. In this episode she tells us about how she came out from behind a desk at a label to sing with Cecilia Noel, and how that launched her career as a backup singer. She talks about juggling being a singer and a mom, shares advice for younger singers, and looks into her very popular facebook group Singer Friends LA.


Felice Hernandez – session singer / studio vocalist / vocal instruction / demo singer

A native of Los Angeles, Felice Hernandez grew up loving the diverse musical opportunities that big city life brings. Inspired by that diversity, she has become a “chameleon” of contemporary music, ranging from r&b, rock, pop, and jazz. There’s no shortage of incredible musicians in Los Angeles, and Felice has been honored to work with many. Her background singer credits include, NEIL YOUNG, HILARY DUFF, members of OINGO BOINGO, KEVIN SPACEY, MICHAEL MCDONALD, JOSH GROBAN, ALEJANDRO FERNANDEZ and PETE ESCOVEDO. Television and Film credits include PITCH PERFECT 2, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, 90210, THE LATIN GRAMMYS, AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS, MTV TRL, DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS, Disney Jr.’s ELENA OF AVALOR, just to name a few. Felice is also the signature station i.d. voice of numerous radio stations in Europe and Asia.

In addition to working as a session singer and live vocalist, Felice is also a vocal instructor / voice teacher in the South Bay. Contact Felice for a private voice lesson.


Power Rangers – Lionsgate (release date, March 2017)

Pitch Perfect 2, Universal

Ghostworld, United Artists


Elena of Avalor – Disney Channel

Transparent – Amazon Originals

Battlestar Galactica – SCI FI Network

Sarah Connor Chronicles – FOX

American Music Awards – ABC

The Latin Grammys – ABC

90210 – CW Network

Don’t Forget the Lyrics – VH1

NBC’s Las Vegas – NBC

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson – CBS

MTV New Year’s Eve – MTV

MTV’s Hilary Duff “Making the Tour” – MTV

Hilary Duff’s Island Birthday Bash – FOX

Evil Men – USA Network


Ruen Brothers “Point Dume”, Republic Records

Neil Young “Living With War”, Reprise Records

Hilary Duff “Most Wanted”, Hollywood Records

Battlestar Galactica “Season Four Soundtrack”, LaLa Land Records

Cecilia Noel & The Wild Clams “Slam the Clam”, Epic Records


Hilary Duff

Michael McDonald

Josh Groban

Kevin Spacey

Pete Escovedo & Sheila E.

Johnny Vatos Oingo Boingo Dance Party

Alejandro Fernandez

Cecilia Noel & The Wild Clams

Episode Links:


Ghost World

Scarlet Johansen

Doobie Brothers

Steely Dan

Sonny and Cher

Burt Bacharach

The Gogos

Rufus and Chaka Khan

Martha Wash

Sharon Jones

The Brand New Heavies

Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams

The Baked Potato

Neill Diamond


Sight Singing

Gerald White

Howie Shearer trumpet player

Jim Gilstrap

You Are The Sunshine of My Life

Celia Cruz



10/05/18 • 37 min

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Session singer Charissa Nielsen started out as a music therapist, working in a residential care facilities for troubled youth, before breaking into session work. Her passion for helping others continued as she and her producer/engineer husband carved out successful careers in Los Angeles, and now, Charissa sits on the singer’s committee at Sag-Aftra, and is a strong advocate for educating singers on the commercials contract. She gives some very practical and straight-forward tips to young singers, and sprinkles the whole show with nuggets of wisdom.


Charissa Nielsen is a Los Angeles based Session Singer, Vocal Contractor, Composer, and Actor. Before session singing, she worked as a Music Therapist, eventually becoming a Personal Assistant to Rick Rubin, Cecilia Noel, and Colin Hay. She has shared the studio or stage with Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Michael Buble, Perry Farrell, Colin Hay, and Seth Macfarlane. She is a member of the salsa group Cecilia Noel & the Wild Clams. Her vocals can be heard in the films Star Wars, Sing, The Jungle Book and Planet of the Apes as well as in commercials for Tide, Burger King, UPS, Hanes, Old Navy, JELLO, and Comcast. Charissa Nielsen is also one of three women that direct a gospel choir called Elevate and a kids choir called Captivate. More info at

Episode Links:

Soho House Malibu

Holland Greco

Holland and Clark

Rick Rubin’s Shangri La Studios and Bob Dylan’s Tour Bus

Billy Corgan & Smashing Pumpkins

Dana Nielsen

The secret recordings Carla was working on: Anavitória

Comp (Vocal Comping)

Music Therapy

Guitar Center

5 Acres

The Sycamores




The Container Store Pasadena

Westlake Studio

Cecilia Noel

Colin Hay

Rick Rubin

Johnny Cash

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Dixie Chicks

Justin Timberlake


Leonard Cohen

Perry Ferrell

Janes Adiction

Satellite Party

The Village Studios

Luana Jackman

Gerald White

Desperate Housewives

Remote Recording

Pro Tools

Vocal Contracting

The Commercial Choir

Vocal Break


09/28/18 • 39 min

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09/21/18 • 57 min

Carlos Murguia can count seven generations of musicians in his lineage. In this episode, he takes us through how he emigrated to the states from Mexico City, and how he got into singing on major tours and sessions. He discusses everything from reading vs singing by ear, the perils of playing 16 sets in a day, diversity in the workplace, and the unpredictability of sessions. Carlos and Carla geek out a bit on studio gear, discuss the advantages of having your own studio, and advancing your production skills, songwriting and the kindness of some vocal producers. He also shares advice to young singers about reaching deeper and further inside to find a more honest delivery from the heart, and the importance of being prepared.


Has worked with producers David Foster, Humberto Gatíca, Walter Afanasieff,

Ariff Mardin, Patrick Leonard, Jorge Calandrelli, Pat Williams, Jude Cole,

Diane Warren, KC Porter, Gustavo Borner, Aureo Baqueiro, Gustavo Farías.

Artists (studio or live): Billy Preston, Santana, Lady Gaga, Lifehouse, The Manhattan

Transfer, JLo, Don Felder, Fifth Harmony, The Killers, Kenny G, Mary J Blige •

As well as Latín artists Luis Miguel, Enrique Iglesias, Juan Gabriel, Alexandro Sanz, Aleks Syntek, Thalia, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Camila, Emmanuel and many more •

Credits include singing lead and background vocals on Soundtracks and TV shows

such as The Flintstones Movie • The Emperor's New Groove • Happy Feet • Why do fools fall in love • The Simpsons • George Lopez • Family Guy • Coco • Jimmy Kimmel • The Oscars

Live performances/touring include singing/playing keyboards and Hammond B-3 for:

Ellis Hall of Tower Of Power Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night Blood Sweat & Tears Bobby Kimball of Toto • Rickie Lee Jones • Luis Miguel • Currently a member of Jack Mack & The Heart Attack

Born in México City, México, Carlos Murguía has been around music since day one. Son of both musician parents, "the level of musicality in the house was always very high. Singing and playing an instrument was as normal as going to school for us, Classical, Jazz and Pop/R&B music were playing all the time." •

In 1974 at the age of 15, Carlos hit the road throughout the U.S. playing B-3 organ and exploring all genres of music with a special fondness for Pop R&B & Funk, with his brothers’ band Tabasco who would soon be signed by RCA. After being signed to RCA Records Mexico from '79 to '81, Carlos moved permanently to the U.S. again in 1982. Disneyland and Walt Disney World became “boot camp” leading the

house band for nearly 10 years, which btw this same band is currently Luis Miguel’s full rhythm section and has been for the last 25 years •

In 1992 joined Funk/Jazz recording band “The Art of Sax” performing in numerous Jazz festivals throughout the U.S. making 2 albums before parting ways in '98 to pursue full time touring & recording with major artists.

Songwriting includes placing over 25 songs with Latin artists such as Cristian Castro, Yuri, Flans, Camila and many more on most major record labels • Co-writer for the band Camila's single "De Venus " from their 2014 Grammy awarded album Elipse on Sony Records which hit number one on the charts all over Mexico and Latin America.

Endorsed by Hammond Suzuki USA

. For credit references please go to:

The Flintstones Movie

Dan Navarro


Donna McDaniel

Vocal hemorrhage

Maria Elena Salinas

Disney World

Manhattan Transfer

Kenny O’Brien

Christian DeWalden

Isela Sotelo

Jack Mack and the Heart Attack

Mary J Blige The Oscars

Luis Miguel

Lady Gaga<...


09/21/18 • 57 min

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard Rosemary Butler’s exquisite voice. She is most recognized as the backup singer for iconic artists like Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor, and her voice stands out like a beacon of musical light on Jackson Browne’s legendary Running On Empty tour and album. In this episode, Rosemary shares stories of that tour, takes us back to her start as a bass player, tips for young singers, vocal and emotional health, and the details of her next solo record.


Rosemary’s Journey

Bonnie Raitt

Paul McCartney

Fullerton, California

Fender Factory

Rolling Stones

ABC Dunhill

BB King

Catfish Hodge

Linda Rondstadt

Jackson Browne

The Eagles

JD Souther

James Taylor

Crosby Stills and Nash

Joe Cocker

Capitol Records

Peter Asher

Whitney Houston

Celine Dion

Running On Empty

Here Come Those Tears Again

The Load Out/Stay

Greg Ladanyi


Glenn Frey

Take It Easy

The Troubador

Andrea Bocelli

David Foster

Sarah Brightman

Guide Vocal

Michael McDonald

Kenny Loggins

The Hollywood Bowl

Art Laboe

The Manhattans

The BeeGees

Boz Scaggs

EMI Toshiba

Pony Canyon

Conviction of the Heart

Earth Day Paul McCartney Hollywood Bowl

Vocal Ease (App) Arnold McCuller

Nolan Van Way


09/14/18 • 47 min

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09/07/18 • 51 min

Wonderful, versatile, and beautiful inside and out, Allie Feder shares how she became a very in-demand singer from her studies at USC to a day job, and into singing on sessions and on stage for folks like Hans Zimmer. In this episode, we reveal our personal stories of how we got into studio work, performance anxiety, the misconception that all singers want to be famous, vocal health and cool gadgets, warm up tips on the road, her composer husband, and saying yes to everything. We had such a nice chat that we didn’t even get into her work on the film Pitch Perfect 2 (but I included links in the show notes!).


ALLIE is a studio singer and performer based in Los Angeles. She records for film, television, commercials, video games, and demos in a variety of genres; Pop, Jazz, Soul, Rock, Country and more. Her vocal versatility provides her with the ability to imitate many different voices and styles, from bubbly commercial pop to wailing and powerful film music.

Her recent credits include an appearance in the hit musical comedy film Pitch Perfect 2, playing a member of the film’s German antagonist group Das Sound Machine, as well as appearances on five seasons of The Voice, The Grammy Awards, The Late Late Show with James Corden, The Ellen Degeneres Show, and The Sing-Off. Allie’s vocals can also be heard on films and TV shows including: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Pitch Perfect 3, War for the Planet of the Apes, Hairspray Live!, Suicide Squad, Disney’s Descendants 2, The Simpsons, Modern Family, Fuller House, Mr. Robot, Disjointed and more, and on commercials for Barbie, Lalaloopsy, Project MC Squared, and Monster High. Album credits include background vocals for tracks by Harry Styles, Parson James, and Nate Ruess.

A member of multiple bands, Allie performs regularly at events, festivals, concerts, and private parties. She is currently a member of jazz/pop group Level, pop caroling group Snowfall, Andrews Sisters trio The Swing Dolls, and chamber choir LA Choral Lab. Memorable recent performances include singing the role of Elsa in a live-to-picture concert of Disney's Frozen in Taiwan, with conductor Tim Davies and the Taiwanese National Symphony Orchestra, and going on tour with film composer Hans Zimmer for the Hans Zimmer Revealed: Live Tour. She is so grateful to have had opportunities to perform at venues like The Hollywood Bowl, The Greek Theatre, Coachella Music Festival, and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Music can be a powerful tool for connection, and Allie strives to communicate soulfully and authentically through every note she sings. Trained as a child in musical theatre, and then in jazz and pop from her teen years onward, she enjoys drawing from her diverse musical background to help guide her towards finding sincerity and passion in every performance, session, and song.

Connect with Allie

Episode Links


Kathleen Grace

Performance Anxiety Coach

Fleetwood Mac

The Rescues

Hans Zimmer



Pat Leonard

Donna Delory

The SoCal VoCals

Center Theatre Group

Gabriel Mann

Michael Kramer

My Pure Mist


09/07/18 • 51 min

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08/31/18 • 38 min

Bob Joyce is a killer bass who has sung on hundreds of films and TV shows, but his instrument is hardly limited to bottom notes. He can also access a tenor range that bears an amazing similarity to James Taylor and Kenny Loggins. In this episode, we talk about his session singing parents who were regular singers on the iconic Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and how he sat under the piano listening as they rehearsed to record The Sound of Music soundtrack. Bob tells me how despite the success of his parents and brother Jon (who toured as a backup singer with Elton John and Pink Floyd), it took him 10 years to succeed and how he did it on his own terms. We talk about the nerdy white guy niche, keeping a straight face while singing comedy, saying yes to everything, singing on The Lion King, Frozen, and for Snoop Dogg, plus the time he nearly lost his voice permanently, and tips for the quickest warm-up. Check out the list below that his wife compiled of all the films, TV shows, commercials, and albums that he sang on. It’s crazy-long!

For more on The Mic, or to subscribe to our newsletter go to The Mic homepage


Bob Joyce is a Grammy award winning Los Angeles session singer who has provided vocals for hundreds of motion picture soundtracks and hundreds of television episodes for over 30 years. He can also be heard on numerous album recordings, commercials, and radio station ID’s. His voice is on Disney amusement park rides and attractions throughout the world. He has sung on camera for motion pictures and television episodes as well as for numerous live performances such as many Academy Awards shows, Danny Elfman productions at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live, with Seth McFarland at his Christmas show at The Grove, and at charity events around the city.

Episode Links:

Jimmy Joyce Singers

Alvino Rey with Jimmy Joyce

Nelson Riddle

Henry Mancini

Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

KEarth101 Johnny Mann Singers

High Hopes Frank Sinatra

The Sound of Music

Small World

LA Jazz Choir

Tuesday Productions

Ron Hicklin

Debbie Hall

David Byrne

Jon Joyce

Elton John

Pink Floyd The Wall Tour


Family Guy You’ve Got The AIDS

South Park Bigger Longer and Uncut

Deadpool 2

The Lion King <...


08/31/18 • 38 min

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08/31/18 • 64 min

In this very first episode of The Mic, the incredibly talented Nayanna Holley shares stories of being on the road with her dad, Dorian Holley, when he toured as a backup singer for Michael Jackson. She takes us through her own journey of becoming a professional singer, her music education, and how she worked at being recognized on her own terms, apart from her well-known father. She walks us through a demanding work-week on The Voice, how she keeps in vocal shape for the long hours, and just how involved the celebrity coaches are. She talks about her work with Queen Latifah, Sheryl Crowe, and her YouTube Channel show, The Practice Room. Plus, tips on auditioning, vocal warmups, how to always be prepared, and much more!

The Mic Homepage

The Mic on Instagram

Find Nayanna at

Follow Nayanna on Instagram

Episode Links:

Dorian Holley

Michael Jackson Bad Tour

LA Country High School For The Performing Arts

Berklee College of Music

University of Miami

Western Michigan University

Mix voice


Gold Company Dr Steve Zegree


Bobby McFerrin

Fred Hersch

Take 6

Queen Latifa Trav’lin Light

John Beasley

Romeo Johnson

Charlotte Gibson

Sheryl Crowe

The Practice Room

American Idol

The Voice

Number system (moveable Do)

Kyla Jayde

Jennifer Hudson

Hans Zimmer

Hidden Figures



08/31/18 • 64 min

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08/26/18 • 2 min

Singers are doing their thing in the background of your lives each and every day, and if you ever wondered who they are, then this podcast is for you! In each episode, we talk with a successful singer about their lives in the background, be it touring, studio work, tv shows, films, or albums. We discuss the famous artists, producers, and composers they work for, and tell stories that are serious, hysterical, full of advice, or just shop talk. Season one features some of the best singers on the planet that you've surely heard, but never heard of. Check out more info on The Mic and host Carla Hassett at, and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.


08/26/18 • 2 min

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The episode title 'Sally Stevens: A Legend In The Background' is the most popular.

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