Former 'The Girlas' band member Carly Smith - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Former 'The Girlas' band member Carly Smith

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some local musicians dream of moving to California and making it big in Hollywood, but this California girl found herself doing the opposite. With a strong country music background, Carly Smith, formerly of the local girl band "The Girlas", has adapted quite easily to her life as a musician here in Hawaii.

We caught up with Carly at the Kaimuki's awa bar, The Cove, one of Carly's favorite venues. "This is such a mellow environment and it's actually a great place to be inspired and create music as well. I wrote a lot of songs in awa bars," said Carly Smith.

A notable difference from her days of playing at honkytonks in California where Carly is from. "When you're in a bar you're background sound. You're what they're dancing to, fighting to, or drinking to. It's a 180 for sure," said Carly.

Carly moved to Hawaii over six years ago at the urging of her cousin Tiffany Cruz, a member of the musically talented Cruz family. "She said come to Hawaii. Come make music with us, all your Cruz cousins. Just come over here and do it. So I did. I bought a one-way ticket when I was 19-years-old," said Carly.

Tiffany introduced Carly to musicians Candy Diaz and Kelli Heath and along with several other friends, they formed "The Girlas."

"All of us girls, we were just inseparable. Just non-stop jamming, we would stay up to 2 or 3 a.m. in the awa bar and write songs together. I never knew these girls but they became my sisters quick," said Carly.

They produced a CD titled "Now and Never" in 2006. Carly's style however will always be rooted in country music. "My dream has always been to release a country and a bluegrass album and I have yet to do that," said Carly.

Until that time, you can hear Carly's music here at the awa bar every Wednesday and at

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