At the end of last year, Charlotte Jane released her latest single Get It Right, a song she co-wrote with Dayyon Alexander and Jeff Shum, followed by a music video for the track and she is currently preparing to release her new single soon. Charlotte’s debut EP Nowhere To Hide has been streamed millions of times, with her music also playing on radio stations including BBC Radio 1, and she has recently signed a record deal with Sony. During her career so far, Charlotte has toured with music artists such as Lewis Capaldi and Mika, and she has also performed at Reading & Leeds Festival. Chatting to us, we found out from Charlotte about her latest single Get It Right, touring with Lewis Capaldi and Mika and her upcoming music plans.
How was it releasing your latest single Get It Right at the end of last year and co-writing with Dayyon Alexander and Jeff Shum?
Honestly, it was such a huge thing for me to just be able to say I released SOMETHING last year. Because there really wasn’t much else that I had to show for 2020. That month or two of getting the song ready to go, recording the music video and having something other than Coronavirus to talk about was an absolute breath of fresh air and I’m so grateful for that period of time.
I actually wrote Get It Right two years ago, when the world was very different, haha! We wrote it in LA, it was born from a day where I was incredibly pissed off. I guess you can hear that in the lyrics. Writing with Dayyon and Jeff is a bit like breathing. You don’t have to think about it too much, it happens naturally.
Since starting work on the song, how much has it changed over time?
The song is almost exactly the same as the day we wrote it. It’s the vocal that I recorded on an SM7B scratch mic sat on the sofa in studio in Silverlake. We picked the song back up last year in around July, I think, and started getting it ready to release. The drums were added like two months before release to really help build the track dynamically and Kevin Garret also jumped on production to sprinkle some magic treatment on the BVs. That’s very cool to me as I’m a huge fan of his.
How does it feel having your music be played on radio stations such as BBC Radio 1?
I wish wish wish someone had recorded my reaction to reading the email I got that told me I would be played on Radio 1. It was ridiculous. I first of all accidentally YEETED my phone across the room. Miraculously it didn’t break. Then was manically running around the house making weird noises. Called my boyfriend and then my brother, each time I told them I relived the initial excitement and lost my mind again. I will never forget that feeling. That was a huge milestone moment.
What did you enjoy most about filming the music video for Get It Right?
THE TEAM! I just got to work with such wholesome, kind, gorgeous people. Emily Wood (magical MUA) and Claire Healey (who gives me Rapunzel hair) are the best company I could wish for. Video shoots make me really, really nervous and self-conscious and they make me laugh so much that I forget what I’m even on set for hahaaa! Then director Charlie Watts, his whole crew were so lovely. I felt really at ease and for the first time, got to fully enjoy making a music video.
Can you tell us how you found the experience releasing your debut EP Nowhere To Hide, which has been streamed millions of times?
This will sound really strange but that whole experience was a complete blur. It was really amazing to see my songs get listened to and loved by people though. So much happened, I played so many shows and so much was going on in my personal life at the time. I learnt a lot about myself throughout that process and forgot to enjoy and appreciate a lot of things that happened as I was focused on what was coming next. I hope I manage to enjoy more things in the moment this year.
Where do you get inspiration from for songwriting and how would you describe your sound?
I’m like an emotional sponge. I soak up the feelings from everything I experience and the feelings of those around me and ultimately that’s what I end up channeling in the studio. Writing a song to set my emotions free has been a process I’ve been relying on since I was a little girl. I feel like my sound is very much still evolving and it’s not yet in its full form. Every song I put out is a sonic representation of who I was and how I felt when I wrote it. I know that my next project is a lot more cohesive, sonically, than my last though so I can’t wait for people to hear how my sound has evolved in the last year or so.
How did you first get into the music industry and what do you remember from playing your first ever gig?
I guess my first ‘official’ industry link was my manager, Mike. After meeting him, that’s when I started doing writing sessions, getting support slots with other artists and taking meetings with publishers etc. I was introduced to Mike by a mutual friend who had been helping to get me gigs for a while. I was seventeen at the time and I knew that I wanted to pursue a career as an artist but had absolutely no idea how to go about it so meeting my manager was a huge deal. If my memory serves me correctly, my first ever gig was getting up on stage with my Grandparents in Spain singing Summer Nights from Grease. I felt like an absolute rockstar because I got to sing into my Granddad’s wireless microphone which, at the time, was one of the coolest pieces of tech you could have presented me with.
You’ve previously performed at Reading and Leeds Festival, what was the atmosphere like?
It was BOILING. Both days were thirty-something degrees so everyone at the festival was melting. I played with a full band for RandL which I don’t often do (because it’s expensiiiiive) so I was absolutely buzzing to get to have my tunes sounding like the studio version. It was an unreal experience and getting to enjoy the festival after I’d played was so fun. Kind of freaks me out now, thinking about how many tens of thousands of people I was squashed up next to whilst watching Post Malone. It was a different world, wasn’t it!
What is it like touring with artists such as Lewis Capaldi and Mika?
Playing with Lewis was a real highlight of 2019. There were two other artists supporting each time we played so the shows were kind of like mini festivals. It meant the atmosphere backstage had a real buzz to it and everyone could hang out backstage. Lewis is such a genuinely lovely guy who wants to lift other artists up alongside him. I’m massively grateful to him for that. Touring with Mika was a childhood dream come true. I watched his set nearly every night and was gutted if we had to get in the bus to the next city early which would mean I’d have to miss him playing. But the novelty of having my own tour bus would soon cheer me up and I’d head up to the games room and play Ratchet & Clank. I danced my arse off so often on that tour. It actually encouraged me to write some more upbeat songs after seeing how elated people were after experiencing his show. Once again, another lovely artist who I hugely admire.
You signed a record deal last year, can you describe how this felt?
Surreal. It was quite strange to sign a deal and then spiral into a pandemic. We still haven’t all been able to hang out and celebrate which is such a shame. Feels like I’ll be on album two by the time we manage to link up, haha. I’m so happy to be working with such a great team at Sony though. It’s a crazy feeling to have people who believe in you strongly enough to commit to signing you, I’m excited for what we can all achieve together.
What upcoming music plans do you have?
I have a couple of songs dropping over the next few months. My next single is dropping really soon actually. I never like to say the date until closer to the time as, now more than ever, things can change at very short notice but it’s scheduled to drop in the next month or so. It’ll all lead up to an EP and then there’s more music coming straight after that so everyone should buckle in for a year of plenty of musical snacks that I shall be serving up.
How do you spend your time away from music?
At the moment I do a lot of sitting on the sofa watching TV series which is something that, pre-COVID, I didn’t have much time to do so I’ve actually enjoyed doing it more. I’ve got into running recently so I try and run 5K at least three times a week and do some kind of weight/HIIT training on other days. I love to get outdoors and hike, walk my dog, cook and I just moved into a little house that I’m gradually furnishing so I spend an unhealthy amount of time looking at home decor and making Pinterest boards for each room.
Are there any artists you would particularly like to collaborate or tour with?
I want to tour with Coldplay and write a few songs with Chris Martin. I’d loooove to get in the studio with H.E.R., I think she is genius. If I ever got to sing with Justin Vernon it would either be the best thing to ever happen to me or I’d ruin the entire experience by breaking down in tears as soon as he starts singing (his voice just makes me cry, I don’t know how he does it, it’s just so beautiful).
You’ve been involved with a few music projects during the pandemic, can you tell us about some of them?
Well, first of all, I was really grateful for the opportunity to get to do performances of some kind. Obviously the opportunities have been few and far between over the last year so it was cool to do the occasional online performance. We filmed Home School on a rooftop garden in the centre of Hull, where I’m from. It was really cold and windy but I thought it was a cool place to do it. It wasn’t quite the same as being in Los Angeles but we made do. I cheated slightly when I played Bathroom Sessions as I didn’t actually record it in my bathroom. I did try but it went terribly so I admitted defeat and whacked a toilet roll, a towel and a bottle of soap on top of my piano in my studio.
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