Showcase Spotlight: Be Charlotte
Last week saw Be Charlotte added to the BBC Radio Scotland playlist and this week she is Single of the Week on The Janice Forsyth Show. We caught up with her ahead of the Wide Days showcase at The Pleasance Theatre on Friday 22 April.
Q: Who is Be Charlotte?
A: I’m Be Charlotte, I write and create pop music that has a mix of live and digital stuff going on. I write a lot digitally, but incorporate live stuff. I like writing pop songs, but also like to incorporate different genres and a bit of spoken word; I’ve always been interested in not just sticking to one thing, but combining lots of different things I like.
Q: Your sound has evolved a lot over the past year what inspired to take your music in this current direction?
A: I used to write and gig just singing and playing guitar, then I introduced a loop pedal into my set that got me writing in a different way. I started to write with more layers and built up songs from that, I started writing on Cubase last December. I knew even when I used to gig just acoustically that there was something I could create that felt more like me, and over this year I’ve really been able to fine what that sound is.
Q: You have used innovative technology in your music. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
A: My live show, like the recordings, is a mix of live and digital. I really like the idea of being able to incorporate both of them, having different elements in the live shows that showcase different songs. I still use the loop pedal from time to time and I used to do live looping with a midi keyboard through Cubase. The boombox, that technology isn’t part of the live show, but I think it’d be cool to incorporate something like that in the future.
Q: Can you tell us an interesting fact about Dundee that we might not know?
A: I’m trying to think of a word… people say “away to go” like “I’m away to go to Dundee” or the way they say onion they say “ingin”; so back in the day, in the olden days, in some other time, they used to go to order a bridie and they’d say “can a get a plain ane an an ingin ane an a”, which means “a plain one and an onion one as well”, but I don’t say that.
Q: Who would you like to speak at an event like Wide Days and why?
A: Probably my manager Louie… nahhh I’m only kiddin’. What would be good is to get the perspective from younger people, people who are just starting, but not even just performing, people from the other side of the business too. When I started doing open mics I was just 14 and there was loads of places I couldn’t go in cos I was under 18. So, it’d be good if you had the perspective of someone underage talking about what’s it’s like. A lot of the time people think because a person is underage they won’t have a good perspective on things, I went to SXSW when I was 17 and people said “why are you going you won’t get in anywhere?” I look at it as not a big deal, in Scotland or at South by, you just go with it and it’s generally ok.
Q: What else have you got planned for the coming months?
A: I’m going to South by, then the single launch, Wide Days and some festivals over the summer, the ones that are announced are Belladrum and Electric Fields Festival... The big thing for me is that I’ve not really done a Be Charlotte show since The Art School for Tenement Trail in October, so it’s all going to be cool.
Q: What are the most extreme acts you listen to? And what are your guilty [musical] pleasures?
A: Extreme? [laughs] I don’t listen to anything metal, I don’t know why I just was never interested that much. I listen to Milky Chance, but that’s not that extreme. Guilty pleasures… I don’t know if Justin Bieber counts cos everyone loves him now, don’t they? So maybe Justin Bieber cos I have listened to that quite a lot and before last year I never thought I’d be into him.