Monday, April 1, 2013

CMW 2013 | Interview with: Charlotte Church

Photo: Jack Alexander (
A lot of you may remember Charlotte Church as the young girl with the voice of an angel. She was known for her opera-style musical talent and she eventually went on to release a greatest hits album at the age of 16.

Ten years later, she's now breaking out in her own skin with a brand new sound. I got the chance to interview Charlotte over the phone before she visited Toronto for Canadian Music Week. She gave insight into her series of EPs, her tour, and her musical evolution.

Check out some bits from the interview:

Your EP TWO was just released - can you tell me a bit about what went into the making of it?

Charlotte Church: Basically it's a series of five EPs. For some bizarre reason, I decided around a year ago that I wanted to do five EPs. So this is the second, with three more to come. It's been an incredible process and a totally new way of doing things that I've never really experienced before. I basically built a studio in my garage in my home in Wales and got together a group of local musicians I knew from around the area and just started doing some stuff.

Why a series of EPs rather than a full album?

CC: Well I think because it’s so different. It’s such a change. I didn’t really want to just do an album and then you know, you make an album and it takes you however long and then you have to go tour and promote it. And then you have to put yourself away again and make another album. I wanted it to be a little more fluid and just to sort of drip it out there instead of having a crazy advertising campaign and forcing music down people’s throats, which I never think is a good thing. I’d much rather be the sort of artist that people find and feel a bit of ownership over and talk about and it’s a bit more word of mouth. And also, in doing EPs, it allows the creative process to carry on for much longer, so you’re constantly evolving and you’re growing and hopefully getting better in terms of songwriting and projection and the whole she-bang really, because what we’re doing is all in-house, which is a little bit scary.

How would you describe the music that you’re producing now?

CC: I don’t know, that’s difficult. I’m not a fan of genres anyway, but I don’t know. The live show is pretty exciting. We’ve got two drummers and big analog synths and lots of loop pedals and sets and things that we’re all triggering. Nothing is a track. We were just at SXSW and the one thing that really shocked me is how much is the track. And I was like wow, this is a music festival - it’s a raw, really gutsy festival. So I was really surprised at how slick everything was.

Having a classical background, has that come into your newer stuff at all?

CC: Absolutely. Also, a couple of the band members are classically trained as well, so we’ve all got a good understanding of music in general and know the rules and can break them. Even if you don’t know the rules, you can break them, it’s fine. It’s been useful and I’m using my voice in a much more interesting way, hopefully other people feel the same way. After being the songwriter as well, I’ve been able to explore my whole range and not just doing other people’s songs and having a three-note samba.

What’s your favourite part of being a musician?

CC: It’d have to be performing live when everything’s going well. When everything’s not going so well, when you’re having issues or having an off night, then maybe not so much. But singing live when everything is going well and the band is just jamming, that has to be one of the best parts of it. And also just being in the studio in general, just being allowed time to be in that creative space. It’s just phenomenal.

What can Canadian fans expect to see from you?

CC: A big shock I think. I think that literally happens at the shows. We’ve got loads of things on stage and sometimes it’s sad and melancholy, sometimes it’s angry, but like I said, I’m having difficulty in describing exactly what it is. I’m hoping you can make it out to the show to understand why I find it so difficult, so you can hear it for yourself.

And that I did. I caught her show at El Mocambo on March 23 and after seeing her perform, I knew exactly what she was talking about.

Who would you love to collaborate with someday?

CC: I absolutely love Sufjan Stevens. I’m also a huge Radio Head fan. Bjork. I love Brand New. A band called How To Dress Well, who I’m really digging at the moment. There are loads of people.

What is it that pushes you to continue making music?

CC: It’s essentially in my blood. I just can’t stop. I know that sounds so ridiculous, but it’s a convulsion.

What’s up next for you?

CC: We started for EP three but we also have a huge bank of material to work with. We’re always constantly writing. I have no idea what EP three, four, and five will be like. I’m interesting to hear if people dig it in Canada and America. It’d be great to come back and do more touring.

Here's Charlotte and her band performing 'Nerve' for The Line of Best Fit

You can listen to her full EP TWO here:

Keep an eye out for my article featuring Charlotte for Faze Magazine!
- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

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