Maxim Meyer-Horn

8 May

Interview: Charlotte OC Finds Independency In Her Comeback Project

It’s a mystery to us why Charlotte OC never scored a world hit because the British songstress has the voice and appearance to conquer millions of hearts. Even though her story starts in 2008 with signing a record deal with Columbia, it was only in 2013 when O’Connor started to attract the attention of a bigger audience by releasing new music via another label. However, in 2020 it’s time to come back bigger and better, but this time without a big label. Charlotte talked to us about finding independency, struggling with self-confidence and her fantastic new EP.

We’re sure everybody asks you this question, but how is quarantine going?

You know what? I’m super busy. I think I keep waking up some days forgetting where I am, which is really strange because I’m currently at the house where I grew up in. I spend a lot of time on my own anyway, so I’m kind of used to it, but quarantine still affects me in a way.

Do you think it’s difficult to release music in such uncertain times?

No, I think it’s the perfect time to do it. A lot of people are realizing that music does cure a lot of things and brings everybody together. It couldn’t be more of a perfect time for me to release new songs because I’ve started doing live videos of covers and I would have never done that before. I never wanted to do it because I just wanted to release my music, but quarantine has pushed me to do it. Now I know that it helped my recent single a lot since people started to get to know me, thanks to the covers, and started listening to my music. I guess I suit quarantine, and I’m wearing it well.

You’re going to release your first big project since 2017. Why did it take so long?

I was very unhappy with the situation I was in with my team and what I made. I wasn’t necessarily sure if the music I was making was really me, and I spent a long time figuring out who I was. I was rebuilding my team and was looking for new people I wanted around me, so I basically wanted to start again. That takes time because I needed to regain trust and let people in. That’s why it took so long.

You’ve always been under the wings of a label, but you’re releasing your music now as an independent artist. In what way did releasing music change for you?

I’m not somebody who should be kept away, and I have to work hard for everything I’ve got. When I was with the label, I had the impression a lot of stuff was done for me and I felt a little bit dumb by not knowing what was going on and let people decide for me. Being an independent artist gives me a different outlook on everything and more of an insight into what I want to be. I got lost and didn’t like everybody telling me what to do. Not because I’m stubborn, but because I had difficulties with the version of me not being me, if that makes sense?

In what way is the new EP Oh The Agony, Oh The Ecstasy a new chapter in your artistry?

The EP is, to be completely honest, not me finding myself, but it was in the process of it all. That’s why it’s called Oh The Agony, Oh The Ecstasy. The project was more me building to where I am right now. The last track of the EP, which is “Blue Eyes Forever”, that’s the moment where I came to terms with the feeling that I’m on to something now.

The EP is me feeling the agony of all of the stuff I said before and the ecstasy of falling in love again with myself. Figuring out things about myself I didn’t know before and just coming of age, I guess.

How did you discover your new musical identity?

That’s the meaning behind the song “Blue Eyes Forever”. The whole song is about a conversation I had with my boyfriend when we were just getting to know each other. We were slowly coming to terms that it’s like when you meet someone and feel like you’re weirdly alike and weirdly connected on this  level I never witnessed in my life before.

We had this conversation and we both said things we didn’t know we felt about ourselves before we said it. It really was the most important conversation I had in my life because I understood myself and got me to the next stage. This moment deserved a song because I never had such a connection with someone before. So “Blue Eyes Forever” is insanely special to me.

You said before that you tend to write rather dark or sad songs. What makes the new EP more uplifting to you?

The lyrical content and production I guess. There’s maybe a bit more warmth to it now. There’s actually a song on it called “Strangers In The Dark”, which sounds super happy but is actually quite sad

Do you know where this sadness comes from?

I guess it’s really coming-of-age because I’m 29 now. I was always unsure of everything I was saying, but I feel like I’m becoming more confident with myself. That was just the whole thing of feeling a little bit more powerful, but not enough to not just give a shit about what other people say. I think that’s where my struggle came from and it continues to be like that, to be honest.

Is it easy for you to talk about personal struggles in your music?

There’s a song I did called “Satelite“, which is a song where I’m laying all my cards on the table massively. I’m not even having a conversation with a person, but really sing about how I feel. The song really was my way of saying how I felt and means a lot to me, so I really think music is a nice outlet for my feelings.

You’ve been in the industry for over ten years. What would you advise your younger self looking back at all your experiences?

I always had the same mentality of not rushing things. I stand by the fact that when something will happen, it happens. I’m going to work hard, but if the timing is not right, the timing is just not right.

If I could advise my younger self something, it would be that I have to trust in my gut. I’d rather get it wrong myself than someone else getting it wrong for me. I’d also say to love yourself more and stop being bothered about the things everyone else is doing. You can advise certain things many times, but sometimes it only clicks when the time is right.

Let’s talk about the future. Is there an album coming?

Yes, there is. I’ve started writing the album and this is just the stuff I can’t fucking wait for everyone to hear it. I’ve been writing a lot with Courus Shebani, who worked a lot on AURORA’s music. I feel like I got it and I’m in it now. The sound exactly represents me and I feel proud to say it. I’ve waited for this feeling for fucking years, so it’s just really lovely to feel it. The album is probably coming out in late summer, so the excitement is rising.

Charlotte OC‘s new EP ‘Oh The Agony, Oh The Ecstasy’ is coming out on May 15th. You can pre-save the EP here.

A day prior to the release, O’Connor will perform old and new songs via an online concert and we highly recommend buying a ticket for the stream.

Photos by Maximilian Hetherington

Photos by Maximilian Hetherington

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