All about Charlotte OC, our new angel of British music!
Her second album, Careless People, has obsesses us since several weeks. Sublime songs like Shell, Medicine Man, unforgettable like Darkest Hour.
Beyond the stunning voice, we discovered an irresistible smile during our interview at Le Pigalle Hotel, in Paris.
UsofParis: When did you start to sing?
Charlotte OC: I started singing the first moment I’ve realized that I loved it. It was when I was about 6 years old. I was enquired I think it was the first class music I’ve ever heard and we were singing and learning the song and we just finished learning it and we have to sing all together to the class and thinking singing was like « holy fuck! ». I’ve felt like « how great! », like I could do it, I’ve felt like i knew I could do it. That was a quite strange feeling when you are 6 years old. It was quite profond, just like really knowing. I am not sure if it was because I was doing just a bit of show off or genially just to know just to do it.
I knew I wanted it to do as a career like when I was 15. But then I’ve started to take it serious when i signed my first major company when I was 16. And when I was got signed to a record label when I was 18 and I took it properly seriously.
And when you have decided to write?
It was when i was 15 years old. and it was my dad who’ve booked guitar lessons for me behind my back but I didn’t really want to learn guitar. We had this thing together by using chewing gum together. I still love chewing gum, I don’t know why but and I still do, it’s my trick. One day, we were in the car and I was used to have all the chewing gum I wanted, and it was literally two steps away from home and he told me that « we ware not going in that way and I will drop you here and you are going to have guitar lessons. » And the guitar was in the car and I was just thinking: « it’s the worst fucking day of my life! »
And I became obsessed with guitar, I’ve felt confortable with the instrument.
Then as I started to get play with it I started to pop melodies all over the cords I was learning and it was how I started writing.
Did you thank him?
Yes. Even mentioning him in the interviews now. I think it’s thanking him in a way. Because what he did was the best thing he’ve ever done for me.
Airplanes, hotels, promotion, showcases, were you prepared for this in your life?
Not when I was younger. Now I feel like I am. Before I wasn’t ready for it.
I knew I’ve create a vibe or something but not created a world. So I wasn’t quite ready to talk about it. But now after making a body of work, a few world, I lived for that long, I ‘ve spend that long marking it and now I am ready to talk about it.
Release an album is a relief, an heaven or a big stress?
Making a record: it’s all of that, it’s everything. I find being in a studio quite scary, there a lot a pressure because you are there to really project yourself and I don’t know, I found it quite stressful and I don’t find yet a confortable space in the studio so I did find it stressful. But it’s also really rewarding, I’ve learnt a lot and I’ll quite love produce my own album one day and I am learning how to use logic and things like that, so… maybe I could do this all my own one day.
It’s your dream?
I would love it. 🙂
The first track Darkest Hour obsessed me. I love it. What is the story?
I wrote this song in a tree house/studio in Los Angeles. I wrote about watching somebody having a really toxic relationship and what you can do about it. And when it’s somebody you really care about, it’s not only them going through, you’re going trough as well. When you care about somebody you feel the pain that they’re feeling. I quite needed to write a song about how me and my family fell about what she’ve done and put herself all through. I was a bit a therapy for me writing this song.
What about the track Shell?
That’s about this guy who was older that me and he was quite manipulative. He was bad ache, the guy who was not very nice in general. When my mum first met him, she was: « no! i do not like him »
I was basically a child and he completely swept the life out of me and I completely lost who I was. And it was me realizing: « I dont know who I am anymore and it’s because of you ».
About your music, some journalists describe it as an alternative pop, dark, also black paint… Do you agree?
Music is interpreted by you own. You create a mood, whatever the mood it is. And it’s totally personal to each, it’s individual. I guess there is a part of dark in it but there is also a lot of warmth.
Lou Reed is a major influence for you generally. And in this album?
Let me think… Maybe. No, I just think it’s someone i admire, I think he is just amazing. I love the ton of his voice. I don’t channel anything of his.
Which song of him do you prefer?
Pale blue eyes. This song was when he was in the Velvet Underground.
Funny or strange story during one of your shows you want to share?
My uncle passed away about 5 years ago, he used to come at every show that I did and he was a really important part of my life and I’ve dedicated the album to him. Whenever I went on stage, my guitar used to break, and somebody would always be there to lent me a guitar and it never worked and every time I’ve gone to the shop I would be like: « what the fuck it’s wrong with my guitar and why it keep doing this? ». But I’ve realized there was nothing wrong with this. I did’t realized I get in touch with those people and basically my uncle came through and I was very skeptical about all this but this all kind of all things about me and my family that nobody would know. And he basically said: « I know that you know that I have been there with you on stage, I am sorry for breaking your guitar ». That’s something a kind of weird. After that, true or not, it was really nice knowing that he was there.
How do yo feel when you are on stage?
There are moments of little bit of incertity and sometimes real euphoria and moments you’re thinking a little bit much about stuff. There’re so much many feelings when you are on stage, it’s not a common experience. You always can tell about he first note that you sing if it’s going a good show or not.
Do you enjoy?
I love it! 🙂 It’s a part of me.
Charlotte who chose Los Angeles to make her album, spent 3 days in Paris meeting web media and blogs. Respect!
New album: Careless People
(Harvest Records / Capitol Music France)
Wed 19 April, LONDON / Omeara
Wed 26 April, PARIS / Badaboum
Thu 20 July – Sun 23 July, HUNTINGDON / Secret Garden Party 2017