MOOD met Charlotte to talk about, her joyride of emotional ups and downs inside her brand new EP “Charlotte”.
Charlotte wears a turtleneck top and belt by Balenciaga, with heart shape sunglasses by Saint Laurent, Wenyuan necklace, Opened Jesus rings, and earings by Michael Raven Jewelry, with leather pleated skirt by Annakiki, Wolford socks, Steve Madden Shoes, and A cloud chain bag
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The best-kept secret of 2019 is out. Charlotte Lawrence just might be the next great rebellion in pop music. It’s true, “Why Do You Love Me” is the name of the buzzworthy hit that lifted her trajectory high above the independent pop scene. The 21-year-old hasn’t released her debut album yet and she’s already talking about crossing over into the rock genre before she retires. She loves to go against the grain. You can hear it in the way she expresses herself. But in order to truly understand the artistic direction of this singer-songwriter, we have to take a little trip down memory lane…all the way back to the year 2020…when she was a relatively unknown singer attending a film screening for Birds of Prey with her dad. As Charlotte Lawrence sat through the opening credits of the movie, during opening weekend, she had a slight inkling that her new song could be a part of the film’s soundtrack. But then…something totally unexpected happened. Shortly after the first scene got underway on the silver screen, the main character, Harley Quinn, blew up the Ace Chemicals processing plant by sending a big rig truck right through its gates. And that’s when Charlotte’s song slowly started to emerge in the background.“I went to the movie theater with my dad, just us two, it was empty and we were like Holy shit! No Way!” said Charlotte Lawrence. “I had no idea (my song) was going to be in the movie. And I had no idea that it was going to be that big of a part in the movie. The movie gave the song a whole new meaning. When I recorded (Joke’s on You), it was just a cool, fun, ‘fuck you’ song….and then I heard it with the movie on. It just adds this whole epic badass meaning to it. The movie was all girls and the soundtrack was all women. It was so awesome. And I felt so honored to be alongside such fuckin’ cool chicks…it just felt great. That was a big milestone for me.” Birds of Prey: The Album peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Charts. It also piqued the public’s interest in Charlotte. At that point, she had yet to release a full-length album. But she more than held her own on a star-studded tracklist, that featured Grammy-nominated artists like Halsey, Meg Thee Stallion, and Doja Cat. Charlotte Lawrence was introduced to the world in an epic, on-screen explosion of feminism, female empowerment, and dark-pop music. “Joke’s on You” will forever be a milestone etched in history and the launchpad from which her career in the mainstream began.
Now that the pyrotechnic introduction is out of the way, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of who is Charlotte Lawrence really is. She’s an introspective singer-songwriter mixed with the boldness of a maverick. She’s a little bit country, she’s a little bit rock n’ roll. She’s a pop princess who doesn’t care what you think. And more importantly, she seems totally willing to deliver pop songs to the mainstream that are not riddled throughout with happy endings and cliché love stories. She named her brand-new EP, Charlotte. It’s a collection of songs that kind of feels like a coming-of-age story about reveling in heartbreak, inevitable breakups, love/hate relationships, and the perplexities of substance abuse. Overall, Charlotte Lawrence’s new EP is a joyride of emotional ups and downs. Her musicality and unconventional approach to songwriting made for standout tracks on the EP like “Cowboys.” A composition nearly two years in the making. “I was going through something and was feeling unloved by someone that I was seeing. So, I was like: How do we make this song sexy and cool, rather than just another sad song?” Said Charlotte “So, we made (Cowboys) interesting and alternative and we made it dark as fuck! And the production on that is so cool. Andrew Watt did it with Happy Perez, they did it together. I think it's so sick! All the weird sounds that they added fits the song. I wanted a really dark Western song to kind of take you back to old Hollywood like an old Western (film)…Because when I hear the song, I imagine the fucking cowboy kissing the girl and then just running away on a tour and never coming back, you know what I mean?” Her flair for dramatics is clearly evident in this alt-pop song.
The country twang and the sinister guitar licks paint the imaginary picture of a Hollywood protagonist galloping about in a Western film, directed by Quentin Tarantino. The track is a dark masterpiece that was co-written by multiplatinum music producer, Ryan Tedder. Along with Ali Tamposi and Andrew Watt. The EP has radio-friendly strongholds like “Talk You Down” and “Slow Motion.” But what distinguishes this LA native from other recording artists in her genre are tracks like “Rx.” Because it shows that she’s not afraid to write songs about touchy subjects, despite being heralded as a future pop princess. “We started writing (Rx) about substance abuse and Xanax. As we were writing it, I was realizing like, wait, this also completely works for an “ex.” Like an ex-lover. The storyline completely worked for both. We played on that as well. I think this song in total is about being dependent on something that is toxic for you and bad for you…It’s kind of about addiction and being dependent on someone or something…and you’ve got to get out of it.” When you listen to the brand-new EP from Charlotte Lawrence, you can practically feel the emotional pendulum swing, back and forth, from lightheartedness to dark and gloomy. It’s almost as if she’s plucking our heartstrings like she plays her guitar. This is fitting, considering the fact that teased us with the notion of releasing an acoustic rock album, during our interview. She actually seemed very enthusiastic about getting in touch with her inner rock star and making us all cry with some sad rock songs. Almost as if it were her destiny. “I was a really happy kid. But I was always obsessed with sad music…from a young age, like nine years old, I would listen to (musicians like) Damien Rice and Bonnie Raitt. I just loved sadder music. That was the thing that always inspired me and caught my attention. I think the reason for that is because, in sadder music, the lyrics are what make a song sad... Like for example, with The Smiths--Morrissey would always write that saddest lyrics, over happy production,” said Charlotte. When she put it like that, she made the thought of spending an evening crying a river, while listening to sad acoustic rock songs--sound like a blissful run through a field of flowers. Rest assured, for those of us who enjoy feeling sad and emo from time to time—this album is actually going to happen. While we were on the topic of discussing her acoustic rock album, Charlotte talked about the possibility of upping the ante someday and taking a full-on nose dive into the rock n’ roll music scene, before it’s all said and done. “I’m working up to it. I still feel like I have to do a few more things before I go full-blown and release an old-school rock album. You know what I mean?” Said Charlotte. “My dream would be to release a ‘Stevie Nicks mixed with Phoebe Bridgers’ type of album. (Something that says) fuck what y’all think, I’m going to release an album that will make you depressed and that’s what I’m going to do because it’s just for me.” Those words resonated like a vintage rock n’ roll quote from a legendary front-woman. At the young age of twenty-one, Charlotte already has the attitude that the world wants from its rock stars. All we need from her now is a Stevie Nicks-Esque album to make our dreams complete. Pun intended.
So, what did we learned about Charlotte Lawrence, during our Q&A? She definitely isn’t boring! Whether it’s banging the keys on her piano or strumming her acoustic guitar, the possibilities for her as a songwriter are endless. She could drop a bunch of songs that are so sad, they make us yearn for the return of grunge and emo. On the other hand, she might throw us a curveball and become the next P!nk. After all, there are quite a few similarities, between the two pop singers. Lyrically, they both have something to say, they both have a knack for writing hit songs and neither of them is afraid to address political topics outside of the music arena. “I don't know if I ever became politically and socially aware as much as I have always been politically and socially aware… I think that part of being a public figure is influencing…You have to influence morals and teach those younger than you that may not be as educated or may not know about politics, on what's going on, and bringing awareness. I think it’s my responsibility.” Said Charlotte. “I believe in all these issues and I feel very strongly about it. And if you don’t believe in this stuff, I don’t really want you to follow along…You know what I mean? If you're racist, if you're homophobic or if you're sexist--get off my fucking page and don’t read my shit.”
Far be it from Charlotte Lawrence to travel to the beaten path for a pop hit. She seems far more interested in carving out her own niche in the landscape of music, even if she has to take a detour to stand up for human rights.
No one really knows the artistic direction that Charlotte will lean towards next. Except for her, of course. So, as she continues singing the soundtrack to life’s emotional rollercoaster, let’s hope the nostalgia lasts a long time before she decides to move on to her next destination in songwriting.
Fashion: Edwin J. Ortega
Makeup: Kelsey Deenihan
Hair: Gregory Russell
Words: Miguel Costa
Location: Grey Card Studio
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