We chat to the super bright West Coast pop-maker.
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Los Angeles is a paradoxical place. Picturing California’s biggest city conjures thoughts of palm trees, sunshine, and dreams coming true. However, there’s also an underlying dark side. Mass inequality is ripe and although it’s a land of where dreams are made, it’s also a place where dreams are routinely broken. The pressure to make it in a city of 13 million who are also trying can take its toll.
Charlotte Lawrence’s hometown is an apt metaphor for the music she creates. Mixing dark lyrical themes with sunshine soaked danceable tunes, the pop-maker has experienced a lot at a young age and uses her deeply personal lyrics to help make sense of it all. Amongst the notions of glamour, there’s a pressure for her generation be seen “living their best lives” online. It’s something that anyone can relate to, whether living in a mansion in Bel Air or a bedsit in Birmingham. Millennials are growing up with a plethora of mental health issues exacerbated by social media, and Charlotte Lawrence wants to use her music to help her peers cope.
The singer first came to the world’s attention when her cover of You’re the One That I Want from the movie Grease went viral in 2017. Lawrence followed up the success with a run of singles, finding her sound and her artistic voice, before releasing her debut Young EP in the summer of 2018.
In the live space, Lawrence received a huge boost when family friends The Dixie Chicks invited the up-and-comer to perform with them on stage at the iconic Hollywood Bowl. “It made me realize that that’s who I am as a person. I’m a performer,” says Charlotte of the experience.
The future promises to be an exciting one for the star who has already cultivated a huge online following. Her latest single Stole Your Car has amassed over 18 million streams on Spotify, and the pop star is followed by more than half a million people on Instagram.
Lawrence is now working hard writing more music, with the intention to release her debut full-length album before the year is out.
We recently caught up with Charlotte to chat about her upcoming UK shows and who she looks up to in music.
You’re coming to Manchester and London next month. How much are you looking forward to the shows?
Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. Europe is my favourite place in the world. Last time I performed in London the fans were the craziest that they’ve ever been. I’m so excited to come back and explore more places. I haven’t been to Manchester before so I’m so excited to check it out.
How would you describe a Charlotte Lawrence live show?
I’ve been writing and playing music since I was little, and once I worked out that I could probably do this for life, I promised myself that I’d always stay authentic and real to who I am and write the music that I love and want to write. It’s very relaxed. I’ll never have background dancers doing crazy things! But I love running around, hanging with the people who are there and screaming, jumping and laughing and talking… I tend to talk a lot! We have a lot of fun, it’s very chill. It’s like a family. I’m not performing for the audience I’m performing with them. We’re all in it together.
What’s your favourite part of the set?
I love when we do this little acoustic session. It’s so much fun to make pop songs and dance songs with everybody jumping and singing along but my favourite songs that I’ve written are the ones where it’s just me and piano or a guitar backing me up. I’m also going to playing some unreleased songs on this tour, which is always fun.
Other than performing, what’s your favourite thing about coming to the UK?
The last time I was there was in the winter time and we went to Winter Wonderland which was so much fun. I love to explore. I went to this really cool bar last time with my dad, that was like in an old bank vault. London is so different from Los Angeles and how I grew up, so it’s so fun to explore and try new things.
What made you want to pursue music as a career?
I’ve been obsessed with music since I was little. Neither of my parents have any musical talent per se, but my father is an incredible writer and he’s very passionate about what he does. He is one of the most talented people I know. My mother has impeccable music taste and brought me up on the most incredible music that I still love. I was surrounded by amazing music and all this talent at home. At about 12 I started to teach myself how to write music. I went into sessions with different writers and musicians and put myself out of my comfort zone. It just slowly but steadily turned into something that wasn’t a hobby anymore and I could actually pursue it.
You’ve grown up in Los Angeles where it feels like everyone wants to be famous. Do you think that competitiveness has helped you raise your game?
This is not going to sound truthful but I’m really not a competitive person, publicly or personally. If my friends succeed at something I never get jealous. I’m very supportive of my friends, especially those who are musicians and are blowing up. I’ve never felt very competitive and I really love that about myself. I think it’s nice that I’m happy when people around me succeed.
Your track Bloodstream is amazing. Can you tell us a bit about the song?
I wrote that with Jesse Thomas who is such an incredible person, musician, artist and songwriter. She’s one of my closest friends, and she invited me to her house just for a gossip and we ended up just jamming out. I was playing the piano and she was playing the guitar, and the lyrics just came to us. We wrote that song so quickly and naturally. I’ve gone through so many different productions of it which is why it’s not out yet – I keep adding things to it! I love it with just me and a guitar, but I will figure out what I’m going to do with it, it’s one of my favourites.
Who’s an artist that you truly admire?
There are so many. Somebody who I really look up to is Stevie Nicks, because she’s massive. She’s constantly touring the world and performing in front of millions of people but she still stays true to herself, and is still singing and playing and writing the music that she did when she was younger, before she was this massive star. I look up to her a lot. She’s very authentic and has a very powerful voice.
For any current and future Charlotte Lawrence live dates and tickets, head to Ticketmaster.co.uk.
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