MY Tuesday interview is with CHARLOTTE...
who has been talking about her track, Nervous, and why it holds personal weight; what we can expect from the E.P., Nowhere to Hide, and which albums mean a lot to her – CHARLOTTE selects a few artists we need to look out for.
I ask what it was like putting her E.P. together and whether music came into her life from an early age; what she does away from music and whether there will be gigs approaching – she picks a great track to end the album with.
Hi, CHARLOTTE. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! I’m great, thanks. I’ve been in L.A. for the past week so I am very much enjoying the sunny weather.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure. I’m from Hull in East Yorkshire, England. I released my first single, I Tell Lies, on 22nd Feb which was also my twenty-first birthday. I’ve been writing for myself and other artists since I was seventeen, so I’ve spent a while crafting my sound. It feels really great to finally be releasing stuff now.
Nervous is your latest track. Can you talk about the story behind it?
It’s inspired by my pretty appalling excuse for a love life. I’ve found myself completely incapable of letting anyone close enough to get into a relationship with them. This song specifically talks about those people I’ve pushed away or potential relationships that I’ve single-handedly screwed up before they could blossom into anything serious, despite still having feelings towards those people.
It is from the E.P., Nowhere to Hide. What sort of themes inspired the E.P.?
Growing up, insecurity and loneliness. Learning how to navigate becoming an adult and learning how to love myself. Releasing this music is scary as it’s all such personal stuff.
What was it like putting the E.P. together? Did the songs come pretty naturally?
Each of the songs are attached to really intense emotions that were all written in the moment. There were definitely some incredibly tough sessions. I was not a happy person at all when I wrote these songs but writing each of them helped me begin figuring things out.
Do you remember when music came to you? Did you always grow up around different sounds?
I grew up watching my grandparents perform Soul music. I’d join in their rehearsals and invite myself up onstage from as young as four. I was completely captured by the music they played. I feel really lucky to be from a family of music lovers. I was exposed to so many amazing artists from all different genres. That’s definitely given me a great sonic foundation to draw inspiration from when I’m creating.
Which modern artists do you take guidance from? Do you listen to a lot of current music?
I listen to old and new music in equal measure. I think there are some unbelievably exciting artists making music at the moment. I’m a huge fan of Leon Bridges, Maggie Rogers; Bon Iver, Sam Fender; Frank Ocean, Lewis Capaldi; Ry X, H.E.R. and Billie Eilish. I’m taking huge inspiration from seeing authenticity getting the recognition it deserves. It makes me feel like I can be braver with the things I share in both my music and online when I see other artists baring their souls.
Are there any ambitions for the rest of 2019 in terms of music and plans?
There are plenty of things I wanted to achieve - although I’m trying to make the most of every moment as it happens rather than falling into the vicious cycle of always chasing something better. I’d love to get to the end of this year and be able to say that I’ve played over one-hundred shows. I’m playing show number thirty-eight tonight, so I’ve made a good start on that I think.
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
I do. I had the most unforgettable weekend in Ireland last week. I was asked, last-minute, to guest appear on a song with a band called Picture This for five nights at the 3Arena in Dublin. I got to sing for a total of 65,000 people over the five nights. The story is a bit longer and more complicated than that but a series of weird and wonderful events led to it all happening and I will carry the memories with me for the rest of my life.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
The albums that mean the most to me are the ones that have sentimental value. Hand Built by Robots - Newton Faulkner reminds me of car journeys with my mum; O - Damien Rice reminds me of my first festival experience and it’s an album I listened to a lot with my brother. Then pretty much every memory I’ve made in the last year and a half has been soundtracked by Leon Bridges - Good Thing…because it’s pretty much all I’ve listened to. Haha.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I am THE most low-maintenance person ever. It takes very little to make me very happy. All I require is carbs and hummus. I also love taking naps. Maybe I’d ask for a sleeping pod like they have at the Google offices. Oh…and I’d ask for my dog to be transported to wherever I’m performing.
What are your plans regarding gigs/touring?
I have more tours coming up that I’ll be able to announce soon. Including some headline shows that I am SO excited about.
Is the stage somewhere you love to be? How important is it being up there?
Being onstage feels vital. I start to feel a build-up of energy and weight on my shoulders that can only be released by performing if I don’t have shows for a while. I don’t even have an explanation for why that is. Playing my own songs instead of covers has added another level to shows for me. Singing my own lyrics and having crowds connect with what I have to say is amazing.
IN THIS PHOTO: Vistas/PHOTO CREDIT: Ellen Offredy Photography
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How d you unwind?
At the moment, no. It’s been properly hectic since the beginning of this year.
I’m scheduling in a week off at the end of May where I plan to go home and just establish a bit of routine for myself again. Go to the gym, eat proper meals; walk my dog and spend time with my family. They’re all things that I’ve missed out on whilst touring over the last few months. I tend to operate at 100 m.p.h. until I can feel that I’m physically or mentally struggling a bit, then I make sure I take some time to reset.
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).
Saturday Night - Whigfield. I listen to this before I go onstage. Do the dance. It’s a banger