As a relatively new name in music, CHARLOTTE’s journey has been far from ordinary – much like the music that she’s created. Having developed a fresh sound that blends soulful melodies with a variety of dynamic pop tones and extraordinarily sincere lyrics, CHARLOTTE’s debut EP Nowhere To Hide captures a mix of complex and compelling narratives.
Growing up in Hull, England, she spent her younger years performing at local pubs, later on discovering the therapeutic qualities of creating music during her more trying adolescent years while her family was living a world away in Singapore.
“I started doing co-writing sessions with producers and writers when I was 17, and took a long time to learn more about the craft and experiment with my sound,” CHARLOTTE says as she calls heirwaves from Paris.
That journey to find her sound lead her to Los Angeles, where she was discovered by Grammy-nominated global hit maker Toby Gad. Gad, who penned hits like John Legend’s ‘All of Me,’ and Beyonce’s ‘If I Were A Boy,’ signed then-18-year-old CHARLOTTE to his publishing company on the spot after their very first session.
“Just meeting Toby was a significant moment for me,” she exclaims, recalling when the whole concept of going to LA was a surreal pipedream for her. “It was a complete whirlwind. I went from meeting with him, and he offered to sign… I got publishing on the spot. It was just crazy!”
Working with Gad has been an extremely significant artistic influence on CHARLOTTE who continues to learn from him, though she admits that it took a little while for the starstruck feeling to wear off after seeing the immense amount of plaques on the wall of his studio. “It became a really incredible partnership for writing, and it still is,” she says, noting that the two write together whenever she is in LA.
Since joining forces with Gad, CHARLOTTE has taken the time to establish her voice as a writer leading up to the release of her debut EP. “I was kind of learning how to dig a lot deeper and say the most personal stuff,” she says, “that’s what the EP is about. It’s songs that scared me the most to play people, and the ones where I felt really exposed.” But that fear was quick to fade for her once she realized how much listeners connected with her sincerity.
…and listeners definitely connected. Just 2 months following its release, her second single “Nervous,” accumulated 1 million streams.
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One million. Wow. The 18-year-old me that wrote this song was so uncertain and lacking in confidence. I remember constantly being asked by industry people ‘Who’s your audience going to be? Who’s going to listen?’… honestly, I had absolutely no idea who would listen. And I cannot believe that you’ve listened 1 million times. Thank you. I hope you’re enjoying the rest of the EP x
“That was another big milestone,” she says. She notes that hitting one million streams is seemingly mundane in the music industry now, as its a number that commonly gets tossed around often. “But for me, it was like, that’s a massive number. I didn’t even know what a million really looks like. I definitely haven’t downplayed it, I’ve told everyone.”
CHARLOTTE says that now having had time to separate herself from “Nervous,” and what it was written about, she’s able to see it in a new light. “The thing I like about the song is, I don’t think it’s often that females talk about being the bad person in the relationship,” she recognizes.
The track encompasses all aspects of looking back on a former relationship. “There’s definitely a tone obviously about still having feelings for someone, and the great parts,” she says of “Nervous,” “but there’s maybe a darker undertone of being the one who screwed things up, and just being completely real with yourself and not trying to claim that you’re perfect.”
Being completely real with yourself is a theme that is captured in the lyrics of all 4 songs on the EP, which are carried by a magnetic blend sounds and melodies stemming from a variety of CHARLOTTE’s musical influences. “I don’t think any two of the tracks sound the same,” she says, “I hoped it wouldn’t be confusing for people, and it seems like people have been enjoying that each song sounds different… I’m hoping that the message is driving the instead of the production.”
“I think I just captured myself well in it – and maybe, being brutally open and honest is nice for people to hear,” she continues. The outpouring of praise from listeners has proved that vulnerability has resonated deeply with her audience, which CHARLOTTE admits is still astonishing for her. “The number of people posting about it – the people that I don’t know, that have no reason to support the music – they just do because they like it and connect with it,” she says.
“Every time I check my phone someone’s posted about it, and you don’t do that unless you’ve really connected with it and it moved you to want to tell everyone else. That’s pretty magical,” CHARLOTTE exclaims.
“Putting music out for people to listen to has been completely transforming for me. Not just in my career, but in just being a human being as well, and feeling accepted in something. I’m just really grateful,” she says.
With a wildly powerful and dynamic debut, CHARLOTTE is ready for the next phase – which includes a summer full of live shows, and ultimately, more music that she’s not going to wait to release. “I’ve been writing and writing and writing for years,” she says excitedly, “I’ve got a lot of music ready to go that I’m proud of. I’ll be putting music out very soon.”
Nowhere To Hide is available for streaming and download on all platforms now.