THIS week begins with a chat with Charlotte Black...
who has been telling me about her latest single, Los Angeles, and what inspired its creation. I ask if she is already working on new material and which artists/albums have been most important to her; whether there are new artists to look out for and what the future holds.
Black talks about last year and tells me whether, as a rising artist, it is hard to get noticed; whether she gets time to chill and what advice she’d give to approaching artists – she ends the interview by selecting a track.
Hi, Charlotte. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey, Sam. I’m great, thank you. I’m actually in Sydney as we speak and the weather is delicious! It’s been amazing having a hot January!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a Pop singer/songwriter from Edinburgh, currently based in London. I absolutely love intricate storytelling lyrics and aim to let my tracks be as vulnerable and true to me as possible. I’ve been on the music ‘releasing’ scene for about a year however I’ve been songwriting for such a long time.
Los Angeles is your new track. Can you tell me about its background and story?
So. Los Angeles is about a summer romance that was that little bit of magic; the story being encapsulated in L.A., the city of dreams. It’s about longing to be back in a time and place with someone: Los Angeles being the metaphor for the person.
Do you think there will be more material coming? How far ahead are you looking?
Absolutely. I’ve got a new song coming in the next two months. I’m even more excited about it than I was about Los Angeles! Then, I’ve got a few more in the process of being produced. It’s going to be a busy year!
Looking back on 2018; what are your impressions and memories of the year?
2018 was actually one of the best years I’ve ever had; not only for music but it was a strong year of self-development. I really gave myself space to discover exactly what direction I wanted to take my music in and now I feel really excited for the future!
When you were growing up, which artists guided and compelled you to get into the business?
I grew up listening to ABBA and Joni Mitchell. Then, as I got older, I fell in love with Hilary Duff, Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift - who were all a huge part of my inspiration of becoming a singer/songwriter.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Oh. It was definitely being playlisted on New Music Friday in several countries after my most recent release. It was such an incredible feeling to be placed alongside artists in such big fans of.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
This is a tricky one. First of all would be Taylor Swift’s Speak Now as that totally represents my teen. She’s the most relatable writer so I’d say that album was profound for me.
Secondly, it would be the A Star Is Born Soundtrack. i absolutely love every track on there.
Aaaaand probably Taylor Swift’s new album, Reputation - I found it fascinating watching the development of her writing and her career. This album represents so much courage and strength which I absolutely love.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Taylor Swift, one-hundred times over. I love her energy whilst performing and think she’d be incredible to work alongside and support. I think there endless amounts I could learn from her, she’s unstoppable.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I’d say, that if you’re writing/producing songs, make sure you’re creating tracks that you love, that you’re proud of and that are true to who you are as an artist. It’s so easy to produce what you think other people will like but, from experience, I’ve realised that the work that’s truly me is the work that people really respond to.
The music industry is getting bigger and more competitive. Is it hard for a new artist to get noticed and have their work heard, do you think?!
I think it’s always been a challenge, especially because the market is so saturated now with so much talent! It’s much easier nowadays to release as in independent artist which means we’re all aiming for the same spot on these Spotify playlists. However, I think if you put in your 10,000 hours and work as hard as you possibly can your work will be heard and celebrated.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Nothing set in stone yet. However, I’ve got my live band set up so it should be very, very soon.
IN THIS PHOTO: Josh Piterman
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I love to travel. I try and go away as often as I can as all of these new places I visit end up being huge inspirations for my writing process. There’s something about a new city that always inspires me. For example, Los Angeles is about my time I spent there two years ago.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Ooo. I’d love to hear Dutch Melrose - Jazz, on The Drive Home. He’s a good friend of mine from L.A. and his music is incredible
Follow Charlotte Black