"The crowd were amazing. They connected with every song I played, and so many people came up to me afterwards to congratulate me" Introducing Charlotte Grayson
Hey Charlotte, how’s your day going so far?
It’s going perfectly averagely if I’m going to be honest.
So what have you been up to today?
I’ve been in work all day and have also had a driving lesson. Pretty ordinary.
And where are you right now?
I’m on my couch eating pasta and hiding from all the fireworks.
Introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, I’m Charlotte and I’m an 18-year-old singer/songwriter from Hartlepool. I’ve been playing gigs since I was 14 and would describe my style as country-pop.
You’ve got a couple of singles out in the world, tell us about them.
My first single was called 'Maybe' and is a soft country song about falling in love with someone and watching all the uncertainties disappear. The B side to that track was a song called 'Heroine' which is a more alternative styled song about babies which are born already addicted to drugs. My second and latest single is called 'Something To Miss' which is a waltz that I wrote for my best friend when she hit a rough patch. The B side is a song called 'Mesmerised' and that is more of a ballad which centres around the feeling of being infatuated with someone.
What does writing songs look like for you?
Physically it looks like me sitting on my bedroom floor with a guitar and a notebook. I always start with the guitar riff, then move onto melodies and finish by piecing together the lyrics. All ideas start as a note or a voice note in my phone of something that inspired me and once I’ve found that one idea that can actually be turned into a full song, I write in one session. Not every song is a success, when I send them to my head of label, he often offers me some “constructive criticism” which often leads to me scrapping it and starting again.
If you had to choose one of your songs for people to hear, which one would it be?
That's a hard one, I think it would have to be 'Drunk Girls' which isn't even properly recorded yet but is up on my Facebook page. It perfectly captures what I feel I am about as a person. My current musical style is prominent, my humour is shown, and my solidarity of females is proudly shining.
What can you tell us about an album? Have you got one on the horizon?
We are hoping to have the album ready for next spring. All the songs are written, it’s just getting the studio time booked in to finish recording them all.
What’s been the most exciting thing so far in your music career?
I recently played as a support act for Big Boy Bloater, and not only was it amazing to get to watch him, the crowd were amazing. They connected with every song I played, and so many people came up to me afterwards to congratulate me. I also got the gig because of a mutual fan who put my name forward.
What are your plans for 2019?
I’m hoping to get some gigs booked in London and spend some more time there, as well as getting the album finished and released.
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
I’ve always put my issues down to being a teenager rather than being a woman. People struggle to take me seriously. I often get in touch with venues and receive no reply, until a middle-aged man asks, and then I am booked within the hour. I don’t think people are deliberately prejudiced to be malicious, I think bands are just very male fronted at the moment and it’s an assumption that is drilled into them. Once I have played to them, I am never turned away, so it is a matter of eliminating that assumption.
I’ve never made it to Hartlepool, what’s the one place I need to see in your hometown if I visit there?
Honestly if you’ve been able to avoid it this long, carry on. But in the unfortunate instance you find yourself here, we have some nice beaches? My favourite place in regards to music is a pub on the Headland called the Fisherman’s Arms.
If you could recommend one song to hear this week, what would it be?
'Emmylou' by First Aid Kit. It’s gorgeous and it’s about getting to play music with someone you love.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
I wish people would ask me about my pet hates at gigs. I really dislike it when people pay money to come and see an artist, then talk/shout all the way through their set. It’s not only off-putting for the person trying to play, but the other people in the audience have paid too and then can’t hear. I also really dislike when older people try to give me advice, often before I’ve even been on stage, but just end up being really patronising. I understand that sometimes their heart is in the right place, but not all advice is warranted.
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
I don’t like coffee, but the closest I’ve come to liking it was when my guitarist/backing vocalist Ian made me a cup while we were hungover. It was sort of like a latte I guess? So I’m going to say I take my coffee made with only warm milk and two sugars.
To find out more about Charlotte you can follow her on Twitter or check out her Facebook page.